Savory sweet potato skins packed with cheese and caramelized onions.
I get interested in all the football hoopla when my home team does really, really well. And just to qualify that statement, well enough to go to the Super Bowl. Yes, I’m one of those fans. Kind of like the sports equivalent to people who go to church only on Easter and Christmas.
I can go years without watching a game, or even thinking much about it all, but once my boys head to the Divisional Playoffs, I tune in as if I’d been there all along, tossing around football lingo I don’t begin to understand.
It’s not long before my near total ignorance is revealed. Like the time I asked why on earth some guy, clearly yelling at the top of his lungs in the stands, was waving what looked to be a white picket fence in front of him. I made no sense to me. My stepson, Kevin, rolled his eyes and said, “defense”. OK, I didn’t actually see him roll his eyes, but I’m still sure it happened even if he was only thinking it.
It’s surprising I don’t understand the game better. Both of my parents were huge fans, avidly watching multiple television sets showing different games every weekend (waaaaay before DVR or this thing Kevin has called RedZone that switches your TV to any game that gets within the 20 yard line.) To this day, I still don’t know much more than the object of the game, and (now) that waving a white picket fence in the stands means you’re rooting for the defense, but I love the sound of a game playing in the background – probably something from my childhood. And I love the parties and food that go with it. That’s something I do know about.
Parties mean wine. Gallo Family Vineyards wine. Their Cabernet Sauvignon is one of my favorites that I posted about here, but for game day I went with something else from their 16 different wines to go with my spicy sweet potato skins. I tried a couple of their wines before landing on the Merlot with its cherry and plum flavors blended with a hint of oak. It’s the perfect combination with something a little spicy.
If you need to stock up for your game day party, check out this handy store locater to find the store closest to you. If you want to keep up with Gallo programs and wine happenings, go follow them on their social channels:
And now for the recipe, but first you’ve got to tell me who you’re rooting for. My boys (the Niners) lost to the Seahawks last weekend, so I’m not sure who I’ll be rooting for. But I’m thinking about making a sign of a white picket fence to wave around, or at least use for serving these sweet potato skins.
Bacon is the obvious choice here. Just slice a couple of bacon strips into half-inch pieces and fry up, nice and crispy. Sprinkle on top, replacing the pepitas with bacon crumbles.
Sweet Potato Skins with Cheese and Caramelized Onions
- 2 sweet potatoes 1 cup when mashed
- 1 tablespoon creme fraîche
- 3 tablespoons Humboldt Fog cheese or your favorite
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse black pepper
- Toasted pepitas
- Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the microwave or conventional oven until soft. Slice in half lengthwise and cool. Scoop out the sweet potato, leaving the skin intact, and leaving enough potato attached to the skin to allow the skin to sit upright on a plate. I scooped out most of the potato for a little more than one cup.
- Stir in the creme fraîche, cheese, salt and chives until fairly smooth.
- Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and sauté until lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the pepper and stir the onions into the sweet potato mixture.
- Spoon the sweet potato mixture back into the skins.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Top with toasted pepitas and serve whole or sliced into one-inch bite-sized sections.