Loaded Baked Potato Skin Nachos

The Super Bowl has passed, and to be honest I do not think that any one of us in my family actually cared. Sure, the boys said ‘I want the Patriots to go down!’ a few times that day, but the only thing I really cared about was what we were going to snack on. I am done asking, for the most part, what everyone would like to eat, and just lay things out. My menu was simple. Slow baked ribs that would be later fried and glazed, and loaded potato skins that would also be fried.

One of my top recipes is the loaded potato skins, and as I have made so many awesome variations of potato skins, there is one thing I have never done and that is to actually fry the skins. It’s a total game changer. Why? Well because you get a whole shell of that awesome crispy and crunchy texture, not just on the edges, but the entire shell. It’s almost chip like in texture, but with a bit, and just a bit of that creaminess from the potato.

Loaded Potato Skin Nachos
Loaded Potato Skin Nachos

As with any nacho, you load this as you darn well please, but for me, there was one ingredient that made this shine and that was crispy, Nueske’s smoked duck breast lardons.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of russet potatos, cleaned
  • 4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Nueske’s smoked duck breast, cubed (or substitute bacon), and fried until slightly crisp
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 oz can of black olives, drained
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • sour cream, optional
  • avocado, sliced, optional
  • Your favorite hot sauce
  • cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced, optional
  • shredded lettuce, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 cups of canola oil, 350 degrees

Again, you can build your nachos however you want. Add beans and tomatoes if you desire. Load these suckers up!

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Add the whole potatoes to a baking sheet. Use a fork and poke a few holes into each potato to allow steam to release while baking. Bake the potatoes for 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven, and let them completely cool.

Once the potatoes have cooled, sliced them in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon and gently scoop out all of the potato into a bowl. I use all of the potato, add a bit of butter, salt, and milk and whip them up to mashed potatoes for another meal.

Once you have all of your skins ready, heat up a pot with the canola oil. Get the oil to 350 degrees on medium-high heat, and once you have your temperature, drop in about 7-8, or whatever can easily fit into the pot without crowding, and cook the skins for about 5-10 minutes or until you begin to see the interior of the skins get golden and nicely crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potato skins and place them on a paper towel lined plate to release any excess oil. Immediately season by showering the skins with salt. Taters need salt.

Ingredients for making Loaded Potato Skin Nachos
Ingredients for making Loaded Potato Skin Nachos

Repeat with the potato skins.

Add the skins to a oven safe baking pan, and begin adding cheese into each skin.

When all of the skins have finished cooking and the excess oil is removed and they are nicely salted, layer the potato skins onto the baking pan and continue to add cheese into each shell.

Keep the oil on the stove, and take the cubed Nueske’s smoked duck breast and add them to the oil. Get them lightly crisp, then the same process with the slotted spoon and place onto the paper lined plate.

Take those Nueske duck lardons and place a couple into each shell. If you are using bacon, cook until slightly crisp, then crumble and add that into each shell. Add the shallots into each shell, then place back into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is nicely melted.

Remove the potato skins from the oven (do not devour), then decorate them with green onions, avocado, cilantro, serrano chilies, olives, hot sauce, and sour cream (or whatever you desire).

Loaded Potato Skin Nachos Recipe
Loaded Potato Skin Nachos Recipe

Plate and serve. You want to talk about an ultimate game day snack, this is the one! As much as we all love nachos, this loaded potato skin nacho recipe is really, really hard to beat. It’s everything you love about a nacho but in a crispy potato skin boat! Hope you enjoy!

Larb Stuffed Loaded Baked Potato

I’m always looking for something to do with my leftovers and to be honest I am a bit surprised I had any leftovers from a recent Thai/Lao larb fest. I will also be honest and state that larb is probably one of my top 10 things to eat. There’s something about the medley of flavors and the interaction when grabbing a bit of sticky rice and nubbing it down into the herbaceous larb. I’ve done a bunch of different things outside of the standard larb recipe, of which includes leftovers. Everything  larb fried rice, larb bao, and larb quesadillas to name a few. This one on the other hand goes right up there with an excellent use of leftovers, still has that great heat (depending on how you make the larb), and is filling to boot. This one is larb stuffed loaded baked potatoes. I can probably chalk this one up with all of the potato skins I’ve made in the past as well.

Thai Larb Stuffed Baked Potato Recipe
Thai Larb Stuffed Baked Potato Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of leftover larb (feel free to use beef, pork, or chicken)
  • 1 baking potato
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt

That’s it. Granted you may thinking making larb takes a bunch of time, but seriously, it takes about 5 minutes, or as long to cook your protein

Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees, or use your microwave if you want to roll that way, and poke some holes into the potato with a fork.

Take some olive oil and lightly coat the exterior of the potato, and season with a bit of salt. I love a crusty, salty potato, and yes, I eat the whole thing.

Bake or microwave the potato until it is knife tender in the middle. This takes about 8-10 minutes in the microwave, or about 45-60 minutes in the oven.

Once the potato is fully cooked, remove it from the oven, take a butter knife and make a long slit through the top, then carefully using your fingers give it a pinch to make a nice open pocket.

