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The Great Indoors: Loaded potato skins take on team flavors

When you think of the Denver Broncos (and I'm sure you do all the time, right?) what one person comes to mind? A) Quarterback Peyton Manning B) Former quarterback John Elway C) Amanda Lea, one of the morning hosts on Fargo's Big 98.7. No offense ...

Potato skins
Tracy Briggs, left, and Amanda Lea demonstrate how to make potato skins for each of Sunday's Super Bowl teams. The Seattle Seahawks skin features salmon and mushrooms, while the Denver Broncos skin takes on the flavors of a Denver omelet. The Forum

When you think of the Denver Broncos (and I'm sure you do all the time, right?) what one person comes to mind?

A) Quarterback Peyton Manning

B) Former quarterback John Elway

C) Amanda Lea, one of the morning hosts on Fargo's Big 98.7.

No offense to Peyton or John, but for me it's Lea. She is a ginormous, humongous, I mean big, big Broncos fan. The only thing bigger than her love for the Broncos is her disdain for Tom Brady. ("He's such a whiner.")

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Lea was born in Denver and spent half her life there and apparently got swept away by the orange and navy. When I watched the Broncos beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship a couple of weeks ago, I knew she'd be giddy.

That's why I thought of her when I found this awesome Super Bowl party recipe idea from The Food Network. They came up with the idea for NFL Potato Skins - basically taking all 32 NFL teams and constructing a potato skin recipe that represents each team.

They suggest Wisconsin Beer Brat Potato Skins for the Green Bay Packers, Hot Wing Potato Skins for the Buffalo Bills or Chesapeake Butter Potato Skins for the Baltimore Ravens. For some odd reason, they offer Cheeseburger Potato Skins for the Vikings. I'd think Walleye and Spam Potato Skins would be a better pick. Maybe it's a good thing the Vikes didn't make it to the Super Bowl.

This year, of course, that honor belongs to the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, whose potato skin recipes look a whole lot tastier than walleye and Spam.

Seattle's celebrates the Pacific salmon while Denver's fittingly is a celebration of the Denver omelet. Perhaps they should be served with Starbucks coffee or Coors Light respectively?

For each recipe, start with the classic potato skin recipe then top it with the ingredients. This is a great option for a Super Bowl buffet.

Amanda was nice enough to make the Bronco potato skins with me, while I tackled (get it?) the Seahawk Spuds. I'm just happy she agreed to even talk to me while I wore that jersey.

Classic Potato Skins

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Pierce desired number of large russet potatoes with a fork (One potato makes 4 potato skins). Bake directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees until tender, about 1 hour.

Let cool, then quarter lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a ¼-inch shell. (Save the scooped out potatoes for mashed potatoes for another day).

Brush both sides with melted butter and season with salt and pepper.

Bake, skin-side up, at 450 degrees until crispy, about 15 minutes. Add your favorite team toppings.

For cheesy skins, flip the baked shells over before topping, sprinkle with 1 cup grated cheddar cheese and bake an extra 5 minutes.

Denver Bronco Potato Skins

Use Classic Potato Skin recipe above, including the cheese step. While skins are in the oven, sauté chopped green peppers and onions in butter until tender. Add chopped ham. When cooked to taste, place them on top of the cheesy skins, along with pieces of parsley.

Seattle Seahawk Potato Skins

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Follow Classic Potato Skin recipe. Do not add cheese. While skins are in the oven, sauté mushrooms, smoked or grilled salmon in butter or olive oil until warm. Top skins with salmon, mushroom, chopped chives and parsley.

Watch 'The Great Indoors' with Tracy Briggs every Thursday on www.InforumTV.com

Related Topics: FOODRECIPES
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