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LOADED POTATO SKINS

We tried out this starter Italian Potato Dippers at one of our favourite restaurants Frankie and Benny’s. The American version of this usually has bacon in it, but I prefer the vegetarian version. Made it at home today and was quite pleased with the outcome. A great starter.

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This is what you’ll need

Medium sized potatoes: 6

Cream cheese: 4tbsp

Green chillies: 2 to 3 (finely chopped)

Cheese sauce: 3tbsp

Spring onion green: To garnish

Chilli flakes: To garnish (optional)

Olive oil: 1tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Prick the potatoes with a fork all over a few times. Coat with olive oil and bake in an oven at 180deg C for about 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of the potatoes)

2. Prepare the filling by mixing the cream cheese until it is smooth and soft.

3. Add the finely chopped green chillies. Mix well and keep aside.

4. You can top this mixture either with grated cheese or cheese sauce. I used cheese sauce. (Prepare the cheese sauce by melting 1tbsp butter. Add 1tbsp flour and mix to a smooth paste on a low flame. Add 1 cup of milk and mix making sure no lumps are formed. Stir until thick. turn off the flame and add the grated cheese to it. Mix well until it is smooth. Add salt and pepper as required and use as required)

5. Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and let them cool completely.

6. Cut them into half lengthwise and scoop out the centre pulpy portion, leaving about a cm of it all around. Do this with all the remaining potatoes. (The centre pulp can be kept aside for use in making parathas, mash or even cutlets.)

7. Bake the potato skins (skin facing up) in an oven at 200 deg C for another 5 to 7 minutes.

8. Remove and fill them with the cream cheese mixture. Top with cheese sauce or grated cheese and bake again for another 7 minutes.

9. Remove and serve hot garnished with spring onion greens.

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Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 and a half hour.

Serves: 3 to 4

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