Potato Skins

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FlippyTheRed
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2006/07/11 00:33:05 (permalink)

Potato Skins

Whatever happened to the idea of potato skins as an appetizer? My first introduction to them was at Max and Erma's in Ohio. Skins, stripped of their starchy innards, deep fried to a crisp and broiled with cheddar and bacon.

These days, when you order potato skins, you get potatoes with a little scoop out of them. Soggy, mealy, with melted cheese and a whisper of bacon. Or filled with pulled pork, sauerkraut, or whatever. But they're all missing the point - the great taste of deep fried skins, salty and delicious.

#1

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    UncleVic
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/11 00:46:15 (permalink)
    Places I've worked at, we always stuffed them with taco meat, scallions, peppers, bacon, olives, cheddar.. Whatever you could think of, we would toss on them (best part was the side of sour cream). We always received them frozen from the distributor, not home baked and carved. But these where small spuds, and fried up quickly. I think the places that do the homemade ones are pressed for time not giving them a good "frying", then not properly seasoning them. I've had half way decent ones, and then the mushy ones you describe. Again, another one of these pains taking tasks of qty. vs. quality. That, and being in America, the qty. they put on a plate is enough for a dinner, vs. appetizer. (Probably to make you feel better about the price your paying).



    #2
    holdem
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/11 20:30:26 (permalink)
    TGIF used to have good ones as well. Now everyone leaves too much of the potatoe in the skin. It's kind of like nachos. They used to cover each chip with cheese, etc. Now they just throw everything in a basket and throw cheese, etc. on top.
    #3
    KIMMYJ1962
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/12 12:44:23 (permalink)
    I have yet to get a decent potato skin at a restaurant so I make my own. A bit time consuming but well worth it! I don't deep fry them yet they are sooo good! Bake the taters, cut in half long ways, scoop out most of the innards,(HINT: use a grapefruit spoon) salt, perpper & a tad of butter brushed inside (optional), stuff 'em with plenty 'o sharp cheddar & don't skimp on the bacon, which is already cooked crispy, cooled and crushed. Bake at 350 on a cookie sheet until cheese is melty. Serve with chopped green onion & sour cream. I have to make like 40 of these at a time... no kidding!
    #4
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/12 12:55:42 (permalink)
    Holdem, I had my first skin at TGIF back in the 70s. They were great back then! I thought TGIF invented them.

    Kim, welcome to Roadfood! And thanks for the cooking tips. Sounds like an easy way to do some great skins. I think I'll make a batch soon.
    Jo
    #5
    salsailsa
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/12 17:25:42 (permalink)
    I make my own too. I do most of the same that Kim does except once I have cleaned all of the potato out of the skin, I spray them with butter flavor cooking spray, sprinkle with seasoning salt and place under the broiler until crispy. Then I stuff them and rebroil them. Ensures their crispiness!

    #6
    holdem
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/12 22:14:06 (permalink)
    TGIF may have invented them. I make my own as well. They are time consuming. They are kind of hard to make for a party unless you have double ovens.
    #7
    FlippyTheRed
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/13 00:23:43 (permalink)
    I guess my complaint is that nobody scoops the potato out anymore. They wind up being bacon cheese fries rather than potato skins.

    In my high school days, as a proud arby's employee I used to use the leftover bakers for skins at the end of the night. Scoop 'em out, fry 'em up, load them with cheese and bacon and nuke them (we didn't have a salamander). Much better than anything on the menu.
    #8
    Jimeats
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/13 06:11:16 (permalink)
    I hardly think that TGIF invented the potato skins. Back in the 50's my grandmother when preping for a large gathering of the clan would bake a whole bunch of spuds, clean out the meat and set aside for her creamey mashed potatos later in the day. The skins were always reseasoned inside and out ant returned to the oven baked again untill crisp then served to anybody that was in her way, in other words take this and get the HELL out of the kitchen. Loved those jackets and her mashed spuds as well. Chow Jim
    #9
    shortchef
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/14 22:22:41 (permalink)
    I make my own, too. Not very often since we are both watching our cholesterol. But when I do, I bake my potatoes, scoop out the insides (leaving about half an inch of potato), flash deep-fry them, fill with Gruyere cheese and a little cheddar, crisp bacon and chives, then some scallions, and finish them in the oven. They are a great entree as well. Once at a restaurant we had them stuffed with pork barbecue and drowned in cheese sauce, but what's the point in that? You need to taste the potatoes, right?
    #10
    Scorereader
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/17 13:29:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Jimeats

    I hardly think that TGIF invented the potato skins. Back in the 50's my grandmother when preping for a large gathering of the clan would bake a whole bunch of spuds, clean out the meat and set aside for her creamey mashed potatos later in the day. The skins were always reseasoned inside and out ant returned to the oven baked again untill crisp then served to anybody that was in her way, in other words take this and get the HELL out of the kitchen. Loved those jackets and her mashed spuds as well. Chow Jim


    I don't think anyone really "invents" food, but I'm pretty sure it was TGI Friday's that was the first to exploit potato skins as an appetizer item on a restaurant menu. I'm sure everything on their menu was preexisting, but it wasn't something you ordered out at a restaurant until they put it on their menu, with cheese, bacon and sour cream.
    #11
    PapaJoe8
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/17 15:30:21 (permalink)
    I was of coarse kinda kidding yall. TGIF was just the first place I knew of that served the skins. They were good back then. Yep, just like you said Score, cheese, bacon, and sour cream.

