Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins

Overstuffed Pizza Potato Skins


Ok, I mentioned these like a week ago on my facebook page. Oops. I kinda forgot to post them or even make them until tonight. Can I blame old age, senility, six kids and the damage they have done to my brain cells? My husband and his snoring? Global warming? I got spit on by a camel at the fair once? Some psychological issue that hasn’t yet been discovered and named?
Ok… sorry. I’m done now. But all of the above are still perfectly valid excuses. Just sayin’.

Back in the day, I think I’ve mentioned before, I worked at T.J.Applebees (now just Applebees). One of the things they did then were ten cent wings and ten cent potato skins. Yes, grasshopper, I am so old that wings and potato skins used to go for a dime during happy hour. Excuse me while I go take my Geritol. They also did one dollar pitchers of margaritas and I have many very vague memories of sitting with the other waitresses and drinking a pitcher or six. Ahhh, good times, good times. I think.

Theirs were the typical skins; cheddar cheese, bacon bits, green onions. Yummy as can be, but c’mon, do you REALLY think I’m going to make them that way? I’m the woman that made these potato skins. After all this time, you all know I can’t be normal.

So, me being me, as opposed to me being say Sandra Bullock or Michelle Pfeiffer because God decided that I should look more like the love child of Phyllis Diller and Tiny Tim, I made them differently. I had been craving pizza recently and we couldn’t afford take out, so I used some ingredients I had here at home to make…well, the love child of potato skins and supreme pizza. My husband was like “I don’t know about this… I’m not much on potato skins”. He’s had four in the last 30 minutes. I am of course, gloating. Marital gloat…. it’s almost better than chocolate.

These have a few steps, but they’re quite easy to make, even for multi step. Each step is simple stuff like sauteing veggies or scooping out potatoes. I have faith that you can handle it. :-p I made this for 8 potatoes (16 skins), but it’s easily increased or decreased. If you end up with a little bit extra cheese and/or meat/veggie mixture, it makes a wonderful pizza omelet.

You know the drill… 🙂

Mrs. Cupcake… who is bloated from too much cheese.

Overloaded Pizza Potato Skins

  • 8 medium potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1 small onion, sliced in half, then thinly sliced into half rings
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon squeeze basil (available in the produce section)
  • 1 5 ounce package mini pepperoni slices
  • 1 4 ounce package Italian Sausage crumbles (by the lunch meats)
  • 3 small Roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into bit sized pieces
  • 1 15 ounce can or jar of pizza sauce ; use your favorite.
  • 1/2 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and mixed with
  • 1/2 lb Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Rub each potato lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt. Pierce each one to prevent a lovely little steam explosion in the oven, then place on the middle rack of the oven. bake until a fork can easily pierce the center of the potatoes, about 40 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven, cut each potato in half and let sit until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes.
  3. Use a small spoon and carefully scoop out the insides of each potato half, being sure to leave a thin shell around the edge so the potato isn’t too fragile to handle. Reserve the scooped mashed potato for another use- This is a good recipe to use it for
  4. Turn the oven to 450, then smear the edge and inside of each potato half with a small amount of olive oil. Place back in the oven and let bake until the edges of the potatoes are getting crispy and lightly browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium pan, pour 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add in the sliced onions, sliced green peppers and garlic. Saute over medium heat , stirring occasionally, until the veggies are soft and the onions are lightly browned. Add in the sausage, squeeze basil and the pepperoni; continue cooking until the meats are heated through. Add in the tomatoes and cook just enough to heat them; you don’t want them getting mushy. Set aside when heated.
  6. Remove the potatoes from the oven and turn oven back down to 350. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the insides of each skin with pizza sauce, about a teaspoon or so in each.
  7. Sprinkle each one with a small amount of the mixed cheeses, then spoon some of the meat/veggie mixture into each one. Lay directly next to each other (they help support each other and it prevents them from toppling over in the oven) in a baking dish. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the tops of the skins.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot, with the remaining pizza sauce warmed and served on the side as a dipping sauce.

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Not Your Daddys Oldsmobile (Or Your Mommas Potato Soup)

I wonder how many of my readers are too young to even remember that advertising campaign. Twas back in the ’80’s I believe with the premise being that the “new” oldsmobile (looking back at what now would be an antique car lol. Damn, I’m old) was so modern and improved that it was nothing like what your daddy drove and no longer had the stigma of being dowdy and old fashioned.

