Sunday, November 21, 2010

How to Make a Birthday Dinner: Part Two

And as promised, the second half of the birthday meal....

Problem #2: Steakhouse at Home

A good steak dinner makes a special, and delicious birthday meal. Fortunately, cooking steak is relatively simple, as long as you remember to keep it simple. For this dinner, I purchased two giant T-bones from the grocery store---this state might not have the strongest appreciation for cheese or microbrews, but it sure does appreciate good cuts of beef. The steaks were sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh pepper, then seared in a pan with a tablespoon of oil for 3-4 minutes per side. I used a meat thermometer to cook mine to medium (about 150 degrees) and Dave's to rare (about 120 degrees).

With the steaks I served corn, twice baked potatoes and a bottle of Dave's favorite wine. The corn was, well, corn and the wine was delightfully as expected, but the potatoes were a high-calorie masterpiece in themselves. I highly recommend these---just don't weigh yourself afterwards.

Twice Baked Potatoes
Serves 2

2 large baking potatoes
1 tbs melted butter
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c milk
2 tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, sliced
2 strips bacon, cooked and broken into pieces

1. Preheat oven at 425. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Microwave on high for 5-10 minutes until fork goes through potatoes with light resistance. Check every three minutes or so; cooking times can vary depending on the size of your potatoes.
2. Let potatoes cool for 5 minutes. Slice about 1/3 of the top of each potato, length-wise.  Scoop out the flesh from the potato skins and put into a bowl, leaving about 1/4 in. of potato flesh remaining inside skins for stability. Brush inside of skins with melted butter and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
3. Add sour cream, milk, 2 tablespoons butter, salt and pepper to the potato flesh, mashing with a potato masher to smooth out lumps. Add 1/4 cup shredded cheddar and one chopped green onion and mix.
4. Scoop potato mixture back into skins. Top with remaining cheddar and bacon pieces. Bake for another 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Top with green onion slices to garnish.

Alright. I really better get back to that gym now.

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