Tag Archives: russet potatoes

Lynn’s Twice-Baked Potatoes

These twice-baked potatoes have been a family favorite with my step children from the time they were little. Now, as young adults, the spuds are an oft-requested side dish, especially when steaks are the main entrée. I must confess, both their dad and I maintain a certain fondness for them too! They are pretty decadent, so we don’t serve them too often…

In all of these years, I just eyeballed the amount of each ingredient, adjusting as I saw fit. But I finally decided it was time to write down the recipe when an opportune time presented itself with the engagement of the youngest. When confronted with what they wanted as their celebratory dinner choice, David and his lovely fiancée Vikki, asked us if we would make steaks, twice-baked potatoes, asparagus and Tres Leche Cake for dessert. Game on!

Vikki and David toasting to their engagement.

It’s best—although not a deal-breaker—if you bring the butter, blue cheese crumbles, sour cream, and heavy cream to room temperature. When ingredients are different temperatures, they don’t necessarily “play” well together. Plus, when everything is approximately the same temp, they will cook more evenly in the oven.

If you have eight guests for dinner, or just want leftovers, a 13″ x 9″ baking dish will easily hold eight potato halves, so start with four russets instead of three. In this case however, you may want to increase all of the other ingredients by 25%. The potatoes can be assembled a day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Remove from fridge about an hour before they go into the oven at 350°F.

Purple chive blossoms are a flavorful, aromatic, and colorful edible flower that will appear at the end of chive stalks in late springtime. Even if you don’t plan on eating them, they make a nice garnish. You can substitute shredded sharp cheddar in place of the blue cheese if you or your guests abhor the latter.

About that Tres Leche Cake, David (mostly) and Vikki (some) had polished off the entire thing before we got up the next morning!

Lynn's Twice-Baked Potatoes

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 large Russet potatoes
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, cut into 3 pieces, room temperature
  • 5 oz. crumbled blue cheese, divided into thirds
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream or whole milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives or scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • Chive blossoms for garnish, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork 4 or 5 times. Rub olive oil all over each potato.
  3. Cook potatoes in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until easily pierced with a paring knife. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  4. Reduce oven heat to 325°F.
  5. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise, and let the steam escape, another 2 minutes. Over a large bowl, carefully scoop out most of the flesh with a spoon, leaving about 1/8″ thickness against the skin.
  6. Add butter, heavy cream, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potatoes and smash with a potato masher until combined but still a bit lumpy. Next, turn in 2/3 of the cheese crumbles and chives, mixing all ingredients together with a large spoon.
  7. Arrange the six potato skins in a casserole/baking dish. Evenly spoon the mixture into the skins. Run an indentation along the center of each and top with the remaining 1/3 blue cheese crumbles.* Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the tops are a light golden brown.
    *Make Ahead: Once the potatoes are assembled with the mixture and topped with blue cheese, cover with foil and refrigerate until one hour before placed in oven. Preheat oven to 350°F, and once the oven is ready, cook, still covered for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 30 minutes or until the tops are a light golden brown.
  8. Garnish with a chive blossoms, if using. Serve immediately.


Flap Steak and Tik Tok Taters

The sizzling arrival of cast-iron plates of marinated steakhouse steak tips is often the most exciting part about them, so says Cook’s Country. In this version of Grilled Steakhouse Steak Tips, they replace the typical sickly sweet marinade culprits—ketchup, barbeque sauce, and cola—with a mixture of soy sauce, oil, dark brown sugar, and tomato paste for enhanced meaty flavor and maximum char. WOW, great results!

Typically, if you can even find it (hello Costco), flap meat is sold as whole steaks, strips, and pieces. For even pieces, buy a whole steak of uniform size and cut it up yourself. We’ve only found it at Costco sold in thick strips, but that is perfect for this method. And instead of cutting it down into 2 1/2-inch pieces we kept them to about 5 inch lengths.

This is not your grandma’s steak and potatoes recipe. The marinade has a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar but otherwise is a great companion to beefy flap meat. If you get the opportunity, try to marinate for the total 24 hours, but a minimum of 2 hours will provide enough flavor. If, like us, you are medium-rare fans, take the steaks off when they reach 125-130° (they may have to come off at separate times). Cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

As an accompaniment, we made these fabulous potatoes which The Hubs found in a video on Tik Tok, thus we named them “Tik Tok Taters”. We made a major alteration to the directions however because after initially boiling the potatoes for the 20-25 minutes as indicated, they were beyond fork tender and falling apart. So we shortened the boiling time in this phase to 12-15 minutes, which is shown in the directions below.

