Looking for a tasty and fun appetizer that everyone will devour as soon as you pull it out of the oven? Then these super crispy potato skins are what you want! Small russets are scooped out, rubbed with bacon fat and crisped in a hot oven, then filled with chorizo and manchego cheese in a Spanish twist on stuffed potato skins. Yum!
I’m going to let you in a on a little secret now. We are not sports fans here. Shhh….
No, it’s true! There is seldom a TV tuned to a game of any sort and I generally have no idea who’s up and who’s down. However, even I couldn’t miss all the people dressed in Patriots shirts recently. Nor could I miss my husband’s request for chips last weekend. He never asks for chips! But apparently you can’t watch a football game with a crispy snack, and the Patriots were in the playoffs.
That evening after dinner, when he sat down to watch the game, he asked me to make a Game Day snack and post it on the blog if the Patriots won.
Spoiler alert: They won. 🙂
Not being a sports fan, or even a fan of parties that involve sports, I’m rather out of the loop on what people eat at such things. But I am a fan of food and I read all sorts of articles and magazines and blog posts involving food, which did give me some ideas. Combine those ideas with the request for chips as a necessary game watching ingredient and I knew I needed something spicy, something crispy, something cheesy, something made from potatoes, and something easy to hold in your hand.
Put all those together and what do you have? Crispy Potato Skins filled with chorizo and cheese!
They have everything on the list and were given the thumbs up from my happy husband.
The secret to these crispy potato skins is that you brush them with fat or oil and then let them crisp up in the oven before filling them. This basically turns them into fries before you add all the yummy ingredients and who can say no to fries?
I used bacon fat to brush the potato skins, since I always keep extra bacon fat in the fridge. This is a habit I got from my dad. It’s always so useful to be able to add a bit of bacon fat to recipes without having to actually fry up bacon. Spinach salad with a warm bacon dressing? Coq au Vin? Split pea soup? All improved by a little bacon fat and not always made on days when I feel like cooking bacon. (Yes, it does say a little bit of bacon up there at the top. But that doesn’t mean every day or every week! 🙂 )
If you don’t have bacon fat, worry not. You can of course cook some up and crumble it into the potatoes with the chorizo for an extra layer of yumminess, or you can use melted butter to provide the fat and flavor.
The rest of the recipe is pretty straightforward. Cook up some chorizo (Portuguese or Spanish style – we have Portuguese style around here), shred some cheese, slice a few green onions, and top it all with paprika. Oh, and another little secret here. Adobo sauce! A few drops of adobo into the bottom of each potato skin before you add in the rest of the ingredients takes these from darn tasty to downright addictive.
And, since I’m sure you’re wondering what to do with the scooped out potato insides, I have a couple of ideas! We made Cream Cheese Mashed Potatoes from this batch. Mashed Potato Waffles are an excellent idea too, and I’m working on a recipe for Mashed Potato Bites.
Looking for some other recipes to make alongside these crispy potato skins? I have a few ideas…
– Happy Noshing, Annemarie
Crispy Potato Skins with Chorizo and Cheese
- 2 lbs russet potatoes, 8-10 potatoes, about 4 oz each
- 2 tbsp bacon fat, or butter
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 tsp paprikia
- 6 oz chorizo, 1/4 inch dice
- 2 tbsp adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 6 oz manchego cheese, shredded
- 4 oz sour cream
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Scrub the potatoes and prick them with a skewer. Cover a baking sheet with foil and arrange the potatoes on it. Bake them until tender, 40-45 minutes. Test the potatoes with a skewer. When it goes in with no resistance, take them out.
- Let the potatoes cool a few minutes, until they are cool enough to handle. Then cut each of them in half the long way. Carefully scoop out the flesh leaving about 1/4 inch left in the skins. Reserve the potato flesh for another use. Brush the potato skins inside and out with bacon fat or melted butter. Liberally dust the skins with salt and pepper (to taste) and give them a dusting of paprika as well. Turn the potato skins cut side down onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes cut side up and continue baking for 5-8 minutes longer.
- While the potatoes are crisping, saute the chorizo on medium high heat until cooked through and a little crispy on the outside, about 5 minutes.
- Once the potatoes are out, drizzle a little adobo sauce into the bottom of each skin. Then layer in the chorizo, followed by half of the scallions, and finish with the cheese. Bake the skins for 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and has begun to brown a little.
- Top each potato skin with a dollop of sour cream, some of the scallions, and a dusting of paprika.
- The potato flesh can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or in the freezer for a couple of months.
- I used sliced Portuguese chorizo and diced that up.
- I wanted an appetizer which is easy to hold in your hand and can be eating in a couple of bites, so I used the smallest russets I found - which were about 4 oz each. You can use larger russets. Increase the cooking time until they are tender all the way through, and you will need more filling.