Pumpkin Filled Potato Skins

I’ve had half a butternut squash left over that I didn’t know what to do with. I also had large potatoes, and when I say large I mean your standard baking potato, which we don’t really get in Germany. It wasn’t until about six months ago that the supermarket I go to started selling bags of “extra large potatoes”. So finally I don’t have to go scouring the shops digging through the potatoes for a larger one.

So I got the idea for filled potato skins and as usual the ingredients came together in my head bit by bit: potatoes – pumpkin – sage – bacon – cheese. I tried two different cheeses as I couldn’t make up my mind whether to use Italian taleggio or Spanish manchego.

The end result was pretty good but can definitely be improved. I would go for the softer taleggio next time as the manchego hardens more when it melts. I would also either go easier on the sage or skip it altogether and maybe replace it with a “softer” herb, meaning one that doesn’t have a dominant taste. The Jalapeño I added wasn’t hot at all, so I might add some chillies next time. But all in all this is something I could imagine making every now and then, with variations on the filling. In my head there’s already a vision of something more cheesy with mince meat, mushrooms…

The choices are endless, really, so I’ll keep the ingredients list and amounts general.

Pumpkin Filled Potato Skins

large (baking) potatoes
pumpkin
salt
pepper
olive oil
cheese
bacon
sage
jalapeño

Rub the potatoes with oil, put on a roasting rack, and put in oven at 200°C for 1 hour. Deseed pumpkin, cut into thick slices, brush with oil, put on a baking sheet and put in oven 15 minutes after the potatoes (baking for 45 minutes), placing the baking sheet underneath the roasting rack.

When both are done, leave the pumpkin to cool. Halve the potatoes, scoop out the insides leaving about 0,5 cm around the rims. Brush inside and out with oil, put back in oven for another 10 minutes at 230°C. Turn the potato halves skin side up and bake for another 10 minutes. For these last 10 minutes, put bacon rashers on a baking tray and slide in below the potato rack.

Meanwhile, cut the skin off the pumpkin, mix the flesh with the scooped out potato, and mash. Add salt, pepper, chopped sage and jalapeño, then half of the cheese of your choice.

Once the potato skins and bacon are done, crumple the bacon into the pumpkin-potato mix. Using an ice cream scoop, fill the still hot potato skins, easing the filling into the skins with a spoon, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for another 2 – 3 minutes.

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