Potato Skins

Potato skins have a bad reputation amongst people with palates. Chain restaurants have seen to that. They deep fry a thick wedge of potato and smother it in cheap cheese and sour cream. Soggy fried food, why bother.

I worked with a chef  who made these  with the leftover skins from  potato gnocchi prep. He would freeze the skins seperatly on a cookie sheet. Once frozen he would bag them up and save until he had enough to run as a special. Light and crisp these are like big thick potato chips. Only a trace of cheese, pinch of red pepper and scallions with a strong horseradish dip on the side is needed to finish this dish.

Since I don't make potato gnocchi at home (fan of the pate a choux method) I had to cheat and make a pile of baked potatoes. I used the flesh for a baked mashed potato seasoned with smoked bacon and onions. A quick pass thru the food mill a few eggs and some seasonings, into a baking dish with a little parm and voile! No waste.

Let's see how this went down in the Aga Kitchen. Feeds four to six as an appetizer

Gather up these tools

  • 1 deep heavy pot 4 qt or bigger for deep frying
  • candy or deep fat fryer thermometer
  • a wire basket to remove the skins from the oil
  • a pan lined with paper towels for the cooked skins

Gather up these ingredients

  • 10 baked starchy potatoes, Russets or Yukon Gold work well
  • 2 1/2 qts vegetable oil for deep frying
  • sea salt
  • 1 oz plus or minus finely grated sharp cheddar
  • brunoise (very small dice) of red pepper, smart money peels the red pepper with one of those new fangledpeelers
  • 2 scallions small dice
  • horseradish dip, nice and strong. I don't need to tell youhow to do this do I? If you want me to I will but I'm pretty sure you can mix horseradish with mayo and sour cream.

Put the oil in the pan and into the Roasting Oven for about and hour. After an hour put the thermometer in and check temp. 340 degrees is good.

Scoop out potato flesh and reserve for anther use, homefries? gnocchi?

When oil is close to temp put your pot on the edge of  Boil Plate. Keep your eye on the temp. At 340 to 350 degrees add 1/3 of the skins and fry until golden. Be careful, don't add them all at once. Use good judgement. 

Drain on paper towel and season with sea salt immediately (the salt will stick to potato skins better) and repeat until all the skins are cooked.

Arrange skins on an oven proof serving platter and sprinkle with a little cheese. Try to get a touch of cheese on each skin. Sprinkle with pepper and scallion.

Into Roasting Oven for a few minutes until cheese is just melting. If you go to long the cheese can break and leave you with a greasy mess. Light on the cheese, light on the melting.

Thats it! Serve with horseradish dip. They will hold up for an hour or so and stay nice and crisp

Cook like you mean it, G

check out the double sunrise over my future Clam Shack. No trick, two suns