    Jim, bet your your grandmoms skins hot out of the oven were great! I wonder what she seasoned them with? Maybe just salt and pepper?
    Joe
    #12
    roossy90
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/07/17 16:35:57 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by PapaJoe8

    Holdem, I had my first skin at TGIF back in the 70s. They were great back then! I thought TGIF invented them.

    Kim, welcome to Roadfood! And thanks for the cooking tips. Sounds like an easy way to do some great skins. I think I'll make a batch soon.
    Jo

    That is the first time I had them also......
    Boy have they changed since then......
    Place I worked at ages ago, used to scoop the insides out, then deep fry the skins, and then turn the potato's into a double stuffed potato after mixing the mashies with scallions and bacon pieces. Stuff them into the fried skins, and then top with shredded cheddar and melt it ....
    Best of both worlds.....
    #13
    RibRater
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/08/19 12:22:48 (permalink)
    They have become almost a full meal these days haven't they.

    Another trend I don't like is advertising potato skins and then they drag out some potato plank thing. Just a slice of potato that they topped with some cheese/bacon/whatever combo. If I'm not getting a full blown potato you better tell me upfront.
    #14
    Twinwillow
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/08/19 13:11:48 (permalink)
    After spending 2 weeks in Italy last year, I was dying for some American food. While waiting at the Int'l terminal at Heathrow in London, we noticed a FRIDAY'S! I ordered stuffed baked skins and ice tea. They were sooooo good to eat after 2 weeks of nothing American.
    #15
    V960
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/08/24 10:06:24 (permalink)
    I must humblely and respectfully disagree w/ Twinwillow about coming back from Europe and looking forward to American food. I will admit to smuggling in fresh cheese and truffles from France, raw ham from Italy and wasabi roots from Japan. I travel in business class w/ no checked luggage, a passport that has been pounded upon many times, and customs simply waives me through. I think that in general food in Europe and Japan is MUCH superior to food in the States. A simple noodle bowl in a stand up shop in a train station in Japan (about $4) is better than the $10 ramen at any place in the States.

    Potato skins...they should be skins only. Of course dress them w/ cheese, bacon, ham, green onions or whatever. Serve w/ blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing or sour cream. Hot sauce?
    #16
    Sundancer7
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/08/24 12:12:51 (permalink)
    Like V960, I spent a lot of time in Europe and I developed a taste for European food and especially their breakfast. At first I was a bit hesitant but after a while I came to enjoy the entire breakfast. With cheese, fruits, jellies, fish, breads, butters, coffee (strong) and other goodies, it became the staple of the day.

    I enjoyed the stops on the Italian interstate (whatever you call it), the frites and other goodies. White Spargi especially in the spring in Germany.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #17
    ashd8516
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/09/30 02:23:22 (permalink)
    I'm from Ohio and have never had the type of potato skins described above at any Max and Erma's I've been to. In fact, at any restaurant I've been to, a large majority of the potato was left in the skin and then just covered with whatever topping they came with. I'm only 21 so maybe I'm too young to have eaten an actual fried skin.
    #18
    BelleReve
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/10/08 18:14:08 (permalink)
    Thanks to those kind folks who posted recipes, now, what kind of potato do you recommend using?
    #19
    lleechef
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/10/08 19:08:14 (permalink)
    Idaho/Russett. They're nice and dry, bake well and crisp up. You can fry first, then stuff and bake or just stuff and bake. Save the innards for soup or mashed potatoes.

    I lived in Europe for 7 years and never missed American cooking. Never had a bad meal, maybe things have changed.
    #20
    Sonny Funzio
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/10/22 16:13:37 (permalink)
    Besides Fridays, I've also heard that The Prime Rib in Philadelphia makes the claim too.

    When I make them, I always use large Idaho Russets too (again, the Burbank if poss.), I ...
    1) wash the potato and dry it well
    2) rub with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt
    3) bake as for a baked potato
    4) cool them, cut in half and scoop out the insides (leaving a small amount of the flesh, but removing most of it)
    5) freeze the skins
    6) fry in deep fryer (I drop them still frozen)
    7) pull from oil, put on plate and load up with chedder cheese and crumbled bacon ... pop under the broiler to brown (usually then transfer to a cooler plate thats not going to burn someone)... then sprinkle with chopped scallions or green onions and serve with sour cream.

    When I get together with my brothers to watch the occasional sporting event on tv, I sometimes make appetizer plates ... which include: a couple of barbqued rib sections, potato skins, buffalo wings, deep fried taquitos, and a big pile of onion straws ... yup this is a large appetizer plate (nothing exceeds like excess, eh?)

    #21
    marzsit
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    RE: Potato Skins 2006/12/09 06:05:02 (permalink)
    when i worked in a resturant years ago, we made skins the old way- raw potatoes baked in an oven until crisp, the scooped-out potato pulp went into mashed potatoes or soup or omelets (mostly soup..). skins were deep-fried until crisp, then filled with various fillings (cheese and bacon being the most common, taco meat was second) and served fresh. it was a lot of work to make them, probably why most places use frozen now.... also, to do them right you have to fry then in a really hot fryer, 370 degrees or better. when you get soggy, greasy fried food from any restaraunt it's usually because the fryer wasn't hot enough because the owner is trying to keep from changing out the oil in the fryers frequently, which happens if you run them at high temperature all of the time...
    #22
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