SOUTHWEST POTATO SKINS
6 baking potatoes, not the itsy bitsy kind
1 green chile
4 garlic cloves
6 stalks green onion
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon dill weed
½ cup diced tomatoes
2½ cups shredded Four Mexican cheeses
¾ cup sour cream
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 12-ounce package bacon
4 tablespoons shredded Four Mexican cheeses
Rinse potatoes. Bake potatoes according to instruction on bag; often about 50 to 60 minutes in oven preheated to 425 degrees. While the potatoes are baking, remove seeds from green chile. Cut chile lengthwise into 8 equal pieces. Mince garlic and green onion.
Combine garlic, green onion, Parmesan cheese, salt, paprika, dill weed, diced tomatoes, Mexican cheese, and sour cream in mixing bowl.
Slice all strips of bacon lengthwise into 8 equally long pieces. Separate small pieces of bacon in a no-stick frying pan. Cook at medium-high heat until all pieces turn crispy and turn golden. Stir frequently. Tilt the pan away from you so you don’t get splattered by grease. Be sure to monitor the bacon constantly. Bacon goes from a golden crispiness to charred ash faster than a politician forgets campaign promises.
Take bacon out and put on plate covered with a paper towel. Put a paper towel on top on the bacon pieces. Press down. This should remove much of the grease.
Remove potatoes from oven. Close oven door to save its heat for later. Cut baked potatoes in half lengthwise. Remove the inside white part until only ¼-inch remains all around the skin.
(For Pete’s sake, when your sweetheart asks you what plans you have for the white stuff, look him or her firmly in the eye for about five seconds and say with a strong voice, “I will make mashed potatoes with them. The mashed potatoes will be magnificent. Angels in Heaven will sing their praises. This speech works.
Do not! Do not say, “I don’t know. The recipe didn’t say.” Your significant other will not believe you. Harsh words will ensue. Your beautiful relationship will dissolve and all you will have left are these wonderful potato skins; which might or might not be sufficient compensation for the loss of your sweetheart.
Oh, and if after the spat, you write an apology do not start with, “Dear Sweatheart.”)
Meanwhile, back at the kitchen. Brush vegetable oil all over the insides and outsides of the potatoes. Spoon garlic/green onion/cheese/sour cream mixture into the hollowed out potato halves. Use no-stick spray on a baking sheet. Put filled potatoes on the baking sheet. Place sheets in oven. Cook at 450 degrees for 8 minutes.
Remove filled potatoes from baking sheet. Place green-chile strip, its inside part face up on filled potato. Place bacon bits on top of that. Sprinkle lightly with remaining cheese.
Have an ice-cold root beer and serve potato skins to adoring guests. (Assuming you didn’t alienate them to the point of leaving over what to do with the scooped out potato pulp.)
1) A survey by Maple Leaf FoodsTM found that 43% of people would rather have bacon than sex.
2) Why not have both? Instead of lighting up a cigarette afterwards, try frying up a pound of bacon.
3) I suspect far less than 43% would prefer raw bacon to raw sex.
4) The Chinese have been salting pork since 1,500 B.C., and look how many Chinese there are.
5) People from India don’t eat any bacon or any pork and yet there are over a billion of them.
6) Still, Chinese outnumber Indians by about 300 million. So if you want a hot and heavy night, treat your sweetheart to a bacon dinner.
7) Oh, chocolates, flowers, and champagne don’t hurt your chances either.
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.