What the heck does this have to do with food you ask? Whadda ya mean; you didn’t ask?! Why are you here then? So for those of you who ASKED (hmmppphhh to the rest of you). Well, it’s the same with foods. There are some things that get ostracized from the foodie world because they are seen as dowdy and old fashioned. When have you seen a post praising liverwurst/braunschweiger ? or one touting Pickled Herring as the best movie time snack? Once upon a time, both of these things, among many others, were considered delicious every day foods. And while I personally happen to love both, I know I’m in the minority. Foods get pushed aside for the newest trend, a fact I’ve mourned more than once in this blog.

One thing though that seems to have held on through the test of time is potato soup. Oh sure, you can look and find some strange ones that use truffle oil and caviar or ones that have the calorie count required by an amoeba as well as the taste of a piece of cardboard. But good old fashioned creamy potato soup seems to be loved by most. There are a few weirdos out there but they also ate school paste as kids and we won’t count them. Their taste buds are still glued together.

But even the old can be made better (other than Joan Rivers and Meg Ryans plastic surgery attempts; there are some things that can’t be fixed *shudders*). Witness said Oldsmobile :-P. And you all know me; if it can be changed, I will do it. Not a drastic change mind you; I like continuity and sameness too much. But just enough change to take something that at times can taste like Elmer’s glue (I seem to have a glue/paste fetish going here today. Hmm)

So I played with potato soup today. Ok, that came out wrong but you know what I mean. And I must say, I think I have made some pretty darn delicious soup. It’s thick, creamy, rich without being overwhelming, meaty, chock full of potato flavor with a burst of texture from onions and potato chunks. All in all, I think this will become my standard way of making potato soup. It takes a bit more time than just dumping dry potato flakes in a pot and adding milk (did anyone elses mother do that?), salt and pepper but it’s still very easy. So go buy some taters.You’ll like this. This makes a large pot of soup so cut in half if need be or soup freezes well. Also, I used Bob Evans Brand mashed potatoes; just a personal preference; use your favorite. This recipe is all me btw… just played around with the basic idea of potato soup

Creamy Potato Soup (Worlds Best 😛 )

  • 5 medium potatoes, chopped into small pieces (peel or not; your choice. I like the peel)
  • 3 cans good quality chicken broth
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup chopped leeks
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 stalked celery, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lb smoked andouille sausage (I used Aidells brand )
  • 8 ounces bacon, cooked and crumbled (go ahead and throw a teaspoon or so of the bacon drippings in there too. I won’t judge.) plus a few extra cooked slices for garnish
  • 1 package refrigerator style ready made mashed potatoes (I used the sour cream & chive flavor)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed (I had to laugh when all I had was 1/3 less fat. Don’t think it helped much in this 😛 )
  • 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 8 to 12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin and more for garnish
  • extra chicken broth if you prefer a thinner soup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • GARNISHES- our cream, bacon, green onions, more cheese
  1. Combine your chopped potatoes and the 3 cans of chicken broth in a large (preferably non stick) pot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a low simmer.
  2. While potatoes cook, in a large saucepan over low heat, saute the onions, leeks, shallot, celery and garlic. You’re not wanting to brown the veggies, just sweat them out and soften them so keep your heat low. When veggies are nice and tender, dump them into the pot with the potatoes.
  3. In the same pan you sauteed the veggies in, add the sliced andouille. Turn the heat up to about medium high and cook them until nice and crispy on both sides. Toss them into the pot too making sure to get all the drippings in the pan in there too.
  4. Add in your bacon (don’t forget to save some for garnish) and the refrigerator mashed potatoes
  5. Stir well until the mashed potatoes are smooth and let this all simmer together over low heat (keep an eye on this and stir frequently to prevent sticking) for about 30 minutes.
  6.  Add in your shredded cheese and the cream cheese. Stir constantly until the cheeses are smoothly incorporated into the soup.
  7. Add the half and half. Continue cooking the soup just until it’s heated through. You don’t want to bring it back to a boil because that can break down the cream and sour cream and make the soup very unattractive and curdled looking.
  8. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings. We had this served with a buttered dark bread and it was a fantastic, filling EASY meal.

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