Warm your leftover larb in a skillet, or microwave, then generously load the larb into the baked potato. You can see the extra Thai chilies I added (nice boost for vitamin C), and how loaded it is. I also wanted some extra heat. Did I mention that I find myself eating a Thai chili a day? For whatever it’s worth, it hasn’t kept the doctor away, but I do love them.

If you are looking for a great and interesting take on a loaded baked potato, give this one a shot, but by all means, if you have not had Thai/Lao larb you must make it. It’s addicting. Hope you enjoy!

Fry Sauce

Fry sauce, or simply a ‘special sauce’ is probably the easiest thing to make and typically served with french fries. I think fry sauce can pretty much go on anything, including burgers, and fries of which I did. Fry sauce is a classic sauce and has been around for ages. Think of it as somewhat of a Russian dressing. The simplicity is essentially a combination of mayonnaise and ketchup, but I add a couple of different twists making this fry sauce super addicting one.

Fry Sauce Recipe
Fry Sauce Recipe

Let’s get started on this excellent condiment.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup
  • 1 tbsp pickle juice
  • 1 tbsp your favorite hot sauce
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • hot fries, optional

Add everything but the hot fries to a mixing bowl. Mix well. Cover and place in the refrigerator for later use.

How to make fry sauce
How to make fry sauce

When you are ready to serve, drizzle onto your hot fries (I used roasted garlic and rosemary baby yukon potatoes), or serve on the side. I also smeared a generous amount onto my grilled burger. Talk about simplicity at its finest, and a delicious tang of a condiment to boot. If you are looking for all of that, give this one a shot, and feel free to double the amount for later use. Hope you enjoy!

Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes

Good Lord I love pimento cheese! Pimento cheese is something that I probably only make about twice a year, but when I do, I just cannot get enough of it. As a man from the North, this recipe is typically one from the South, and it is typically referred to as the ‘caviar of the South’, and I can tell why. If you have never tried pimento cheese, well, I suggest you make it yourself as it is not only super easy to make, but it is extremely delicious.

Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes Recipe
Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes Recipe

Pimento cheese is pretty diverse as well and it can be made several different ways, but the main foundation is shredded cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, and pimentos. I like to twist mine up from time to time, and include a couple of different ingredients. This latest batch was used not only for some dip, but I took a twist as a side dish and made twice baked potatoes, loaded with pimento cheese. Whoa, was this ever great.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, hand grated
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 oz diced pimentos, drained
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 whole potatoes, cooked until fork tender
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

Start by adding the cheeses, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic, and pimentos to a small mixing bowl. Use a fork, and carefully stir and blend the mixture together. Make sure everything is combined.

Grab a cracker, and spread some of that delicious pimento cheese on top. Eat. Now you have to back away, otherwise you may attempt to eat that entire bowl. Cover and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to use for the potatoes.

Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes
Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes

You have a couple of options with your potatoes. Put them into the microwave for about 9 minutes, or place them into a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes. It’s your call. The goal however is to get them to be fork tender.

Once they are fork tender, remove them and let them cool slightly.

Take a knife, and carefully cut around the top of the potato. Repeat with the other one. Take the tops off and scrape any potato into a bowl. Use a spoon and scrape out the insides of each potato, being careful not to tear the skin.

To the potato mixture, add the butter, and milk. Use a fork or whisk, and mash the potato mixture. Now you are ready for the pimento cheese!

Add the potato mixture back into each potato. Generously top each potato with heaping tablespoons of the pimento cheese.

Place these onto a baking sheet, and place into a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese mixture is nice and bubbly.

Dig in!

If you love the basic twice baked potato, then you are going to fall in love with these. Not only are they cheesy, and super creamy, but you get that awesomeness from the pimentos and that slight kick of garlic that make these an ultimate side dish, or heck, dinner for that matter! Hope you enjoy!

Twice Baked Pimento Cheese Potatoes
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, hand grated
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • pinch of salt, to taste
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 oz diced pimentos, drained
  • ½ cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 whole potatoes, cooked until fork tender
  • ½ cup of milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
Instructions
  1. Start by adding the cheeses, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic, and pimentos to a small mixing bowl. Use a fork, and carefully stir and blend the mixture together. Make sure everything is combined.
  2. Grab a cracker, and spread some of that delicious pimento cheese on top. Eat. Now you have to back away, otherwise you may attempt to eat that entire bowl. Cover and place into the refrigerator until you are ready to use for the potatoes.
  3. You have a couple of options with your potatoes. Put them into the microwave for about 9 minutes, or place them into a 350 degree oven for 60 minutes. It’s your call. The goal however is to get them to be fork tender.
  4. Once they are fork tender, remove them and let them cool slightly.
  5. Take a knife, and carefully cut around the top of the potato. Repeat with the other one. Take the tops off and scrape any potato into a bowl. Use a spoon and scrape out the insides of each potato, being careful not to tear the skin.
  6. To the potato mixture, add the butter, and milk. Use a fork or whisk, and mash the potato mixture. Now you are ready for the pimento cheese!
  7. Add the potato mixture back into each potato. Generously top each potato with heaping tablespoons of the pimento cheese.
  8. Place these onto a baking sheet, and place into a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until the cheese mixture is nice and bubbly.
  9. Dig in!