So the week before Thanksgiving I bought a bag of potatoes so I could serve mashed potatoes with my turkey. Well the thing is, I wasn’t really paying that much of attention to how big the bag was. I just saw that the potatoes looked gorgeous and into the buggy they went. Yeah… FYI, look at the size of the bag when you buy potatoes at Sam’s club. Why? The bag was 15 pounds!!! WTH? There are just 2 people in my house folks – we don’t need 15 pounds of potatoes.
Now the thing is, if you look at the pictures below, these potatoes were Gunther-size meaning they were HUGE! Literally one potato was more enough to make mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving AND for leftovers! So yeah, 1 potato down and only 14.5 pounds to go. LOL
That’s when it hits me! Potato skins! They are super easy and they freeze beautifully! With my having another shoulder surgery I needed to make sure that I had food prepped in the freezer so Mr. Fantabulous (and I) wouldn’t starve while I heal…. or have to live on Lucky Charms. LOL
So I grabbed the rest of the 15 pound bag, scrubbed up the potatoes, pierced them a bit and popped them into the oven to bake them up. If you haven’t tried it yet, you are so missing out on the all time BEST BAKED POTATO recipe ever. The potatoes turn out perfectly each time with that slightly salted crispy skin and a tender potato inside that melts in your mouth. With having so many potatoes I ended up with 12 HUGE potatoes or 24 halves. Normally when you buy potato skins at a restaurant they are fairly small and you can eat 3-4 of them.
When I make baked potatoes I only use Russet Restaurant Baking Potatoes as the potatoes bake up better and have such an amazing flavor. And yeah, they are huge which means 1/2 of a potato is an actual meal rather than an appetizer for me.
I’ve already shared with you one recipe using baked potatoes skins as the ‘edible’ dish in my Sunrise Breakfast Taters recipe. Don’t worry as I’ll be posting a bunch more as well as how to fill them and freeze them for meals later. Today I’m just going to focus on the prep aspect of making these. They honestly are pretty easy; honestly one of the easier things to make in the kitchen. I think the thing that most people fret over the most is when it comes to scooping out the filling.
When I made my first potato skin about 20+ years ago I scooped out too much filling leaving the walls really thin. They were so thin that they collapsed the moment I tried to fill them and let’s face it, when it comes to potato skins you want to be able to hold it up and bite into it or when you cut it, that it doesn’t just fall apart. My next attempt was I left way too much potato in the skin and didn’t scoop out enough. Think a half of a potato with literally just a single spoon scoop line taken out. It tasted more like a half of a potato with the filling just air-waved over top. LOL
As you can see I’ve gotten considerably better when it comes to scooping out tater skins as each one is uniform in the scoopage. Scoopage? Is that even a word? *shrugs* LOL Go with it. What I learned about making potato skins is to let the potatoes sit for a bit once you take them out of the oven before you scoop them out. You shouldn’t cut into them when they are piping hot. Kind of like when you pull fresh baked bread out of the oven. If you try to cut it as soon as you pull it out of the oven you’ll end up tearing the bread instead of beautiful slices.
Well the same (kinda) applies to baked potatoes. The potatoes almost crumble and cave in a bit if you cut them when they are piping hot. Let them rest for about 20 minutes or so and then slice them and scoop them out.
By allowing the potato to rest a bit it makes it easier to scoop while retaining the shape and not burning your fingers. Well okay normal people’s fingers. From working in restaurants and kitchens for years my hands are pretty heat tolerant. Yes I’ve been known to grab a pan straight out of the oven and while it smarts a bit, it’s not “omg I’m gonna die” pain. I don’t recommend this and I do use pot holders but forgetting to grab them does happen.
Now one you’ve hulled these out, the possibilities are endless on fillings. Plus as I said earlier, you can freeze these naked (meaning the tater shell, not you.. LOL) or stuff them and then flash freeze them for a future meal. Both of those recipes will be in coming up in later posts.Print
- Oven Baked Russet Potatoes, warmed *see note
Cutting and Scooping
- To make cutting and scooping out easier, make sure the potatoes are warmed.
- Place the baked potato on its side and carefully cut in half lengthways.
- Using a spoon, make a line going around the inside of the potato about 1/4″ from the edge of the skin. Do not push the spoon all the way down.
- Using a spoon, hollow out the middle of the potato to make a “bowl leaving about a 1/4″ edge all the way around.
- Place the scooped out potato filling in a separate bowl.
- Put the oven on broil, rack in the upper third.
- Brush each potato skin with olive oil and place, flesh-side up on the pan. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until lightly crisp.
- At this point you can fill them with whatever your heart desires and bake or freeze them. *see note
Use the Russet potatoes as they are larger potatoes and the skins crisp up better. Also remember that since you cut these lengthways, you’ll get 2 halves per potato.
Baking and Freezing
Stay tuned for upcoming recipes on how to stuff and bake these as well as how to flash freeze them for later.