Saturday afternoon, the weather was in the 70″s, and it was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. Late Saturday evening, it snowed, and we had about 3-4 inches of snow. By Sunday afternoon, a lot of the snow had already melted, but it was still super cold. We went to the Broncos/Rams game in Denver, and the high was only about 20*F at the game. Today, aside from a few remaining remnants of snow, one would never even know it had snowed at all, and once again, the weather is warm and sunny. This is so typical of Colorado weather. You don’t know how to dress, let alone how to cook. For both knowing how to dress and knowing how to cook with this unpredictable weather, my best advice is to dress in layers and to be flexible with your recipes. It works.
Considering the weather was still so wishy-washy last night, I chose to have some leftover cream of chicken soup that I took out of the freezer The Queen is in the Kitchen Again and served it along with some delicious loaded potato skins. That was a perfect combination for a relatively light meal that was still satisfying but hearty enough to warm us up from the inside out. And of course, there was wine. I served a cool, crisp chardonnay with hints of green apples and melons.
It doesn’t take too much at all to make these delicious loaded potato skins. All you need are potatoes, green onions, bacon, and cheese, and olive oil with some Tobasco, and chili powder (optional) to add a little bit more of a kick.
Wash and scrub the potatoes really well, making sure to scrub off all the excess dirt. Keep the skins on the potatoes and stab them a few times with a fork, to release steam and pressure when they cook, so they don’t explode. Then stick them in the microwave for about 20 minutes or until they are soft and tender. I turned mine over at about 10 minutes.
As the potatoes are cooking and cooling, dice your tomatoes, green onions and bacon.
Pan-fry the bacon pieces to your desired doneness.
Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, gently scoop out the cooked insides, leaving about 1/4 inch around. Save the potato filling and use it for something else (you know you will see these used again in another post, so stay tuned). Before loading up the “skins”, coat them with olive oil, both inside and on the bottom, then sprinkle a little Tobasco and chili powder to them, if you want your skins with a bit more kick. Then start loading them up how you like, and bake at 450* F for 10-12 minutes.
Once the skins are cooked, you can top them with your choice of sour cream, ranch dressing or bleu cheese dressing. These can be eaten as a snack, or an appetizer, or part of the main meal. Either way, the skins hit the spot.