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Steak and Potatoes 2

Spring is here, and oddly enough, it’s even warm enough here in Wisconsin to fire up the grill. In my case, our grill was destroyed, knocked over by the blizzard of 2011 in early February, so we have to buy a new one. So until then, we have to use an indoor grill pan, which really is not the same thing but does the job in a pinch. But I digress. What follows are a couple of recipes that are perfect for this time of year–it’s cold enough outside where you don’t mind firing up the oven, and therefore making my twice baked potatoes. But it’s definitely warm enough to grill outside with a light jacket. Well, unless you live in Arizona or Texas or Florida. Anyway, here are those recipes that I published on Bullz-Eye’s Grub for Guys a couple years back:

Flank Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa/Twice Baked Potatoes
We started this series with a basic grilled steak, baked potato and grilled asparagus. Now, we’re back with a couple of recipes that take seriously a dude’s craving for red meat and white potatoes, with a bit more difficulty than the first recipes we gave you. After all, you should be an intermediate chef by now, right? Anyway, grilling season is year-round in some places, such as here in Tennessee. So let’s get to it……

Flank Steak with Grilled Tomato Salsa
Ingredients:
1 flank steak, 1.5 pounds or so
6-8 small plum tomatoes
1 thick slice onion
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Red wine vinegar
½ tsp. sugar
Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat your grill or grill pan. Sprinkle steak on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside. Spray the tomatoes and onion slice with cooking spray, salt and pepper. Grill over medium high heat, turning a few times (try hard to keep that onion together!). Once they become tender and slightly charred, remove from grill. Put steak on grill while you make salsa. When tomatoes have cooled slightly, cut off the stem end. Place tomatoes, onion, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste in a blender and pulse a few times until it resembles a chunky salsa. Meanwhile, grill steak for about 4-5 minutes per side for medium (a little less if you like it rare-medium rare, a little more if you like it well done). Let steak rest on a platter for about 5 minutes before slicing into ¼ inch strips on the diagonal. Serve with the salsa on the side. Serves 3-4

Twice Baked Potatoes
Ingredients:
2 large baking potatoes (Idaho is best)
¼ cup milk (skim or low fat is fine but whole milk is best)
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2-3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
Snipped or dried chives (optional)

Directions:
Preheat your oven or toasted oven to 450 degrees. Rinse and scrub dirt off of potatoes, pat dry, then pierce a few times with a fork before placing in the oven. Roast, turning once, for one hour. (Once again, I have to advise against microwaved potatoes or foil-wrapped….you want a crispy skin, don’t you?) When cool enough to handle, cut the potatoes in half, and scoop the flesh into a large bowl. Put the skins back in the oven to brown for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add the milk, butter, cheese, salt, pepper and optional chives to the potato flesh. If the mixture appears too dry, add a few more drops of milk or shreds of cheese. Spoon the mixture into the potato skins and bake for another 15 minutes or until brown on top and warmed through. Serves 4, or 2 hungry dudes.

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