February 8, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday should be an official holiday

I love football. The biggest reason (for me) to celebrate the super bowl is that it's my last chance to indulge in the sport until September. It's nice to go out with a bang. The food's not bad either. We went to two parties this year, both with amazing food! People showed up with wings, cream cheese stuffed bacon wrapped jalapenos, an amazing cheese ball with pineapple and pecans, chili, and even brunswick stew made from quail! Matt and I brought potato skins and they were a hit. They are definitely one of my favorite things to make for football parties. The first party we were at was predominantly Colt's fans and when we left at half time the score was 6 to 10, Colts. We drove 30 minutes to our second destination and when we walked in the score was 13 to 10, Saints, and this was definitely a house of Saints fans. How fun! It's easy to love Peyton Manning, but I was definitely pulling for the Saints to win, which they did, by 14 points, yay!

Potato Skins

8 medium russet (or baking) potatoes
1 cup shredded cheddar
10-12 slices of bacon
pepper (no salt, the bacon takes care of that)

sour cream and chives for topping

These are SO fun to make. I use baking potatoes and usually end up getting 4 skins per potato. This time, however, I was able to find 16 palm sized russets and so I got 32 miniature skins and they were SO cute. I'm so mad I forgot to take a picture of them :) This is an easy recipe, but it's time consuming. Wash the spuds, stab them with a knife a few times all the way around (I do 3 small quick stabs on all four "sides." Wrap them in paper towels and nuke them. Nuke time is going to depend on how many potatoes you put in the microwave at a time and on how big they are. Usually between 6 and 8 minutes works. Flip them half way through. Give them a little squeeze to see if they are starting to feel soft. Add 2 minutes as needed. Be careful, they are very very hot. Meanwhile cook 10-12 strips of bacon crispy, but not burnt. Drain and blot the bacon really well and break it into bits. Cut them in half lengthwise and scoop the stuffing out into a bowl. It works best to score it with a knife then scoop it with a spoon. Be careful to leave some potato, about a 1/4 inch throughout. If your potatoes are big, you can opt to cut them in half one more time (making quarters of them) or you can just leave them as really long boats. Up to you!

Reserve 3/4 of your potato filling for mashed potatoes later in the week. With the 1/4 of the filling that's left, add 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and the bacon. Mix it up. The potato should just act as a "glue." Eyeball it and add another spoonful or so if you need it. Spoon the filling back into the potatoes so that it's just level with the top of the skin, do not pack it. We stored them on a baking sheet, covered them with saran wrap, and took them with us to the party. Once we were there we heated them through at 350 for 20 minutes or so (you'll be able to tell when they're ready). Spread a little sour cream on top and you've got a great football party food.

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