Prepare the Potato Skins When Making Mashed

The next time mashed potatoes are on the menu, you can prepare potato skins at the same time. Scrub the potatoes, then pierce in several places to allow the steam to escape. Bake directly on the rack (or on a baking sheet) at 400 degrees 40 to 45 minutes, or until soft when pinched with mitted hands or tested with a slim skewer or fork.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise and scoop out the pulp, leaving a quarter-inch skin. Mash the scooped-out potato with butter or margarine and seasonings and serve immediately.

To make the popular hors d'oeuvre or snack, brush the reserved skins with oil and season to taste with your favorite seasonings. Bake at 475 degrees 15 to 20 minutes until crisp and browned around the edges. Serve with cheese, bacon, sour cream, refried beans, chile salsa or a favorite topping.

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