Introduction: Tom's Toothsome Twice-Toasted Tuna Taters
Just my version of twice baked potatoes with a little something fishy going on. These are delicious, easy, flexible, and very cheap.
Cost: About $1
Prep time: 5-15 minutes (more if you get fancy)
Cook time: About 90 minutes
Hi, I'm Tom, and I'll be your instructabler. I originally started dabbling in baked potatoes because potatoes are very cheap, and because all you have to do to make one is throw a spud in the oven and come back in an hour. The problem with a plain baked potato though, is that it doesn't feel like a meal by itself, which sort of ruins the advantage it gains from being super easy, since you have to make stuff to compliment it. But with just a few more ingredients and a little extra effort, you can make a whole meal (or two).
Step 1: Ingredients and Such
Preheat your oven to 325 or 350 or thereabouts.
- One potato (I like the big brown ones because they are cheap and huge, but I've used reds before and they were also delicious)
- Some butter or margarine
- Some frozen peas
- Cheese (I'll be using cheddar, but any kind is good, especially pepper jack)
- One 8oz can of tuna (or more if you really dig your tooter fish)
- Some bowls, a plate, flatware, a can opener, and a glass or metal baking dish
- Some kind of cooking oil
- Salt, pepper, and/or any other spices and seasonings you like
- Sour Cream (I hate the stuff)
- Other vegetables that you like (I will be using some red bell pepper, but I've used mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, and others in the past with great success)
- Other meats that you like (bacon is the most obvious, but I'm a vegequarian, so I'll leave further invention to the reader)
I won't be giving you exact measurements of anything in this instructable, because I've never used them.
Step 2: Get the Root Roasting
The first thing to do is to get the potato cooking, since it takes 60-90 minutes and you can do everything else while it cooks.
Wash it off first, you disgusting pig. Then poke some holes through the skin with a fork so that it doesn't explode. Now, I like to coat the potato in a thin layer of oil, and then sprinkle salt and other spices on the outside. This makes the skin even more delicious and crispy when it's cooked. Then simply put the potato on the upper rack in your oven, and place the baking pan on the rack directly beneath it in case any oil or potato bits fall off while cooking. It's harder to clean ovens than dishes, for shizzle.
Step 3: Tuna Time
Open the tuna with your standard issue can opener. Go ALL the way around the top of the can so that the circle is completely free from the rest of the can. Then squeeze as much of the water as you can into a small bowl by pressing down on the top. Now set both the tuna and the tuna juice in the bowl aside for later.
Step 4: Peas, Please
Follow the directions on your peas. I use the microwave because it's much easier. If you are unsure about how many peas to make, I'd err on the side of overdoing it. You can fit more into the potato than you think, having too little really sucks, and you can just chow any extras.
Step 5: You've Got Options
If you want to add extra meats or veggies to your creation, now is the time to get them ready. This will, of course, add to your prep time, but I usually feel that it's worth it.
I am using red bell peppers which I will fry for a while in margarine on low heat. I often also throw in some fresh mushrooms and garlic, but I'm all out right now. When I feel like the extras are almost cooked enough, I usually toss in the tuna and a splash of tuna juice just to kind of mingle the flavors. Then right before I take everything off the range I throw in the peas and crank up the heat for a short time, to kind of toast everything. But I encourage you to find your own path, with your own goodies. Be creative.
When you're finished, just move the pan to a different burner and go play video games until the potato is almost finished.
Step 6: Cheese, Please
I don't think there's a way to tell when the potato is done from the outside, at least not without more sophisticated equipment than I possess. As with the peas, I err on the side of overdoing it, since I like crispy skin and if the inside is a little dry, that can be corrected.
Anyway, now that the potato has been in for pretty much as long as you want it to be, grab the cheese and either grate some, or cut some into little pieces. I don't like washing cheese graters, so I just cut mine.
Step 7: We Can Rebuild Him
We have the ingredients. We can make him more delicious than he was. Butterier, Cheesier, Tunaier.
Don a potholder and open the oven. Your potato should be reclining lazily where you left it, looking quite baked (its eyes may even be bloodshot, har har). Grab the baking dish thingy and push the potato into it with a fork or spoon. Leave the oven on. Now get a serrated knife (flat ones have a tendency to rip the skin instead of cutting it, but they'll work in a pinch if you're careful) and cut that bad boy right in half lengthwise. Try to make the halves as even as possible.
Scoop the insides out of the potato and put them into a biggish bowl, leaving the skins in the dish. Smush up the potato meat a little with a fork. Add some margarine/butter, some tuna juice, some milk, and/or some sour cream (blech) in whatever ratios you desire (I go heavy on the tuna, myself) until you achieve a consistency that is pleasing to you. I like mine like I like my women - creamy, but yet, a little chunky. Finally, dump in all of the other stuff: cheese, peas, tuna, extras, any spices you want to add, etc.; then, mix it all up together with the potato guts.
Take the resulting slop and spoon it back into the skins. Both halves should be overfull, lumped up tall and proud. Top them with anything you'd like (More cheese? Scallions? Grated parmesan? Hot sauce? Peanut butter? Caramel?) and put them back in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese looks good and melty, and they are maybe a little browned on top.
Step 8: Suck It Down
Take them out of the oven, onto a plate, and attack immediately with a fork and knife, or let them cool a little and then eat them as you would a hot dog. I often find that one half satisfies my hunger, but they keep well in the fridge and are still delish when reheated, so don't worry about having too much.
Thank you for your kind attention; I hope you enjoy yourself some tastetastic potatoes.