There’s nothing new about potato skins. They’ve been around for ages and you’ve probably enjoyed them both at home and also when you’re out and about. But sometimes, for me, inspiration comes in the form of a reminder rather than learning about something new. Is it the same for you?
So think of today’s post as a gentle nudge … a reminder that Loaded Potato Skins are an ideal meal or snack for busy lives. These ones get a little bit of spice from some fried off chorizo, a touch of sweetness from a few peas and topped off with plenty of golden, bubbling melted cheese. Are you drooling yet?
And here’s why I’m sure I can win you over on this one with no bother at all –
- These are ideal for preparing ahead of time. Get them to the end of stage 9 and then chill them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. And then 15 minutes or so and you’re ready to go.
- Preparing these Loaded Potato Skins is perfect for a busy life as it lends itself to multi-tasking. Here’s how getting these babies ready panned out for me –
- Preheated the oven while washing and pricking the potatoes.
- Put the potatoes in the oven and then needed to pop out to the supermarket.
- Returned 40 minutes later and took the potatoes out of the oven.
- Allowed the potatoes to cool slightly while preparing fillings (frying off the chorizo and grating the cheese).
- Scooped out the potatoes and combined with the fillings, before reloading.
- Chilled in the fridge to finish off later.
- Don’t forget you can always bake the potatoes the night before (perhaps at the same time as something else). You’ll be one step ahead of the game then and we know what that means …. BIG secret smug feeling.
- You can finish the Loaded Potato Skins off either in the oven or under the grill, so you can be flexible about how you heat them through if you’ve got other stuff cooking at the same time.
- Adapt the fillings according to what you have to hand or what you fancy. I’ve used frozen peas in these. No need to even defrost them. Spring onions are good, sweetcorn works, a few lardons are tasty, some spicy chicken would be great. Grated cheese goes without saying of course. Remember that if they’re going to be truly ‘loaded’, you will need to add a decent volume of stuff so that the filling can be piled high in the skins.
- They are perfect food for parties – especially those with adults and children. But let’s not be food snobs here. Loaded Potato Skins are not uber fashionable, but there’s no denying that they are truly yummy. Especially with a couple of beers, your guests (old and young) will struggle to say no …
- Great sleepover fodder for a bunch of hungry children. Just add a movie.
- They work surprisingly well served cold in packed lunches. #1 teenage son (he’s not a gusher, if you remember) had a couple in his lunchbox the other day. He declared them as ‘good’. That equates to ‘flippin marvellous’ from anyone else!
- Great for a TV dinner too. Napkins at the ready though – there’s often a dribble factor.
- They’re great value for money. Perfect if you’re feeding a crowd.
- But we eat them most often as a mid-week dinner – normally post swim training – Loaded Potato Skins, perhaps some stir fry vegetables and a tin or two of baked beans. For me, there’s always a dollop of chutney too. Perfect job and popular with the whole family.
- They also reheat surprisingly well. Tonight is one of those busy evenings where everyone is here, there and everywhere, so dinner will be later than usual. It’ll be handy that I have leftover Loaded Potato Skins from last night ready to warm up in the oven.
So, are you suitably reminded of all that’s great about Loaded Potato Skins? What will your filling of choice be? Do leave a comment below to share your best ideas. We’d all love to know …
- 10 medium sized potatoes, washed and pricked
- 100g (4oz) chorizo (I used a mild one), cut into small cubes
- 150g (5oz) frozen peas (no need to defrost them)
- salt and pepper
- a little butter (optional)
- 150g (5oz) strong cheddar, grated
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F (gas mark 6).
- Bake the potatoes until the skins are crispy and the insides are soft and fluffy. For me, this took about 40 minutes but it will depend on the size and variety of your potatoes.
- While the potatoes are cooking, fry off the chorizo in a small frying pan - it will create plenty of its own oil, so there is no need to add any more.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven when they are ready and leave them until they are cool enough to handle.
- Now cut each potato in half and using a small spoon, scoop out the soft potato into a large bowl. Use a fork to roughly mash up the potato flesh - it is much easier to do this while the potato is still warm.
- Cover a baking tray with foil and arrange the potato skins, cut side up, on here.
- Tip the cooked chorizo (including any oil) into the mashed up potato flesh and mix well. At this stage season to taste and add a little extra butter if you feel it needs it.
- Stir in the frozen peas and mix well.
- Now pile the mixture back into the skins and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top.
- If you want to finish off the potato skins later, they can now be stored in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
- When you are ready to eat, preheat either the grill to a medium heat or the oven to 180°C, 350°F (gas mark 4). Bake the potato skins until they are hot through the centre and bubbling golden brown on the top - this will probably take about 15 minutes.