These are NOT for dieting. They are, however, delicious. They fly out of the oven, and if I'm lucky enough to freeze some it's the first thing the kids' friends ask for when they stop by. Awesome to take to the game or eat at home while watching. Also freeze great.
1Prick scrubbed potatoes all over with a fork. Wrap them in foil and place on two baking sheets. Bake in pre-heated 450 oven for an hour, or until the largest ones are soft. Unwrap, slice in half lengthwise, and allow to cool.
2Cook bacon until crisp, reserving the fat. Once bacon has cooled either hand crumble or chop with a knife, stacking a few pieces on top of one another. Place in bowl and set aside. Pour bacon fat through metal sieve into heat proof bowl and also set aside. You could let the fat cool a bit if you'd like, just don't let it solidify.
3Holding cooled potato half in hand as picture shows (making sure you're supporting the sides and especially the ends of potato) scoop out flesh. I use a melon baller but have used a spoon before as well. Scoop out as much as you'd like, just leave enough to keep skin intact.
4Heat oil in deep fryer or large pan to 375. Fry in small batches de-fleshed skins for 2-2 and a half minutes, depending on size of skin. Set on wire rack to cool for a minute.
5After they've cooled enough to handle (and you've added another batch to fry) salt the inside of skin. I also press the outside of the skin onto the counter underneath my cooling rack to pick up salt that has fallen. Take strained bacon fat and brush a tiny amount on inside of skin. Sometimes I'll brush a bit on the outside as well. Transfer upside down to a paper towel lined baking sheet.
6Once all skins are fried, salted, and basted take the paper towel off and flip skins right-side up. Fill to top with cheese (it will melt down) and sprinkle crumbled bacon over top.
7Place one pan into the oven at 375 until cheese melts, 5-7 minutes. You can also broil them until the cheese melts.
8If you don't want to cook all the skins at once place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours, or until skins have hardened. Carefully wrap each one in plastic wrap and then place in freezer bag. To re-heat either heat in plastic in microwave for 30 sec to 1 min or unwrap and bake at 375 until cheese melts, 8-12 min.