Applebee's International, Inc. is the leader in the casual dining segment of the United States restaurant marketplace. The company franchises and operates more than 1,100 restaurants under the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar name, about a quarter of which it owns. The eateries offer moderately priced, high-quality food and drink for all ages in a friendly, informal atmosphere. Applebee's is continuing to expand, with 1,800 outlets the company's stated goal. A smaller restaurant format has been designed for areas with populations under 25,000, to facilitate penetration of previously untapped markets.
BAJA POTATO BOATS
Applebee's Copycat Recipe
PICO DE GALLO:
1 tomato chopped (½ cup)
3 tablespoons chopped Spanish onion
1½ teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon canned jalapeño slices (nacho slices) diced
1 dash salt
1 dash freshly-ground black pepper
3 medium russet potatoes
Canola oil nonstick cooking spray as needed
Salt as needed
⅓ cup reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese
⅓ cup reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese
2 slices Canadian bacon diced (about 2 tablespoons)
ON THE SIDE:
Fat-free sour cream
In a bowl, combine all the Pico De Gallo ingredients to make it. When well combined, place in refrigerator till serving time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place potatoes in oven and bake for at least 1 hour or until tender. Set aside to cool. When potatoes are sufficiently cooled enough to handle, cut through them lengthwise 2 times. This should make 3 one-half to three-fourth inch slices. You can either throw away the middle slices or save them to make a different potato dish with.
You should have 2 whole potato skins from each potato now. Turn the oven up to 450 degrees. Take a spoon and scoop out the inside of the potato skins. Be sure to leave around one-fourth of an inch of potato inside each skin. Spray the entire potato skin on all sides with a light spray of non stick canola oil. Put the skins on a cookie sheet with the cut-side facing up. Salt them and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
In a bowl, combine the cheeses. Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons on each potato skin. Then sprinkle a teaspoon of Canadian bacon on top of the cheese that was sprinkled on each skin. Top this with a large tablespoon of pico de gallo. Then sprinkle each skin with some more cheese.
Place the skins back into the oven again and baked for 2 to 4 minutes or until the cheese melts. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them sit for around a minute or so. With a knife, slice each one lengthwise. Serve hot with sour cream and salsa on the side.
This recipe yields 4 servings.