As we enter the season for grilling out and gatherings with family and friends, this is a side dish that really works well since the bulk of the work is done in advance. You can make as little or as many as you need. I make these in the morning so they are ready to throw on the grill when the meat we’re cooking is almost done.
Begin by scrubbing your potatoes under cold, running water. Then, prick each potato with a fork and microwave for 8 – 9 minutes. Allow potatoes to cool so you can handle them, then cut potatoes in half and scoop out some of the flesh (you can save that for another dish or for fried potatoes with breakfast in the morning).
Lay out a large piece of foil (I actually double my foil unless I have heavy-duty foil on hand), then place your potato “boats” in the middle of the foil. Brush all sides of hollowed potatoes with some olive oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Fill with shredded cheese (we like a combination of colby-jack and grated parmesan) and some cooked, chopped bacon (or prepackaged real bacon pieces).
Fold up the sides of your foil to make a little “tray.”
Place foil pack of potato skins directly on your grill grate over low heat (if using gas) or on a portion without direct charcoal underneath.
Cook until cheese is melted and bubbly. Cooking 10 potato halves for our family took about 40 – 45 minutes.
Serve with dollops of sour cream (or some ranch dressing) and sliced scallions. These can, also, be done with the addition of sauted mushrooms and/or jalapeno slices.
NOTE: Do not prepare these on the grill if you are using wood to smoke or if your grill is putting off a lot of smoke. We’ve learned that these are not that tasty with a heavy smoke taste!