GINNA PARSONS: Potato skins a winner every time

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

I can’t think of a whole lot of appetizer-type foods that I like better than potato skins. I was first introduced to them at a place called The New Orleans Cafe when I lived in Vicksburg from 1986 to 1989. Often, I would order a plate of them as my meal. There’s just something about crispy potatoes, bacon, cheese, sour cream and chives that makes me swoon.
Since I discovered them some 25 years ago, I’ve probably eaten potato skins at a hundred different restaurants, mostly with positive results. It’s hard to mess up such simple ingredients. I’ve even made them at home to good reviews.
With college football season upon us, I started looking for some new tailgating recipes. My husband and I have a daughter at Ole Miss this fall, but I doubt we’ll be heading over to the Grove in Oxford for any of the games.
Instead, we’ll be on the Tupelo High School Cross Country circuit most weekends with our son, Patrick, who is a second-year runner. But that doesn’t mean we can’t catch a good college game on the boob tube from time to time.
I found this recipe for Potato-Skin Nests in the September issue of Southern Living. The magazine has started a new feature called “Community Cookbook” and it features recipes that get the highest raves in the Southern Living test kitchen.
This sounds like a winner to me.

Potato-Skin Nests
3 cups frozen shredded hash browns, thawed
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (3 ounces) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Shredded colby-Jack cheese
Sour cream
Cooked and crumbled bacon
Chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together hash browns, egg whites, Parmesan cheese, onion powder, salt, garlic powder, and desired amount of freshly ground pepper.
Press about 1/4 cup potato mixture into each cup of a lightly greased 12-cup muffin pan; coat with vegetable cooking spray. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. (Bake in a 24-cup miniature muffin pan 20 minutes, if desired.) Remove from oven, and cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes. Gently run a knife around nests to loosen edges; remove from pan to a serving platter.
Top nests with colby-Jack cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chopped fresh chives.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.