2 cups (about 4 ounces) shredded sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese
Mac and cheese
Garnishes: crumbled crisp bacon, minced chives
Mac and cheese potato skins. Photo courtesy Tony Roma’s.
Russet potatoes. Photo courtesy Burpee.
1. SCRUB and thoroughly dry the potatoes. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle.
2. PIERCE each potato several times with a fork or the point of a sharp knife. Place the potatoes directly on the middle rack and bake until the skins are crisp and a knife easily pierces the potatoes, about 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. While the potatoes bake and cool…
3. MAKE the macaroni and cheese.
4. SLICE each baked potato in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch layer of potato on the inside of the skin. Reserve the scooped potato; you can use it for gnocchi, mashed potatoes, potato cakes or potato soup.
5. BRUSH the insides of the potatoes with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Then do the same with the skin sides. Set the oven to broil.
6. SPACE the potato halves skin-side up on a baking sheet. Broil until the butter foams and the skins start to crisp, 2 to 3 minutes (watch carefully to avoid burning). Then flip and broil until the top edges just begin to brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
7. FILL each skin with macaroni and cheese and crumbled bacon. Garnish with bacon and chives and serve immediately.