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Crusty medium rare steak, avocado salad and a twice baked potato that I made with my own homemade Clearman’s spread. It’s a cheesy, buttery, tangy spread from Clearman’s Northwood’s Inn restaurant in L.A. area. Sooooo good. If you’re lucky, you can find the actual spread sold in grocery stores – I have not been lucky lately, so I tried to reverse engineer the spread myself and while I’m sure it’s not exact, it’s still pretty darn good.

To make a twice baked potato, you bake a potato how you normally would. I have a convection microwave, so that’s how I do it. Poke a few holes in it and poof it’s done in no time. I do brush on olive oil and sprinkle salt before-hand though to make them really good and crispy – a waitress at Outback told me that’s how they make theirs so crispy on the outside.

Once baked, let them cool so you can handle them (but keep your oven on, or turn on to 350 degrees to pre-heat – these are TWICE baked potatoes after all), then slice lengthwise, scoop out the inside into a bowl (don’t go too close to the skin, you’ll need to keep it intact to use as a little boat). Set aside your potato skin boats. Finely grate some cheddar cheese and add to bowl, add grated parmesan to the bowl, add worcestershire sauce – start with about a teaspoon, add tabasco (I just shake the bottle a bunch), add salt and pepper, and sour cream dollops, then mix it all in. Taste. Keep adding, mixing and tasting until you like it. The tabasco and worcestershire sauce give it a nice tang, so I start small and just keep adding until it’s where I want it.

Scoop the mixture back into the potato skin boats, pile ’em high, there will likely be more mixture than what can fit inside – that’s ok, it makes for good mashed potatoes tomorrow. Carefully put the potatoes on an oven proof dish, then bake them again until the tops are gratin style crispy. All done!

Want to make a restaurant style medium rare steak too? It’s soooo easy!

Get out your steak – salt and pepper that baby, get a pan, put a good dollop of butter in pan, heat over medium high. Once butter is melted, place steak in pan – DO NOT MOVE THE STEAK, DO NOT PUSH ON THE STEAK, DO NOT TOUCH THE STEAK, just let it sit there for 3 1/2 minutes (I use Google timer) and start cutting things for my salad so I am distracted and will not be tempted to touch the steak. Once timer goes off, use tongs to turn over steak, add more butter, salt and pepper this side of steak, set time for 3 1/2 minutes. Tilt your pan a bit off the heat so the butter pools to the bottom and using a spoon start spooning the butter over the top of the steak. Keep doing that for about 2 minutes, then set pan back on heat fully for the last minute and half. When timer goes off, turn off heat and remove pan from heat source, but leave steak in pan to rest. It will continue to cook at this point, so don’t cut it to check it, just let it rest. If you think it’s over done, then remove from pan and let it rest on a plate, but it should be ok to let it rest in pan. Usually by the time I’ve finished making my salad, the steak is ready – we usually split the steak in two to save $$ and our health and load up on the veges (and that ginormous potato!). Once you cut into it, you should have a nice medium rare steak.

Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine like a Zinfandel or Cabernet.

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