Appetizers are actually smart recipes. They are never meant to satiate your hunger but rather entice you to eat more, in this case the main course. Their convenient bite or tiny size makes you feel as if you have eaten just a few, maybe 1 or 2 but actually you may have eaten 10 or 15! They go great with all sorts of beverages and are suitable for a variety of occasions, from a formal dinner to solving the hunger pangs of a raging crowd. Amongst appetizers, one ingredient stands out and that is the humble potato. Potato chips, French fries or wafers, potato salad, potato wedges, potato pancakes... no party or occasion is complete without a potato appetizer.
A staple favorite amongst large party appetizers is the potato skin. Baked, grilled or served up stuffed to the brim with veg and non-veg fillings, making potato skin appetizers is a smart way to please both the high-flying crowd and the hill-billy herd. Stumped on how to make potato skin appetizers? Below are some very easy potato skin appetizer recipes for all occasions.
Baked Potato Skin Appetizers with Cheese and Bacon
(Makes 24 servings)
- 6 medium-sized potatoes
- 1 medium tomato, chopped finely
- 2 tablespoons green onion or spring onions, finely chopped
- ⅔ cup bacon or turkey bacon bits, chopped and cooked
- 1 cup or 4 ounces low-fat or regular cheddar cheese, grated or shredded (Parmesan cheese can be used)
- ½ cup sour cream (optional)
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil (olive oil can be used)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Bottled hot pepper or chili sauce
- Wash and clean potatoes and prick each potato with a fork. Cook potatoes in a microwave for 17-22 minutes on high power. You can use a conventional oven at 425° F, for 40-45 minutes. Leave potatoes to cool.
- Cut each potato lengthwise into halves. Scoop out each potato half, leaving a ¼ inch thick shell. Store potato flesh for some other cooking use. Mix oil, chili powder and hot pepper sauce (7 dashes at least). Garlic powder and paprika can be used instead of sauce for spicy flavor.
- Use a brush to coat the insides of the potato shells with this oil mixture. Cut the shells into half, lengthwise. Lay on baking sheet. In each shell, spoon bacon, tomato and onion bits. Sprinkle shell with cheese. Cover potato shells and store in fridge for 24 hours.
- Bake potato skins in oven for 10-12 minutes at 450° F. The cheese should melt and shells will be hot all over. Serve hot skins with sour cream.
Potato Skin Appetizer with Veggie Stuffing
(Makes 4 servings)
- 2 large potatoes
- ¼ cup low-fat or regular cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 small onion, chopped into small wedges
- ½ large red pepper, julienned
- ½ large green pepper, julienned
- 1 cup zucchini, sliced
- 1 cup yellow squash, sliced
- ¼ cup Italian salad dressing
- 1½ teaspoon cooking oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Wash potatoes and prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave potatoes for 18-22 minutes at high temperature. Leave to cool.
- In a bowl, mix the onion, peppers, squash and zucchini. Apply salad dressing to mixed veggies. Marinate mixture for 20 minutes.
- Halve each potato, lengthwise. Scoop out potato flesh, leaving a thin ¼ inch shell. Brush oil on inside of shells and sprinkle a little salt.
- Spray grill rack with non-stick oil spray. Lay potato shells, skin side facing up on rack. Grill skins for 10 minutes at medium heat, till they turn golden brown.
- Drain vegetables but keep the marinade. In a grill basket, grill vegetables for 10 minutes at medium heat. Baste vegetables with drained marinade.
- Top skins with cheese and spoon veggie mixture into shells. Sprinkle a little salt and grill skins for 5 minutes, until cheese melts.
Very Cheesy Potato Skins
(Makes 8 Servings)
- 4 medium-sized potatoes
- ¼ - ⅓ cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
- ¼ cup green onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 ounce mozzarella cheese, grated
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Preheat a traditional oven to 375° F. Bake potatoes in oven for 45-50 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Cut potato into half, lengthwise. Scoop out the potato flesh, leaving a ¼ inch thick shell. Cut shell into half, lengthwise to form quarters. Sprinkle salt and pepper on skins and bake them for 15 minutes.
- Mash the leftover potato pulp and add sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, onions, parsley and mix well. Spoon mixture into potato skins, press mixture firmly into skins. Sprinkle each skin with pepper and bake for 15 minutes.
Mini Potato Skin Appetizers
(Yields 4 servings)
- 12 Dutch Baby potatoes
- 6 tablespoons of Pancetta
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
- 1 cup Guacamole
- Preheat a traditional oven to 400° F. Use olive oil spray and coat whole potatoes, then place on baking sheet. Bake potatoes for 30-35 minutes until they turn soft and tender. Remove and leave potatoes to cool.
- Cut potatoes along their length, into halves. Scoop out little flesh, leaving ¼ inch thick skin. Lay potatoes on baking sheet, their flesh side facing up. Spray olive oil lightly on each potato's top.
- Fry the pancetta over medium heat, till it turns crisp. Set on tissue to drain oil. Lay pancetta on each potato, sprinkle cheese and bake potatoes in over for 5-8 minutes till the cheese melts. Garnish with chopped onions and guacamole.
The above recipes are just a few potato skin recipe examples, there's a relative plethora of such recipes, with varied stuffing and preparation styles. Now that you have learned how to make potato skin appetizers, no more excuses, get those potatoes and start cooking!