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
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
Step 4: Peas, Please
Step 5: You've Got Options
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
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
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
Thank you for your kind attention; I hope you enjoy yourself some tastetastic potatoes.