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2 September, 2014

Double Cheese and Pancetta Skins

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I couldn’t possibly write this recipe out without giving a special shout out to our gorgeous friend, Katie who has a special fondness for all our recipes – especially this one. Sophie made these for New Year in 2010 and she still talks about them regularly – small pleasures eh Kate? Our late Dad also used to make these for us when we were kids, filled with corned beef, onion and tomato puree, so eating it always brings back memories for us.

Double Cheese and Pancetta Skins

These quantities make 12 skins so you could double up for a buffet or make triple if Kate’s coming for tea.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large white potatoes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 100g soft goat’s cheese
  • 100g cheddar, grated
  • 130g pancetta cubes
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • Knob of butter
  • Large pinch of salt
  • Few twists of freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Pre-heat your oven to about 180 degrees or gas mark 5 and bake the potatoes for about an hour.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, fry the pancetta cubes in a dry pan until starting to crisp up, then add the onions, softening for about ten minutes. Once the onions are soft, simply take the pan off the heat and allow to cool while the potatoes finish cooking.
  • After an hour, remove the potatoes from the oven, but don’t turn off the oven just yet.
  • Slice the potatoes in half horizontally to get the maximum surface area, then allow to cool down until you can pick them up without burning your hands.
  • Scoop out the flesh in to a big bowl, and put the skins on to a baking and back in to the oven to crisp up.
  • While the skins are crisping up, combine the rest of the ingredients with the potato flesh and stir a couple of times. I like to leave it a little bit ‘unmixed’ for good bites of texture from the pancetta and creaminess from the goat’s cheese.
  • Take the skins out of the oven and put the grill on.
  • Now pile the filling back in to the potato skins and press down slightly with the back of a fork to close up any gaps. If you love cheese, you can go triple and grate some extra cheddar for the top of each skin.

Double Cheese and Pancetta Skins 2

 

  • Brown under the grill for about ten minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Double Cheese and Pancetta Skins 3

As this was a midweek tea, I served with a big crunchy salad with whole grain mustard dressing.

Some other combinations we’ve tried and loved:

  • Spring onion, mozzarella and smoked bacon
  • Chilli con carne and cheese, topped with sour cream
  • Roger’s favourite – corned beef, onion and tomato puree
  • Mushroom and parsley with blue cheese
  • Chopped chicken with green or red pesto

If you’re making ahead of time for a party, you can do everything except grilling the day before you’re due to eat.

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