Potato Skins with Beer Cheese
- serves 12
A perfect appetizer to please any crowd.
6 small russet potatoes (about 2 pounds), scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork
1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices bacon
1 ½ Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 cups shredded sharp yellow Cheddar (about 6 ounces)
½ tsp cornstarch
½ cup lager or pilsner beer
¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
pinch dried mustard
pinch cayenne pepper
3 scallions, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Rub the potatoes with the oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until the skins are slightly crisp and the inside is tender and can be easily pierced with a paring knife, about 45 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
3. Meanwhile, put the bacon in a cold medium skillet and cook over medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown, about 10 minutes. Drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to a cutting board and chop finely.
4. Halve the potatoes lengthwise and scoop out most of the potato flesh, leaving about 1/4-inch of flesh on the skin. Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet and brush both sides with the butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, then arrange cut-side up and return to the oven to bake until crisp and golden brown in spots, about 10 minutes.
5. Toss the cheese with the cornstarch in a bowl. Bring the beer to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cheese mixture to the beer, a handful at a time, stirring until melted before adding more. When all of the cheese has melted, remove from the heat and stir in the Worcestershire, mustard and cayenne.
6. Arrange the potato skins on a platter and drizzle with the beer cheese. Top with the bacon and scallions. Serve immediately.