Potato skins, particularly when ‘fully loaded’ can be grim. I’ve come across one too many chewy potato boats harbouring a glob of rubbery cheddar and a smattering of flaccid bacon bits. No, thank you.
I’ve taken a slightly different approach to skins by baking and scooping out the potato flesh as usual, but then brushing them with a paste made from oil, salt and chipotle flakes before re-baking them briefly. This maximises crispness on the outside and leaves them coated in a salty, smoky chipotle crust. The top part has a thin layer of soft potato, which I topped with a blob of blue cheese dip and lime-heavy avocado salsa.
We ate them on New Year’s Eve as nibbles presented like this, but you could of course just make a pile of skins and serve the dip and salsa alongside. They’re like the best crisps ever. They were so addictive I nearly spoiled my appetite for the rest of the meal but then the rest of the meal was rib-eye with Béarnaise followed by chocolate cake so, you know, I struggled on…
Chipotle Potato Skins with Blue Cheese Dip and Avocado Salsa (makes 16)
For the potato skins
4 baking potatoes
Oil (e.g. vegetable or groundnut)
Prick the potatoes and place directly on the oven shelf at 200c for about 1.5 hours or until cooked through. When they’re cooked, cool a little and then cut in half. Scoop out the flesh from each potato, leaving a thin layer inside each skin. Cut each potato skin in half lengthways.
Mix together 1 tablespoon cooking oil with 1 tablespoon chipotle flakes and about half a tablespoon of salt. Brush this paste onto both sides of each skin. Arrange the skins on a baking tray and put back in the oven at 200C for 15 minutes. When ready, top with the blue cheese dip and salsa.
For the blue cheese dip
150-200g blue cheese
200ml sour cream
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice (ish)
1 teaspoon mustard (I used sweet American mustard)
1 tablespoon chives, snipped with scissors
Make sure the garlic is well crushed then mix with all the other ingredients. Add some black pepper. It may need a little salt.
For the Avocado Salsa
1 avocado, finely diced
Small handful coriander leaves, picked and finely chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Mix the spring onions, coriander and avocado together, then squeeze in half the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper then taste and decide if you want more lime juice.