In this photo op, I inadvertently staged “light” brown sugar when the recipe calls for “dark” brown.

Grilled Steakhouse Steak Tips

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (2 1/2-pound) beef flap meat


  1. Whisk soy sauce, oil, sugar, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, pepper, and cayenne together in bowl until sugar dissolves; transfer to zipper-lock bag.
  2. Pat beef dry with paper towels. Prick beef all over with fork and cut into 2 1/2-inch pieces. Add meat to bag with soy mixture and refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes.
  4. Clean and oil cooking grate. Cook beef (covered if using gas) until charred and registers 125 to 130 degrees (for medium-rare), 7 to 8 minutes.
  5. Transfer meat to platter, tent loosely with foil, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve.


Tik Tok Taters

Tik Tok Taters

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise, then cut each piece into 3 chunks
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt + 1 Tbsp., divided
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin olive oil, divided


  1. Boil peeled russet potatoes in water with 1/4 cup salt and the baking soda for 12-15 minutes, until just barely fork tender on the outer edges.
  2. Drain potatoes and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon each salt and rosemary.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° convection (or 425° regular) with empty roasting pan inside.
  4. When hot, add more olive oil (about 1/4 cup) to coat the bottom, then add drained and seasoned potatoes.
  5. Return pan to oven and roast 35-40 minutes, carefully turning potatoes every 10-12 minutes.


If you’re so inclined, you can check out the YouTube video here:


Russell’s Russets

Steak fries on steroids. That’s how I first thought of these spuds when The Mr. made them about a month ago. Savory and crispy on the outside, super tender and creamy on the inside. A perfect accompaniment to his birthday dinner of grilled baby back ribs and a Tex-Mex slaw.

And speaking of his birthday, pretty much every gift he received had something to do with cooking/food. One of which is his new pride and joy, the Dao Vua hand-carved carbon steel cleaver made in Vietnam and sold through Bernal Cutlery on the West Coast (Oakland, CA). It truly is a work of art. They’re so popular, they are completely out of stock, so I’m glad I ordered it months ahead of time.

Bernal Cutlery opened for business in 2005 and specializes in all things knife related. Using time-honored Japanese Whetstone grinding techniques—and finishing by hand with a modified version of an old fashioned Barber’s strop—it offers peerless sharpening services, as well as very high caliber new knives, collectable and vintage models, classes in care and sharpening as well as hosting sessions on knife skills. This sharpening approach results in edges that are sharper, longer lasting and produce far less metal removal making for less wear on the knife.

But I digress. The very first thing he cut with that knife was the russet potatoes. And it was smooth sailing for sure. Not that potatoes are hard to cut, it’s just the experience of holding reverence in your hand while doing a mundane task, kind of elevates the process to another level.

The recipe came about one day when Russ had a hankering for sumac. A few weeks back, these very spuds were a side dish for our Seared Pork Tenderloin with Smoked Paprika and Oregano dinner. For some reason sumac is one of those spices that isn’t necessarily first and foremost in my mind, but I’m glad he took it out of hibernation.

Ground sumac is a versatile spice with a tangy lemony flavor, although more balanced and less tart than lemon juice. While having a diverse flavor profile, sumac blends exceptionally well with other spices such as allspice, chili, thyme, and cumin—the latter of which he also included.

Be generous with the olive oil, and make sure to fully coat the baking sheet and preheat it in the oven. When you first lay the wedges on it, you should hear a sizzle that lets you know the cooking process has already started even before you pop the pan back in the oven. After you flipped the spuds for the second 20 minutes, test with a knife tip to see if it easily pierces the potato. If, not cook 5 more minutes and test again.

These would also go well with a nice grilled steak—just in time for the holiday weekend. Enjoy!

Russell's Russets

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 3 medium russet potatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground sumac
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Grease a large rimmed baking liberally with 1/3 cup of the EVOO, spread evenly. Place the baking sheet in the oven while it preheats.
  3. Put the potato wedges in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the remaining EVOO over the potatoes, add all of the seasonings, and mix well.
  4. When the oven reaches temperature, pull out the baking sheet (use a mitt so as not to burn your hand) and arrange the potatoes without them touching each other. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Increase the temperature to 425° while you turn the potatoes over and then return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes.