These Loaded Potato Poppers are the perfect appetizer for tailgating, entertaining or just treating yourself.
College football is a way of life for my family. If it weren’t blasphemous to say, I would almost call it a religion around here. It doesn’t matter what team is playing, if there’s a college football game on, you better believe it’s on my TV. Don’t call, don’t come over, don’t get mad when I ignore your texts … Football Is On!!
Now, with that being said it should stand to reason that after all of these years, there is a certain level of expectation placed on my shoulders when it comes to “Football Food”. Plain ol’ chips and store bought dip would probably get me run out of my own house (although to this day, I am still partial to the onion soup mix / sour cream dip from my childhood… oldie but a goodie) and it doesn’t even matter if I am trying to cut calories.. that’s all well and good for every day except Saturday. If it’s Saturday, I had better have a plan.
The newest addition to our Football Food Menu are Loaded Potato Poppers. These are potato, cheesy perfection on every level. They are cheesy. They are buttery. There is bacon… BACON!! Need I really say more? Oh, I promise you … you will NOT be disappointed.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and slice your potatoes about 1/4 of an inch thick.
You want a good sized slice to hold all those yummy toppings. When you are finished slicing your potatoes, brush both sides of each slice with the melted butter and lay in a single layer on a lightly greased cooking pan. I usually use two 13×9 cookie sheets but that’s just because I believe in equal distribution of toppings.
Sprinkle on salt and pepper (Creole seasoning is my favorite for a little kick) and cook for about 30 minutes, flipping once about half way through.
Now comes the good part, the yummy part, the part that will have your family singing your praises for years to come!!!!… OK, I might have over-sold it there at the end, but honestly, these are just so freakin’ good!!
Take your potatoes out of the oven and start loading them up.. cheese, onions, BACON!
Now, I love fresh out of the oven bacon as much as the next girl but THIS GIRL is not about to be away from her TV long enough to get all that going on so I am a huge fan of the pre-cooked bacon in the little pouches you normally find in the salad dressing aisle at your local supermarket. Right or wrong? … it works for me.
Once you have completely covered your potatoes, pop them back in the over until the cheese is melted. Remove. Say a dirty word REAL LOUD so your husbands asks ‘What?’ from the other room. Tell him you burned the potatoes. Tell him you are sorry. Then load your plate up with deliciousness and sneak upstairs to watch football in peace and you wont even have to share :)… yeah, that wouldn’t work in my house either…
Now… all of this is amazing as is… there really is nothing more to do because you have already reached perfection with this appetizer. Honestly. Unless.. you were to include with it the most amazing Chipotle garlic dip you could ever hope for to dip those amazing potatoes in. You’re thinking about sneaking up those back stairs now, aren’t you?
This dip has been my go-to dip for years. It gets made for just about every holiday and family function … except for that ONE time and the drama and whining that ensued.. well.. I never made that mistake again. Its a perfect paring with a cup up veggie tray and trust me, I rarely ever have leftovers.
For this appetizer, I added one new ingredient, chipotle. It takes this dip to a whole new ridiculously good level. But, if you are not a fan of chipotle, leave that ingredient out and just make the basic dip. I will still be amazing and you will still be licking the bowl when it’s all gone. Just remember to make this a little bit ahead of time so it has time to chill in the fridge.
What I normally do is mix up everything in a bowl except the chipotle. Give it a taste, it’s finicky because sometimes it’s spot on and sometimes it needs a bit more salt or a bit more garlic. Keep in mind it will taste a bit stronger after it sits in the fridge a bit. If the dip is where you want it, it’s time to add in the chipotle pepper. If you are not familiar with chipotle, its a smokey, not very hot pepper that you can find canned in adobe sauce in the same aisle you would normally find your taco kits and seasonings. I have a small food processor that I use for small jobs like this but you could just as easily dice the peppers up and mix them into your dip. I spoon 3-4 spoonfuls of the dip into the food processor and then add two peppers so they blend up real nice and mix beautifully. Check again for taste, sometimes I add in the third if the taste doesn’t come through strong enough to my liking that day and when you are satisfied, add the blend back into your original bowl of dip and combine. Now if the dip seems a bit too loose from part of it going through the food processor, just add in another spoonfulof sour cream and mayo. At this point, you are ready to pop that bad boy in the refrigerator and let it mingle with itself.
Combine the two and you won’t even remember your husband is still in the house with you.
These potatoes could be loaded up a million different ways .. I’m also thinking some blue cheese, some red onions, some balsalmic glaze … mmmm … what do you think?
Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think… or just say Hi! I love hearing from you!!