Seriously friends, can we talk about these potato skins??
I am not even a huge potato skins fan but these are not just your regular potato skins. These are stuffed with one of my most favorite things from Charleston, South Carolina. They’re stuffed with pimento cheese, a Southern classic. This is some serious stuff! You’re going to want to put it on everything! I was trying to figure out how I should introduce you to this awesome Southern classic for a while and since the blog is low on appetizers I thought PERFECT! Pimento Chesse Stuffted Potato Skins Loaded with Bacon and Jalapenos! For this skins recipe I added some tasty applewood smoked bacon, because we all know bacon makes everything better, and some spicy chopped jalapenos! They will be ideal to serve up this weekend for the Kentucky Derby if you are trying to follow a Southern theme!
On one of my first visits to Charleston I had my first sampling of pimento cheese on a drool worthy pimento cheese grilled cheese with juicy tomatoes and bacon. I’m still dreaming about it! Pimento cheese is perfect when you want to serve cheese and crackers but want to make it look like you went out of your way instead of just serving the routine chunk of cheese on your cheese plate. And by going out of your way I mean just shredding some cheese, adding a little mayo, chopped pimentos, celery salt, ground black pepper and you’re done. So easy! I usually serve it with some delicious homemade bread sticks (coming to the blog soon), sliced English cucumbers, some spicy salami, a variety of olives and some fabulous marcona almonds. But today I had some nice Russet potatoes just screaming to be served up as a finger lickin’ appy! This is one of the easiest and most crowd-pleasing appetizers around! I sometimes even serve these with a side salad for dinner, but if you plan on serving them as an appetizer I would cut each half in half again and they will be just the right appetizer size.
- 6 medium-large whole Russet potatoes
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 4 Tbsp. Butter
- Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
- 8 slices apple wood smoked bacon
- 2 large jalapenos sliced and finely chopped, with seeds and ribs if you like it spicy, without if you like it mild
- sour cream for topping, if desired
- Pimento Cheese:
- 2 cups coarsely grated sharp white cheddar cheese
- 2 cups coarsely grated sharp yellow cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup pimentos drained and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 tsp. celery salt
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean potatoes and dry with paper towel. Brush the outsides of the potatoes with vegetable and place on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Allow the potatoes to cool.
Finely chop the bacon and cook in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Pimento cheese - Mix all ingredients in large bowl. This can be made 2 days in advance.
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides of the potatoes. Leave some potato in the skin. Melt the butter and brush the inside and outside of the potatoes. Sprinkle insides with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes inside down on the baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue to bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and fill the potatoes with some pimento cheese. (amount depends on the size of your potatoes) You may not use up all the cheese, but you can save the extra and serve with crackers. Sprinkle with bacon. Return to the oven and bake for about 4-5 minutes or until cheese melts. Slice each potato skin in half for appetizer size serving. Serve immediately with the chopped jalapenos and sour cream if desired.
Time to get out your best hat, place your bets and dig in! I hope you enjoy this little taste of the South as much as I do!