Baked Loaded Potato Skins
3 large russet potatoes (about 11 ounces each), washed, scrubbed, and dried
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
A few shakes paprika
A few shakes garlic powder
A few shakes Kosher salt
A few shakes freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup 2% cheddar, Colby, or Jack cheese, shredded
3 slices bacon
A few scallions
Low-fat or fat-free sour cream (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 400°F.
2) Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork. Place 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a small bowl. Brush potatoes with the oil. Bake 50 to 60 minutes, until they can be pierced with a knife with no resistance. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.
3) Turn oven up to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
4) In a small bowl, whisk 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside. (Now would be a good time to slice the scallions, too, if you haven’t done it already.)
5) When potatoes are cool enough to handle, carefully cut each one lengthwise into thirds. The cuts will look like this (along the pink lines):
Using a teaspoon, gently scoop out the potato flesh, leaving a 1/4-to-1/2 inch shell for each skin. As you’re finished with each one, place it on the baking sheet. Save all the leftover scooped-out potato flesh (I had exactly 1 lb.) for another purpose.
6) Brush both sides of each skin with the vegetable oil mixture. Bake skin side down for 7 to 9 minutes. Remove from oven. Using tongs, flip skins over. Bake for another 7 to 9 minutes.
7) While skins are baking, cook bacon in a pan on the stove top. Drain on a paper towel. Crumble or cut up into little pieces using kitchen shears. Set aside.
8) Remove skins from oven. Distribute cheese evenly among the skins (about 1 scant tablespoon per skin). Sprinkle evenly with bacon crumbles. Bake for another 2 minutes, or just long enough for the cheese to melt.
9) Remove to a plate. Add a little salt and pepper. Sprinkle with scallions and serve with sour cream, if you like. Dance!
Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, and Price Per Serving
113 calories, 5.5 g fat, 1.3 g fiber, $0.40
(Compare to 1 O’Charleys skin: 188 calories, 13.3 g fat, 1 g fiber)
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