This recipe was posted by Sally on Violet's Pantry, and reminded me of how much I adore them and that I hadn't made them in eons. The recipe was published somewhere in the lead up to the Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities book being released as it appears in it. Sally remarked that she had been making these for years but she rather liked Nigella's name for them- Fully Loaded Potato Skins! I too have been making them for a long time, they were one of my first staple recipes when I was first flatting, as you can make them cheaply and they are tasty and filling. I didn't think this would be the first recipe I would post from Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities, (there are so many more decadent and interesting recipes in the book!!!) but actually I love this recipe for its pragmatism.....so much of it can be done ahead, it is tasty and the kids really love them!!!! That, to me, is more of what cooking is about, serving up great but easy food day to day! The great thing about this recipe is it's ability to be a vehicle for left overs. You really can add anything you like into it, and it keeps it interesting too.
Here's Nigella's recipe:
Fully Loaded Potato Skins
10 baking potatoes
225g strong cheddar or red leicester
250ml sour cream
4 spring onions
1 teaspoon Maldon salt or
½ teaspoon table salt or to taste
good grinding of black pepper
1 x 15ml tablespoon worcestershire sauce
10 rashers American-style or thin-cut streaky bacon
oil for frying
The day (or up to 2 days) before you load them, preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6 and bake the potatoes (pricking them first) for about 1½ hours, or until the skins are crisp and the insides fluffy. As soon as you can bear to tackle the hot potatoes, cut them in half lengthways and scoop the insides into a bowl.Put the husk-like skins of the potatoes on a tray and, when cool, cover until you are ready to fill them. Let the potato cool in the bowl, and then cover until needed.
When you are ready to fill the potatoes, preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6. Grate the cheese, and add 200g of it to the cold potato along with the sour cream. Chop the spring onions and add to the potato, with the salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce. (I deviate a bit here, and fry the onion and bacon, ricing the potato and adding it in with all the other ingredients!)Spoon the potato filling into the potato skins, and lay each half on a baking tray so they fit snugly together. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese, giving each potato skin a light covering, and cook for 20-30 minutes until golden.Fry (or grill) the bacon rashers in oil until crispy, then crumble them and sprinkle half a rasher’s worth over each potato skin to make them fully loaded.
MAKE AHEAD TIP Fill the potato skins, as directed, and sprinkle with the cheese and crispy bacon (or add the crispy bacon after cooking if preferred). Cover loosely and keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Cook as directed.