Elegant Muffin Tin Potato Stacks
Today we are again going to look how to romance your husband with little effort. Grassfed Ribeye Steaks were on sale this week, so I had to make a steak and potato dinner.
I choose to buy grassfed beef as it is much higher in Omega 3 fatty acids and nutrients than standard beef. This steak is a ribeye, which is considered THE steak to buy – good marbling, little or no connective tissue, and tasty. It can be quite pricey, but this week it was only $9.99 a pound – a STEAL!! So I grabbed a couple steaks.
Preparing the Steak
Prepare your steak whatever way you prefer. Everyone has different tastes. This post is mainly about the potatoes. Ribeye tends to be quite fatty and hard to grill without flare-ups. While that flavor is hard to beat, I’m told to be careful when grilling a ribeye. It is a great candidate for your indoor George Foreman grill or cast iron stovetop grill.
Steaks should be allowed to rest outside the fridge about 20 minutes before preparing. Salting should also be done about 10 to 20 minutes prior to cooking. I usually use a seasoned salt. My favorites are: Jane’s Krazy Mixed Up Salt and sometimes McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning and McCormick Grill Mates Spicy Montreal Steak. Also add pepper, if desired. You won’t need it with the Spicy Montreal blend. If you’re using a less fatty steak, my mom always rubbed butter on before seasoning. I do too.
I cheat when it comes to fried mushrooms. When mushrooms are on a big sale I buy up 4 to 8 packages and fry them up. I season with salt and pepper and always add copious amounts of onion. I fry until golden and the butter is browned and almost crispy – about 25 minutes. Then I spread them out on a silicone baking mat in a pan and once they’ve cooled a little I pop it in my freezer for a couple hours until frozen. Then I package them. I only put as much as I’d use in the month in the refrigerator’s freezer. The rest go down in the deep freeze. Mushrooms retain moisture even after all that frying, so they will get water crystals in a freezer that is auto defrost. My deep freeze is a manual defrost and doesn’t get that way. It doesn’t harm the food and I haven’t noticed a taste difference, but I don’t like the spatter that it creates on the stove either, so in the deep freeze they go.
The Muffin Tin Potato Crisps
I’m not a potato eater but these little darlings had me going back for serving after serving. Brown and crispy on the bottom, buttery and all around yummy!! They are SO easy you will find yourself making them over and over and over again. [Full recipe follows]
Slice the Potatoes
I used a mandolin to slice the potatoes. I have two blades on my inexpensive mandoline – 1/8th inch and one that’s thicker than 1/4 inch. I wish I had one in between, but I choose the 1/8th inch and it was fine. If you opt for the 1/4 inch the potatoes will not be as crisp and they will take longer to bake. Just keep that in mind.
The Baking Pan
No kidding, we’re using a muffin tin. My daughter tells me that FINALLY she has a use for her muffin tin. If you have a silicone muffin pan, by all means, use it. Just remember to pan a sheet pan under as the silicone can get floppy.
Filling the Muffin Tin
We aren’t going to dip every slice, but the bottom slice for sure and every second or third slice. Let the butter drip off before putting in the tin. The ones not dipped you should run across the butter on the dipped slice and then flip. It goes really quick. Trust me.
Don’t Forget the Seasonings!
In between every second or third layer – after you’ve flipped the potato slice, add some seasonings. USE A LIGHT HAND. Truly, the potato slices are thin, you don’t need much. I added flaked sea salt, pepper and a little dried parsley. I didn’t have any fresh, so I used dried. My steak was going to be spunky, I didn’t want the potatoes to be spunky, too, so I went plain.
Here’s where you can be creative. As I said, my steak was going to be spunky so I didn’t want the potatoes to be spunky. But if you were serving this with chicken you might want some different seasonings – rosemary, sage, thyme. Pork would call for a little garlic. I actually make a seasoning blend especially for pork, this might be a good complement. So think about your main dish and what you want to bring to that dish. Maybe you want to make these cheesy, then you’d only dip the bottom slice in butter, fill your tin with alternating potato, cheese, potato, seasonings, potato… Then add 1 TB of cream to each stack before baking. Now you have mini Au Gratins.
