Sticking true to our Irish background, I grew up in a meat and potato household. Whether it was steak, pork or chicken, the ultimate complement to the meat was always some type of potato side dish. Baked potatoes wrapped in bacon, red skin garlic mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes and cheesy potatoes were just a few of my favorite potato sides that my Mom served with dinners.
Now that I’m preparing the meals for my husband and me, I find myself experimenting with ways on how to creatively serve potatoes instead of just the boring ‘ole baked potato. After being away in the mitten (aka Michigan) for over a week as we celebrated our two year anniversary and the beautiful marriage of my brother to my new sister-in-law, we returned to D.C. on Sunday in the mood to fire up our grill.
Minutes after we unpacked the car, we drove to the grocery store to pick up items for dinner this week, as well as the bare essentials. Included in the bags of groceries was last night’s dinner: chicken, salad items and baby potatoes. While I was preparing the potatoes, I realized that I had turkey bacon leftover from the previous night’s meal and shredded cheddar cheese. Immediately, my mind starting perusing the possibilities of what I could create with potatoes, bacon and cheese…and then a light bulb went off: Smashed Potato Skins!
Smashed Potato Skins
- 1 lb baby potatoes
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Garlic powder (to taste)
- 8 slices bacon (or turkey bacon), cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- Topping: Sour cream and chives (optional)
- Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash the potatoes and toss them into the boiling water. Continue to boil until the potatoes soften (approximately 15 minutes).
- Drain potatoes and transfer to a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
- Use a potato masher to press down on each potato to flatten the potatoes.
- Brush the melted butter over the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Sprinkle the bacon and cheddar cheese over each potato.
- Place in the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Top each potato with a dollop of sour cream and chopped fresh chives (optional).