Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Evolution of our "Real" Housemade Potato Skins

The potato skins appetizer has been one of those "comfort" foods that seems to be on every menu across the country. Most of the time, they are pre-cut, frozen, almost artificial potatoes that really do not have much of a flavor. For the last 30 years, we have offered our own version of these potato skins (flavorful and never frozen... keep reading).

During that time, the dish has undergone a few changes, and there have even been many discussions about getting rid of it altogether. But everybody loves potato skins... they seem to be a consistent crowd pleaser. The appetizer simply sells.

If there is one thing we have always strived for, it is to provide a fresh, made-from-scratch potato skin with a twist on the traditional offering. Please note that our potato skins are fresh baked, never frozen skins of the potato. What we have topped, stuffed or layered on these skins is where we have become creative over the years. We try to introduce new and interesting combinations every few months. These dishes become so unique that often times some folks eat them as their entree course! 

I remember 20 years ago as a young cook preparing our original "Cheddar Bacon Skins." This was the most popular appetizer on our menu at the time, and it was a pretty simple dish. We would take fresh fried skins, top them with cheddar cheese and crumbled bacon bits and bake it all in the oven. This version lasted over 10+ years, and we still get people asking for them all the time. Towards the end of its run, we introduced the "4 Cheese Skins" in which we topped them with four white cheeses; mozzarella, provolone, swiss and asiago. This, too, is often requested by our customers.

As the years went by, we adjusted the cutting process of the "skins" and made them more into a wedge or steak fry. This version lasted a few years, but again, featured them being topped with cheddar and bacon. We will admit, this change and new style did not go over as well as we hoped.

In an effort to bring exciting ingredients to this appetizer, we decided to change style again a few years back. We cut an Idaho potato in half and scooped out the inside leaving the skin. In true Uptown fashion, we could not live with the boring cheddar and bacon cheese anymore. This is where we brought in several interesting combinations from our chefs.

As time passed, yet again, we felt they were in need of change. Having come nearly full circle, our current version goes back to the original cut of skins but serves them on a skillet.  We top our latest skin variety it with Italian sausage, roasted red and green peppers, mozzarella cheese and the staple sauce...sour cream. Come visit us and let us know what you think.

Blog with us: What was your favorite version of potato skins?

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