Friday, February 6, 2009

Twice Baked Potatoes

My dad loves making these potatoes and since family was coming over for the Superbowl he decided it would be the perfect side dish. These are awesome .. but be warned ... not very healthy. The salty potato skin is awesome. So scrub those potatoes clean and chow down on every last bit because these are sure to be a hit :)

  • 4 large russet potatoes, cleaned

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 6 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped

  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the potatoes directly on the rack in the center of the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Pierce each potato in a couple spots with a fork and continue to bake until tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove potatoes from the oven, and turn the heat down to 375 degrees F.

Hold the potato with an oven-mit or towel, trim off the top of the potatoes to make a canoe-like shape. Reserve the tops. Carefully scoop out most of the potato into a bowl. Take care to leave enough potato in the skin so the shells stay together. Mash the potato lightly with fork along with the butter and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add bacon and cheese and combine. Season the skins with salt. Refill with potato mixture. Sprinkle extra cheese on top.

Set the potatoes and lids on a baking sheet, and bake until heated through, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Meat Sauce

I eat pasta regularly. It's quick, easy, and usually doesn't require a lot of ingredients. With that however, it gets boring, really boring. Pasta noodles with a jar of sauce gets really old after a while especially if its the same pasta and the rest of the pasta sauce from Costco that seems to have an endless supply inside. What better way to spice things up and have a quick weeknight meal like making a meat sauce to go over the pasta instead.

This was really simple and brought a whole new set of flavors. Next time I will add some veggies in to have a nice crunch and make it interesting :)

  • 2/3 lb ground beef (or turkey or chicken)

  • 1 jar tomato sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1 1/2 tsp. each parsley, oregano

  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 bag pasta, cooked**

In a lightly oiled skillet, saute garlic about one minute. Add meat and cook until half-way done. Add spices, cheese, and tomato sauce. Simmer about 15 minutes. Pour over top of pasta and sprinkle cheese if desired.

** Gluten-free pasta is available from Trader Joes (its was I use for my mom)

Monday, February 2, 2009

New York Steak and a Cabarnet Balsamic Sauce

New York Steak was the big sale item at the grocery store this week. Usually going for about $11.99 a pound or so here ... it was on sale for under $4 a pound ... geez what a steal. I looked around for a few different sauces to make with it and most were cream-based or super cheesy. I knew I'd be opening a bottle of wine for dinner and figured why not incorporate that into the meal. Really easy to make and adds a lot of flavor to the meat - you cannot go wrong with wine :)

  • 2 New York Steaks (obviously you can substitute for another cut you like)

  • Kosher salt and Fresh black pepper

  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar

Season meat with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Let sit while you begin to make the sauce.

In a lightly-oiled medium sauce pan over medium heat, add garlic and cook until garlic begins to turn brown. Deglaze with wine and balsamic vinegar. Add sugar and let simmer and reduce for 20 to 30 minutes until mixture reduces to less than a 1/2 cup.

Grill steak according to your taste buds (rare to medium). I grilled mine about 4-5 minutes each side. Let rest about 5 minutes. Serve warm sauce over steaks.