It’s our favorite time of year! College ball season! And, food for that is the best. Fall and football mean food and parties and possibilities become virtually endless. One of my go to staples will always be potatoes. They are good any way you make them. This season I’m finding a fun twist on the potato skin. Using a take on the mashed or baked potato bar, this football season it’s a Smashed Potato Bar! Fun!!
Using small red potatoes, I heavily coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add several whole cloves of garlic to the pan, as well. Then, roast at a 425 oven until they are crunchy on the outside and nice and soft inside. Just smash with a potato masher immediately upon removal from the oven. They make the cutest little morsels for adding goodness.
Of course, choices are limitless, but the traditional potato bar options a must. Butter, sour cream, grated cheese, chopped bacon and chives provide the perfect basic options. Today, I added some blue cheese as another cheese choice and broccoli for color, crunch and a healthy touch. Just steam broccoli slightly, add some fresh lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Yum. Good as a side on it’s on, as well. But, it makes a wonderful addition to the bacon and cheese option. I also included some salsa. A great Tex Mex flavor profile added to the cheese and sour cream (always a good football food!)
This is the easiest party dish and stands up well for a buffet item. All the ingredients do well at room temp. This is also a great quick dinner for these last hot days of summer. Everyone can create the perfect dish to their liking. Add sauteed mushrooms or cooked baby shrimp, some pulled pork or baked chicken for heartier additions. Fresh spinach, snow peas or water chestnuts for a healthier choice. What are some of your favorite toppings?
And, for a bonus, leftovers make perfect to-go lunch options the following week. A really great way to easily pack ahead and make lunch time fun! Have fun creating your own baked potato bar!! And, let us know what you plan on trying!