Smoky Potatoes

These potatoes are pretty simple, and have been a big hit with everyone who has tried them.  Don’t be scared of the pepper — rather than making the dish hot, it adds an interesting smoky flavor.






  • 2 pounds yellow or white potatoes (Yukon Golds, for example)
  • 8 ounce block of cheddar cheese
  • 8 ounce block of  mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk
  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 4 ounces olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Wash and scrub your potatoes, then cut them into small dice.  Cut the cheeses into dice as well, then place cheese and potatoes into a large bowl.  Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Now spread the mix out into a 9×13 baking dish and pour in the 1/2 cup of milk or cream.

Here comes the one part that can be a pain.  Cut one end off of the Serrano and scrape out the core and all the seeds.  I used a baby spoon, but if you don’t have one, a butter knife will probably do the trick.  You want to keep the rest of the pepper intact, as it has to hold liquid during the baking process.  Once you have the pepper cleaned out (and make sure you get all the seeds — that’s where the heat lives!), snug it down in the middle of the potato dish, using the potatoes to keep it upright.  Now fill it with olive oil, about 3 Tablespoons.

Bake for about 1 hour, until the potatoes start to brown.  Once you pull it out of the oven, use a pair of tongs to gently grab the pepper and drizzle the oil from it as evenly as possible over the potatoes.  Now you’re ready to eat!


Super Easy Potatoes

I made this one night to go along with Vann’s awesome barbecued chicken (he invented a wonderful sauce, but it takes forever to make). This is so easy and very tasty.

  • 1 can of sliced new potatoes
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 5 mushrooms
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • kosher or sea salt
  • pepper
  • dill
  • garlic

Chop the onion and mushrooms. Drain the potatoes. Combine in a bowl.

In a jar or bottle (I used a glass baby bottle with a cap instead of a nipple), combine the oil and lemon juice with a dash each of salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake very well.

Pour the lemon sauce over the vegetables and stir, then liberally sprinkle with dill and stir again. I recommend letting this marinate for 30 minutes or so, but you can go ahead and cook if you’re in a hurry.

Melt some butter in a pan over medium heat and toss in a spoonful of minced garlic. Cook for 1 minute, then add your potato mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until the mushrooms are tender. Voila!

Foil Packet Potatoes

Foil Packet Potatoes

(sausage cooked separately)

This is an easy, delicious new recipe I found in a Sam’s Club cookbook (we only changed it a little…).  I don’t usually post grill recipes, since I don’t grill (that’s one of my husband’s specialties), but you could probably do this in the oven, too.






You will need:

  • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can chopped green chilies (or some chopped jalapenos, if you prefer)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend, or Colby Jack, or Cheddar, or…whatever kind you like best!)
  • chunky salsa
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Tear yourself a good-sized sheet of aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.  Put the onion in the center of the foil and then top with the potatoes.  Sprinkle potatoes with seasoned salt, chili powder, garlic and cumin, then top with the chilies (or jalapenos).  Sprinkle everything liberally with Worcestershire sauce.

Fold up the sides and double fold the top and ends of the packet to seal it, being sure to leave some room so the heat can circulate inside.  Put the packet on the grill and close the lid.  Grill for 30 minutes or so, until potatoes are tender.  Open up the packet and sprinkle the cheese over the potatoes.  Once the cheese is melted, serve. topped with the salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.

This goes really well with grilled Italian sausages, as you can see in the picture above.  It was really easy, and a definite keeper, since we pretty much always have the ingredients already.

Flatiron Steak With Potatoes

So this is a pretty easy, affordable steak dish, with spinach cream sauce and accompanied by butter-fried red potatoes. Yum!

  • 1 pound flatiron steak (if your shopping choices are Kroger or Walmart, in this case I would go with Kroger — their flatirons are much better quality, with less gristle and fat)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Cumin
  • Cilantro
  • Garlic salt
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 7 or 8 red potatoes
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour (I use whole wheat, but you can use white if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 handful chopped fresh chopped spinach

Marinate your steak in the Worcestershire, cumin, cilantro, and garlic salt. Go easy on the cumin and cilantro — it doesn’t take much to get the point across. As always, the longer you can marinate, the better, but even a half hour will be fine.

Wash and quarter your red potatoes, then halve the quarters. Melt the 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat, then add the potatoes and mix them well in the butter. Sprinkle on the Mrs. Dash and stir again really well, then turn down to just below medium heat, cover, and cook for around 20-25 minutes.

This gives you plenty of time to do everything else you need to do! Chop your spinach, measure out your milk and cream (I just measured them into the same Pyrex measuring cup for ease), and set up your frying pan and sauce pan.

Your steak and sauce will take less than 10 minutes. I start them at the same time.

Place steak in pan and turn it on to just above medium heat.

Melt 2 Tbsp butter in sauce pan. Add 2 Tbsp flour and whisk until it’s smooth and bubbly. Pour in the milk and cream, and as you’re whisking that into the flour/butter mixture, sprinkle in the chopped spinach. Whisk until everything is good and mixed.

Flip your steaks.

Bring your sauce to a boil for about 1 minute, whisking constantly, then simmer and whisk until your steaks are done. I like mine rare or medium rare, so it doesn’t usually take long.

Now, if you bought your steak at Kroger, you likely just cooked ONE piece of meat that will feed both of you. What I usually do when I have a Kroger steak is cut it into thin strips after I’ve cooked it, and then cover them with the sauce.

However, if you bought the steak at Walmart, it’s probably 4 smaller pieces. Just arrange them on your plate and cover with cream sauce.

I found that the potatoes and the sauce went well together — the potatoes made a good “mopping up” food, since I didn’t serve any bread with this. I figured that the potatoes were enough starch.

Economics and substitutions:

You can usually get enough flatiron steak to feed two people for $5 or under — I got mine for tonight on manager’s special and it was less than $4. If you don’t feel like spending extra money on the cream for the sauce, then use 1 cup milk instead of half milk and half cream, and simmer a little longer. If you don’t have cumin and cilantro for the marinade, then just use Worcestershire and salt, or, if you don’t have Worcestershire either, just salt. I’ve done it all 3 ways, and they’re all good.