Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Twice Baked Tuna Melt Potatoes

I enjoy a good potato dish.  Most are comforting and inexpensive to make. 

Potatoes are versatile and nutritious too. so I’m grateful that each Good Food Box contains five pounds of them.  We purchase two or three Good Food Boxes each month which means I end up with ten to fifteen pounds of potatoes to work with.  I’m happy to have them.

Last week I used some of our spuds to make Twice Baked Tuna Melt Potatoes.  Twice baked potatoes are a budget conscious cook’s good friends.  They’re easy to make and can serve as either a side dish or (depending on the ingredients added) a main course.  They’re an excellent vehicle for stretching a small amount of protein over several servings. 

I’m participating in a Pantry Challenge this month, so I’m “shopping” my pantry and freezer before I head to the store.  I had tins of tuna in the cupboard, some plain yogurt left over from another meal, and potatoes in the vegetable bin.  Tuna melts came to mind because they were a childhood favourite and I could see no reason not to combine those flavours in a twice baked potato.

Here’s how I made them:

I gathered together

  • 2 baked potatoes
  • 1 can of tuna, drained, rinsed, and flaked
  • 1-1/2 cups of grated cheddar
  • 5 green onions (scallions), chopped
  • Some plain yogurt

I didn’t have any baked potatoes in the fridge so I “baked” my potatoes in the microwave.  I do this often.  Cooking them in the microwave saves time but doesn’t yield the crispy skin we love in a jacket potato.  It’s okay that the potatoes for this recipe aren’t crispy because they’ll be going back into the oven but, if you want to hurry up the process of making baked potatoes to serve as a side dish, you may want to cook them half way in the microwave and then finish them in the oven.  Doing so reduces the total cooking time by 20 to 30 minutes and produces a near-perfect spud.

Once the potatoes were cooled, I cut them in half and scooped out most of the flesh, leaving thick enough walls to support the stuffing when it’s returned to the potato “shells.”  I placed the shells on a parchment lined baking pan.  (The parchment's not essential but easy clean up is important to me.)

I set aside some of the darker green parts of the onions for garnish, then mashed the potato flesh with a fork, added the tuna, some of the cheese and the rest of the green onions.  I mixed in enough plain yogurt to bind the ingredients together, tasted the mixture and adjusted the seasoning.

When the filling tasted good to me, I packed it into the potato skin shells.

I topped each spud with some more grated cheddar.

If you want to, you can stop at this point and put the baking sheet into the freezer.  Once the potatoes are frozen through, transfer them to an airtight container.  They freeze well, provided they’re reheated straight from frozen.

Whether you are reheating them from frozen or using them immediately, you should bake the potatoes at 350˚F until they’re heated through and the cheese is melted.   

Garnish the cooked potatoes with the reserved, chopped green onions and serve them immediately.

Mmmmmm!  Tuna melt!  It’s like revisiting childhood. 

If you have a microwave at work, you can pack the cooled potatoes for lunch.  They’ll travel well and stand up to reheating.  



Racket said...

I will try this hopefully my kids will eat it. thank you.

Aunt B said...

I hope they enjoy it. :)