Beer Cheese Potato Skins

I was watching the Food Network the other day (I know, what else is new) and Valerie Bertinelli was making beer cheese potato skins. WHAAA??  Of course I had to make them myself!

I took 6 potatoes and put oil, salt, and pepper on them.  I baked them on 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

While my potatoes were baking, I cooked a pound of bacon.

and I gathered the ingredients I would need to make this delicious, cheesy, bacon-y appetizer.

Once the bacon was cooked & cooled on a paper towel, I chopped it up into bite size pieces.

I also chopped up two large green onions.

The potatoes came out as crispy and as golden as ever after 45 minutes.

Normally, I would advise you to wait until they cool but I was far too excited to do that.  I used tongs to hold my potatoes in place while I sliced them in half to avoid completely burning my fingers off.

Then I used my mellon baller to scoop the insides of the skins out.  I left a little bit of potato in the skin.  What did I do with the insides I scooped out you ask?  Well, I saved them for later so I can make mashed potatoes of course!

I used a brush & rubbed melted butter over the inside & outside of the potato skin & back in the oven they go for 10 minutes (still at 400).

As Valerie did on the show, I mixed my cornstarch with my cheddar cheese in a bag.

and I got my lager simmering in my pot.  Then I added in my cheese a little bit at a time and let the first little bit melt before adding more.  It was a little too runny for my liking so I did end up adding in some extra cheese and a teeny bit more cornstarch.  Oh, don’t forget your Worcestershire, dry mustard, and cayenne!

After 10 minutes, my potatoes were lookin’ good.  I put them on a serving platter.

I poured my cheese mixture right over top of my potato skins.

Then I piled on my bacon and green onions.  Valerie’s recipe only calls for 4 strips of bacon but I think I used 6. (Shh…. we love bacon in our house).

We topped a few with sour cream. Could these get any more delicious looking??? I don’t think so!

I have to say – I’ve had potato skins in restaurants/bars before and these don’t even compare.  The skin is so crispy & delicious & they’re not overly greasy like the ones in a restaurant.  They may be the best darn appetizer I’ve ever had!!!  And that cheese? It’s so beer-y and cheesy and oh so perfect.  You guys HAVE to try these.  Have to.  It’s not an option. 😉

Valerie’s Bertinelli Recipe is here.

My version (Valerie’s recipe with some tweaks)

Ingredients
6 small russet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar
½ teaspoon cornstarch
½ cup lager
¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch dried mustard
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 green onions

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Rub the potatoes with the oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until the skins are slightly crisp and the inside is tender and can be easily pierced with a paring knife, about 45 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)

3. Cook your bacon.  Transfer to plate with paper towel.  Let cool.  Chop into bite size pieces.

4. Once your potatoes have baked for 45 minutes, halve the potatoes lengthwise and scoop out most of the potato flesh, leaving about ¼-inch of flesh on the skin.

5. Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet and brush both sides with the butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then arrange cut-side up and return to the oven to bake until crisp and golden brown in spots, about 10 minutes.

6. Toss the cheese with the cornstarch in a baggie.

7. Bring the beer to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cheese mixture to the beer, a handful at a time, stirring until melted before adding more. When all of the cheese has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the Worcestershire, mustard and cayenne.

8.Arrange the potato skins on a platter and drizzle with the beer cheese. Top with the bacon and scallions and sour cream. Serve immediately.

*Recipe courtesy of Valerie Bertinelli (minor tweaks by me)

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