This recipe requires:
- 4 medium soft skin potatoes (I used white potatoes)
- olive oil
- garlic paste
- about 1/2 to 1 cup grated hard cheese, parmesan, romano, etc (freshly grated!)
- 6 slices bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled
- smoked paprika
First wash the potatoes REALLY WELL because you will be eating the skins. I am so weird about this, I actually take a clean scrubbie and scrub them (not too hard though or you will scour the nice skin off!). I just don’t want to get any grit in my teeth eating them.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Dry the potatoes well and butter the skins. Next, roll each one in regular salt and place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the oven for about 45 to 60 minutes. You can check them at about 45 minutes with a fork to see if they are done. When they have cooked long enough, the fork will go in easily, and if you are unsure, it will be HOT when you take it out!
When they are cooked (just like a baked potato!) take them out of the oven and let them cool enough to handle. Knock most of the salt off of the skin. I left a little salt, but not much.
Meanwhile, oil a cast iron skillet and place it in the oven and let it heat up. While it is reaching oven temperature, mix a few tablespoons of olive oil with a few dollops of garlic paste (I use Amore). You can dice up garlic, or make your own garlic paste, but I really like the stuff that comes in a tube, it’s so convenient.
Cut each potato into quarters and brush with the olive oil/garlic paste mixture. Let it sit while the skillet heats up. I give it a good second brushing just before I put it in the skillet, for good measure. As you can tell this is probably NOT a diet recipe!
In the meantime, if you have not already done so, grate your hard cheese and crumble your bacon. A good quick way to crumble bacon is to put it into a ziplock and just crunch it up with your hands. Kind of good to get your frustrations out too! You can pretend it’s…oh, never mind, just get it crunched up.
Add the potatoes to the hot skillet, skin side up for about 4 to 6 minutes, for each side, then flip them to the skin side down. Be really careful during all of this! It’s HOT! I use LONG tongs, and hot pads and great care. And the potatoes will want to break apart (it’s ok if they do, but if you’re careful you can minimize it).
After you have them skin side down, sprinkle with smoked paprika, crumbled bacon and grated cheese and let it “roast” until the cheese is kind of melty–about 10 or so minutes. I just keep checking until it looks “right”.
Use extreme caution taking this out. Remember, its HOT! Can you tell I burn myself A LOT?! We really enjoyed this, but it does take some time. I think I’m going to try it with a little meltier cheese, and maybe some different flavors, but this particular version is a real winner! And I apologize for my finished version photo. We were so anxious to eat it (this was our second time to make it) that I almost forgot to take the picture! Jeff remembered at the last minute, so I just took one quick snap. It’s not very well set up, but, it’s all I had! Sorry, but, bon appetit!