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Food’s much better here . . .Cook’s Country Steak and Super-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Super Stuffed Baked Potato

Just what every mother wants to hear!  My Freshman son came home last night from college for the summer, so I asked if he was going to be home for dinner.  He said maybe (being a typical young adult his schedule seems to change by the minute – the magic of texting) but after I suggested that I would make one of his favorites, mac and cheese or steak, he immediately said he’d be here for steak.  A few minutes later I walked in on him talking to my husband and I’m not sure what the conversation was about but I gathered it had something to do with the dorm food and the number of chicken tenders he has eaten this year.  All I heard was “. . . the food here is a lot better.”  I told him I’d take that as a compliment, although I’m not quite sure how much it is considering the comparison was dorm food being made by someone whose only culinary skill is microwaved Hot Pockets.

 Here are the test recipes of the day:

Cook's Country Broiled Steak and Super-Stuffed Baked Potato

Broiled Steak

Cook's Country Super-Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Super-Stuffed Baked Potato

Following my own rules for a fair test I did follow the recipes exactly, but after the initial taste test, I just had to add bacon bits.  Not for me of course, but for the son whose favorite Christmas present one year was the one pound jar of “Bacon Salt” from his sister.

The potatoes were amazing and well worth the extra time it took to make them.  However, I have to say that the steak was a complete failure which is the first from Cook’s Country recipes which are usually wonderful.  Maybe it was my broiler, but the steak never browned and was an awful grey.  Of course, I left it in longer trying to get a crust and ended up with shoe leather.  They did suggest testing the broiler by seeing how long it took to toast a slice of bread, which I did after tasting the leather.  Thirty seconds was a hot broiler and two minutes was not.  Ours was 1 ½ minutes, so not the best.  Anyway, I liked the idea of baking first but from now on will either grill or pan sear to finish!

The other problem with making these as a combination meal was that the whole process took a really long time, over two hours total as the potatoes took a long time themselves and unless you have two ovens, with the completely different temperatures I had to make the potatoes first, then the steak.  Fortunately potatoes hold heat well and I put them in the small convection oven to keep warm while doing the steak.  Overall, the steak was deemed equal to dorm food but the potatoes got a big thumbs up!

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