Tom PapoutsisTom Papoutsis is a “Firehouse Chef” that currently holds the rank of Lieutenant with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Tom’s experience in the Fire Service spans over 29 years, 19 of which have been with Fairfax County. The bulk of his firehouse culinary expertise has been practiced during his tenure there. He was a national finalist in the 2004 Tabasco Cook & Ladder Competition finishing in the top 10 of the nations Firehouse Chef’s, and traveled to New York City to compete in a cook off with his peers. He has also been placed on the “charity” auction block several times to prepare meals for the highest bidder. Tom likes to specialize in Italian and Greek cuisine being of the same heritage, but also enjoys preparing Asian and of course “Good Ole American” foods as well. He concentrates on entrées but also has a few hors d’oeuvres and dessert specialties as well, such as his versions of Bruschetta and Amaretto Cheesecake. For the past year he has been studying the practice of making homemade Italian deli meats and sausages. Tom’s motto: “It’s just cooking, not rocket science, take a chance…..you might like it!” Residing in Chambersburg, PA with his wife JoAnn, twins Jonathan & Katie and “Buddy” their Golden Retriever. Tom enjoys cycling, hunting, fishing, woodworking, raising his children and helping form today’s youth while volunteering with son Jonathan’s Cub Scout pack. Tom can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]
Tom Popatis: Hi! Tom Popatis here. We are in the kitchen today cooking, and one of the questions is, what do you do with a left over bake potato? You make bake potatoes, and last night these things -- I mean it was sitting around, you threw it, you wrapped it up, you threw it in refrigerator, and now you are thinking, do I heat it up? What do I do with this thing?
Well I tell you what; I have got an idea for you. This is so quick, simple, and easy you are going to be surprised. What you do, take your potato pop it in the microwave, we are going to heat it up, whichever -- Ive already heated this one up. But you are going to heat this thing up for about a minute, minute and a half, so it gets nice and warm and insides are still soft. If you saw the segment we did on baking potatoes, we actually did this in the microwave and then took it out, put it in the oven, and it has got that nice crispy skin on it. If you do it on the grill or go longer you can get it even more crispier, but this one is going to work out pretty good.
So, what am I going to do? I'm going to take this bake potato and I'm going to make a twice bake potato with a leftover bake potato because it's actually twice baked. Very simple, very easy take your knife, just cut your potato in half like this, cut it right down the center into two halves just like that, I'm going to cut that right through. I have a bowl handy here. I'm going to take a spoon and I'm just very carefully going to spoon this warm potato out of the skin. I'll try to stay as close, don't burst the skin up because you are going to reuse that skin and you can see how this is kind of pulling away very nicely.
Now, if starts to give me a hard time, just kind of stay away from it, but we are going to it, we are just going to pull that away very carefully as much as you can, and if you don't want to go crazy, don't go too crazy because you can leave a little bit potato on there, but there is one, here is the second one we are going to take in just scoop in, take out. We turn here so that you can see what I'm doing, scoop in and just kind of push it right out just like that, and then you can just kind of scrape that aside, and make a little boat if you will, or a little hole okay, there we have it. It's kind of didnt go quite as far on this one as I did on the first one, and it will probably work out just well, maybe even better, but there you go.