One especially requested appetizer from my husband is Tater Skins. He loves the ones from TGI Fridays with the cheese and bacon. Well, those little taters are draining my wallet, so I offer up these (pretty close, maybe better) alternatives:
1 Bag Red Skin Potatoes (there were 14 in my bag)
1/2 Block Cream Cheese
1/2 Bag Shredded Cheddar (2 Cups)
1/4 Stick Butter
1/4 C Milk
1 Box of Pre-Cooked Bacon (or if you have leftover bacon from breakfast)
First things first. Poke your cleaned potatoes with a fork several times. Next, rub them with a little olive oil and kosher salt and put them on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes or until they are tender.
Meanwhile, add the 1/4 stick of Butter to a saucepan and melt. Next, add the Cream Cheese and combine with butter until melted. Then, add the Shredded Cheddar and the 1/4 C Milk. Continue to stir over Medium/Low heat until everything is well combined into a nice glob of cheese heaven!
Pour cheese mixture into a greased bowl and set aside to cool.
When the potatoes have cooled, cut them in half and scrape out some of the insides. Make sure to leave enough potato to hold a good structure, but take out enough to leave room for the cheese & bacon. Cut them in half again to make them bite sized.
Using a Teaspoon, scoop out the cheese mixture and put in the center of the potatoes.
Cut the pre-cooked bacon using kitchen sheers into strips and press it onto the cheese topping so that it won't fall off later. Put the Tater Skins into the refrigerator for about an hour to let them set up.
Finally, divide them up into serving sized that will suit your family, place them in marked freezer bags and freeze. Tater Skins will last up to 1 year in the freezer.
When you're ready to serve them, place them frozen on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes (depending on your oven). Enjoy!
The Fake-It Yourself Breakdown:
56 Fake-It Yourself Tater Skins (Bag Potatoes $2.00, Cream Cheese $0.89, Shredded Cheddar $2.19, Pre-Cooked Bacon $2.29)
Total Fake-It Cost: $7.37
Compare to Frozen TGI Friday's Potato Skins (6 Count Box $3.79, $34.11 for 54 (9 Boxes!!!))
Total Fake-It Yourself Savings $26.74
PS - It's mashed potatoes with dinner tonight!