Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Steak and Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice Baked Potatoes
2 large potatoes
2 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/8 c. sour cream
2 Tbl milk
1 Tbl butter, softened
1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Scrub potatoes well, pierce with a fork 3 or 4 times and wrap in tinfoil.  Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 1 hour. 
2.  When baked and softened, slice in half.  Remove the insides, careful to not break the skin, leaving about 1/4 inch to protect the skin and preserve the shape.  ( I discovered that a medium cookie scoop works really well to remove the insides, the edges are sharper and the rounded scoop is less likely to break the skins than a spoon). 
3.  Mash the insides with cream cheese, sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper.  Place the mixture back into the skins and top with cheddar cheese. 
4.  Bake at 375 degrees until puffy and cheese is melted. 
5.  Garnish with chives. 


I have only cooked steak once before in my life, and it was a sorry attempt on the stovetop in college.  This time, I googled how to cook a steak and found a technique that suited my liking on foodnetwork.com.  The directions I used are as follows: 

1. Place 10 to 12-inch cast iron skillet in oven and heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring steak(s) to room temperature.
2. When oven reaches temperature, remove pan and place on range over high heat. Coat steak lightly with oil and season both sides with a generous pinch of salt. Grind on black pepper to taste.
[  DO NOT FORGET THAT YOUR PAN JUST CAME FROM A 500 DEGREE OVEN!!  I made this mistake and grabbed the handle of my pan as I was cooking the steak and burned my fingers a pretty good one.  ]
3. Immediately place steak in the middle of hot, dry pan. Cook 30 seconds without moving. Turn with tongs and cook another 30 seconds, then put the pan straight into the oven for 2 minutes. Flip steak and cook for another 2 minutes. (This time is for medium rare steaks. If you prefer medium, add a minute to both of the oven turns.)
4. Remove steak from pan, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 2 minutes. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto plate.

Despite my terribly burned hand (that recovered by the end of the week) the steak turned out amazing!  This technique is perfect.  Enjoy! 

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