We have a Christmas tradition at my parent's house. Generally on Christmas Eve we make all sorts of appetizers and goodies and crowd into the living room to watch National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.This year my sister and I spent the whole day in the kitchen preparing all the goodies for this feast, which is why you are still seeing posts from Christmas cooking.
This is probably one of the more common appetizers around and they are really easy to make. They are also really easy to adapt to specific tastes. If you don't like bacon, add ground beef. You can use whatever type of cheese you like and dip it in your choice of sauce. I'm more of a sour cream girl myself, but I know there are also lots of Ranch fans out there too.
Loaded Baked Potato Skins
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream (optional)
Minced fresh chives (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Poke the top of each potato with a fork to let steam out. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet. Bake for about 1 hour. When finished, transfer to a plate and let cool for at least 15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooling, cook some bacon until almost crispy. Crumble into large chunks. Slice the cooled potatoes lengthwise into thirds, removing the middle slice so you are left with two slices covered mostly with peel. Scoop out some of the potato inside, leaving some behind.
Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush both sides of the potato skins lightly with melted butter and place on the prepared baking sheet. Place under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes just to crisp up the skins. Remove from the oven, top with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon, and return to the oven for a few minutes more until the cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and chives as desired, and season with salt and pepper.