Last night, I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner, and his answer was steak. Now, I like steaks, but they are definitely not my favourite food. So, he stopped by the butcher shop and picked up some sirloin steaks. Now, we do not have a BBQ at our apartment due to regulations. We are moving to a house this spring, and then we will have a BBQ, yay! So, we have learned to improvise and cook steaks in the oven. I will give you my method after the potato recipe. I had potatoes that I needed to use up. Steak and potatoes is a winning combination. So, I decided to make twice-baked potatoes.
Now, twice-baked potatoes are a wonderful thing. They are a clean-out-the-fridge sort of dish. Everything that you would eat on a baked potato you can cut up and throw in. Last night, we had some bacon I fried up and crumbled, grated cheddar cheese, Laughing Cow light cheese wedges, sour cream and butter. Chives, sautéed onions, ham, some garlic, any type of cheese (even feta, yum!) or broccoli (cooked lightly, and cut up) are other suggestions of things you can throw in.
Laughing Cow light cheese wedges are a great thing to have in your fridge. They are low in calories and fat, but high in creamy, delicious flavour. You can throw them in such dishes as Twice-Baked Potatoes, melt them into pasta sauces or spread them on crackers for a great snack. If you go to Hungry Girl’s website and search for Laughing Cow, she has developed quite a few recipes for them.
Last night, I microwaved my potatoes to cook them. Now, there is no doubt that baking your potatoes produces a better, fluffier texture. But, if you don’t have forty-five minutes to an hour, plus cooling time, to spare, microwaving your potatoes is an okay substitute. They still tasted AMAZING!
I don’t follow a recipe for Twice-Baked Potatoes. But I will talk you through my process to make them.
1. Scrub your potatoes and prick them with a fork. Bake them in the oven (375° for 45 min to 1 hour or until tender when poked with a fork), or in the microwave.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Let potatoes cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out flesh of potato with a spoon, leaving a 1/4″ border of potato flesh and skin. At this point, I would put my potatoes in a baking dish. I used an 8×8 baking dish for 5 small potatoes.
3. Put potato flesh in a bowl and mash with a fork. These measurement amounts are for 5 small potatoes. Add about 2 Tbsp. of butter, 3/4 cup sour cream, 3 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled, 2 wedges of Laughing Cow cheese and 1 cup of grated Cheddar cheese. Mix until well-combined. Taste your mixture now. If it feels dry, add some more sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Scoop the mixture back into the potato shells. Heap it up a bit! Because you added goodies to the potatoes, you have more volume than you started with. Keep adding it to your potato shells until you have used up all of the filling.
5. Put pan in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until the filling is heated through. Eat and enjoy!
Now, these make delicious leftovers. So, make some extras and take them for lunch for tomorrow. They taste good hot and cold!
Steak in the Oven
Recipe adapted from www.askmen.com
This is the best way to cook steaks that we have found when you don’t have access to a BBQ.
1. Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
2. Sprinkle steaks with Montreal Steak Spice on both sides.
3. Sear one side of steak on a hot, oiled frying pan that can go in the oven (Now, if your frying pan has a handle that is not oven-proof, simply wrap it twice in aluminum foil and it will be ok). In case you don’t know, to sear a steak is to cook it in a hot pan so that the surface becomes brown, with some delicious crusty bits. This creates a good “crust” on your steak and apparently helps to seal in juices.
4. Flip over your steak(s) and put the pan in the preheated oven.
Cook 5 min. for rare
7 min. for medium-rare
9 min. for medium
Let steaks stand for 5 minutes.
Now, obviously, these cooking times depend on your oven and the thickness of your steaks. We often pull them out and check them, and put them back in the oven for a few minutes. Keep in mind that the steaks will cook a bit more as they rest, so try not to over cook them! Remember, you can always put them back in the oven!
This has been an incredibly long post! If you’ve made it this far, congratulations!
The Hungry Teacher