Taco Taters

Welcome to my kitchen!

While trying to come up with what my first featured post should be, I remembered an old recipe I once tried very unsuccessfully when my husband and I were still dating. For some reason, baking potatoes has always been difficult for me. So when my long-time friend, M, wanted to spend a Friday night with us and play board games, I went for party food and challenged myself to try again.

Taco Taters

These easy-peasy baked potatoes are great for groups of people because you can top them how you want and everyone can pitch in with prep. I took the idea from Hanna Hart who made a video about them that includes song and dance. You should check it out.

If you want Just the recipe click here.

Unfortunately, our new kitten came home from being spayed the same day that we wanted to have our fiesta so one person’s kitchen duty was constant cat cuddling.

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Clearly the most important job.

M  was very happy to take on the task and swap with my husband at points to come chop veggies with me. While I was mixing guac, she commented that:

 

“I just need to follow you around a grocery store and figure out how to shop.”

I quickly informed her that I’d be writing lists, so if you want to make exactly the same taters we did, here is your handy starting point.

What to Buy

Mandatory:

These are the things you definitely need to acomplish Taco Taters, but there are a ton of variants so feel free to mix and match. I got certain things at Walmart and others I simply had around my kitchen, so bear with me on the prices.

  • Potatoes (I bought four to feed three people) ($2.43)
  • McCormick Gluten Free Taco Seasoning ($0.97)
  • A meat (I got mini shrimp because M wasn’t eating meat) ($2.50/bag)
  • Various Toppings

Toppings can range but here is what I used and all of it was relatively cheap:

  • Chopped Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Shredded Lettuce
  • Sliced Black Olives ($1.96)
  • Fiesta Cheese ($2.50)
  • Guacamole ($1.38 for the mix, the avocados were on sale for $0.50 each)
  • Salsa
  • Chips for munching while cooking ($1.78)

All told, the haul looked like this:

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And we had leftovers for days.

You can adjust this to feed more or less people very easily. Add more potatoes and meat and you’re off! We had way too many toppings for three people and I plan on making nachos with the leftovers.

 

The things I bought added up to $17.02 for three people, and the leftovers will equal about two more meals for my husband and I.

To help you compare, Chipotle (A Celiac-safe Mexican chain) for three, with guac and chips, is $28.66. And you have to leave the house. And there are rarely leftovers. I think I’ll stick with my taters.

Instructions

Alright, so here’s where it gets complicated. This particular recipe has multiple things to do at one time, so we’ll break it down.

  • Bake the potatoes
  • Cook the meat
  • Chop any choppable toppings

So Part One is the Potatoes

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°
  2. Coat your potatoes in some form of Olive Oil or Sunflower Oil. I used the latter because that’s what I had. Set them on a cookie sheet.
  3. Add some Salt or Garlic Salt to the top.
  4. After the oven preheats put them in for about One Hour. This is my downfall as I always time my baked potatoes poorly and the innards are never fully cooked. They should look something like this when they’re done:
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This was after baking them. I failed to take a “before” shot…

Once your potatoes have cooked all the way through (If you can stick a fork in them without resistance they are done) take them out and let them cool.

 

Celiac Tip:

If you’re unsure of the cleanliness of the cookie sheet you’re using, wrap your potatoes in aluminium foil. The skins won’t be as crispy because the moisture will be trapped inside the wrapping instead of being free to escape, but you don’t risk contamination.

While your potatoes are cooking, Prepare your:

Meat:

We made shrimp but your store could have anything on sale. Ground turkey is usually cheap and even pre-cooked chicken will do the trick. I try to spend less than $6 on the meat portion.

For our shrimp, we heat everything in a skillet and then followed the taco seasoning instructions.

With taco seasoning, I like to leave it sitting on the stove on a low heat for a while to simmer and flavor. The longer the better. In fact, I took a kitten-petting break and forgot it was there.

Toppings

With toppings all you really need to do is cut veggies and/or open containers. We got fancy and put everything in serving dishes, but if you trust your friends enough you don’t even have to do that.

Put it all Together

Once everything is ready, you have to prep your potatoes.

  1. Cut them in halves.
  2. Scoop out the innards.

Yep. That easy.

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It’s ok if some of your potato skins fall apart. No one will judge you and they will still make great taco shells.

Once you’re done you just let everyone have a go and eat delicious Taco Taters! We prefer these to corn tortillas or crispy shells. It’s got more of that “Home Made” feel to it and there’s always so much leftover to play with later.

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I plan on using the potato innards for another recipe later…

They’re so easy and fun and everyone gets involved! You can make them as easy or as complicated as you want. I desperately needed to use up some veggies in the fridge, so cutting them up for toppings was the fastest disposal I could think of.

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My blurry “Finished” picture. I was hungry!

I firmly believe in “try try again” cooking. It may not have worked the first time for me, but it certainly did this time!

If you tried this recipe or have any questions, let me know how you liked it in the comments below. I can’t wait to have you visit my kitchen again!

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