"What's for Dinner Honey?"

I'm feeling very nostalgic about 80's food these days, thinking fondly of steak with gorgonzola butter, classic caesar salad, and cherries jubilee.  Continental food, done tableside by a waiter.  In his own tux.

This recipe is a throw-back, nostalgic but in a 1980's TGIFriday's kind of way. In a pre-Atkins Diet kind of a way.  A hillbilly kinda way. Which is to say carbs n' calories...and delicious.  

In fact, they entail piling many of my favorite foods conveniently into the shell of my most favorite food.  It's as if George Clooney's imagination was placed inside Javier Bardem's….Ahem. back to the recipe:

A Hot Mess of Potato Skins

8 whole smallish Russet potatoes {organic are perfect- they tend to be on the small side}
olive oil
salt and pepper


1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon fried crisp and chopped
2 scallions {green onions} thinly sliced
sour cream
black pepper

Italian Style
rosemary {sprinkled on the skins as they bake}
pancetta fried crisp and chopped
slow roasted tomato
shredded parmesan

Tex-Mex Style
chile powder {sprinkled on the skins as they bake}
1 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
8 slices of bacon fried crisp and chopped
2 cups guacamole
1 1/2 cup sour cream
2 scallions {green onions} thinly sliced
chopped cilantro

Tapas Style
smoked paprika {sprinkled on the skins as they bake}
1 1/2 cup romesco sauce make it, or buy it fresh at Bloomy Rinds
1 cup creme fraiche
chopped chives

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Scrub potatoes clean and pierce them.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until skin is crisp and potatoes are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out the inside leaving 1/8" + potato still in the skin.  {It will help them hold their shape, and add more potato-y goodness}.

Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, herbs and a few generous grinds of black pepper.  

Turn face down and bake 5 minutes, then turn face up and bake 5 more or until they have turned a nice toasty brown color.  

At this point, they are a vessel for your mad desire.  Fill with cheese and bacon, put back in the oven until the cheese is melted.  Fill with sour cream and dust with green onions and plenty of pepper.  

Then bust out the stirrup pants, put on your "Franke says Relax" tee-shirt, tease up your bangs and dig in.