Prepare the Pan for Baking
After filling the cups, carefully wipe around the cups before baking. TRUST ME, you want to do this. If you do this one minor step, your cleanup will be a breeze. Skip this step and you will have scorched on butter to scrub off. This pan is over 10 years old and has seen MANY, MANY trips to the oven with muffins, mini quiches, and more. I have never had to scrub it because I take care wiping the excess before baking.
The Finished Product
Here’s a Closer Look
The top stack is as it came out of the oven. The bottom one is after flipping it so you can see the crispy, caramelized underside.
What I’d do different
As always, you make something and think, next time I’d… In this case, next time I’d fill them all the way to the top. I was thinking that each cup was about 2/3 of a little potato. Remember, I’m not a potato person. But after eating SIX of these little stacks, I’m going to say, “filler’ up!”
What Do You Think?
Do you think this would elevate your normal baked potato a little? A little bit more fancy. A little tiny thing that says, I wanted to do something special for you because you’re special to me.
In My House Growing Up
I was brought up in a house where the serving dishes were the pots and pans the food was cooked in. It was one of those tables where as soon as my dad reached out for the first dish we all grabbed the item in front of us, added it to our plate and passed it around. We were hungry and we ate. But I don’t think we ever took the time to enjoy the food, to enjoy the flavors and how beautiful it could be if just a little tiny effort would have been made. When my dad cooked, at least he was creative and there were new and exciting flavors to enjoy. And, of course, because we weren’t waiting for him to come home at 6:30, or later to eat, it was earlier and a more relaxed meal so that added to the enjoyment.
In the “Old Country”
Once, as a middle-aged married woman, I saw pictures of the meals served by our family back in Finland: beautiful food that looked like it was being served at a 4 or 5 star restaurant. I asked the family members who had taken that trip if the meals were special because they were company or if it was normal. They said this was normal. You see, they didn’t know the family over there. It was by asking around and doing some family history research that they were directed to family, who immediately embraced them and took them in. Our Finnish relatives had not expected company so the food served would have been served to their own family. My mouth dropped as I looked at those pictures. I had never eaten that way even in a restaurant. People actually ate that way at home? Every day? It made me reassess how I was serving food in my house to my husband. That was many years ago and I took to heart the importance of making those who are closest to you feel important by how you serve them.
Elevate your potatoes to these little stacks. They are crispy, can be varied to fit the meal you are making and will turn even a person like me who only likes potatoes into one going back for serving after serving. Make this today for those you love.
- 6 -8 small Yukon Gold Potatoes
- 2-3 oz butter, just melted
- flaked sea salt
- ground pepper
- parsley or other seasonings, fresh or dried
Slice the potatoes thinly. Use a mandolin if you have one. Slice so the potato will fit in your muffin tins. If they are larger, slice in the rounds. If they are very small, like mine were, you can slice on their side.
Dip the first slice for each muffin cup in the melted butter. Allow to drip off excess. Place in pan.
Add another slice on top, rub a little, then flip.
Add a LITTLE flaked sea salt, some pepper and whatever seasoning you are using. Remember: use a light hand, the slices are thin.
Cover with another slice, then a butter dipped slice*, another slice, rub and flip, then seasonings again. Repeat until the cups are full. Slice another potato, if necessary.
Top with final seasonings.
Carefully wipe any dripped butter or seasonings from the top of the pan so it doesn't scorch.
Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes, or until potatoes are done and browned.
*If making little Au Gratins, only butter the bottom slice. Then layer with potato slices and seasonings. When cups are full, add 1 TB cream to each cup before baking. For cheesy Au Gratins, add a thin, thin little slice of cheese between a plain layer, (or a few strands of grated) reduce salt. Add 1 TB cream to each cup before baking.
Treating those you love with something a little special.
This post contains affiliate links. For my statement of full disclosure, click here.