Steak for a special occasion

Linda Gassenheimer
Tribune News Service

Here’s a festive dish for this time of year or anytime you want something special. The steak is flambeed with brandy. The alcohol is burned off, leaving the flavor behind. Brandy is a generic name for wine or fermented fruit juice that has been distilled and aged in oak barrels. Cognac and Armagnac, named for the region where the grapes are produced, are considered fine brandies. Use any type of brandy in this recipe. You don’t need to buy a large bottle. You can buy small bottles or splits (1.5 ounces) of different types of brandy in most liquor stores.

It's very easy to flambe. Simply pour the brandy into the skillet with the steak. If using a gas stove, tilt the skillet to catch the flame and turn off the heat. The flame will die down in seconds. If using an electric burner, add a lighted long match to the skillet with the brandy. It’s a good idea to keep a lid by the skillet in case you want to put out the flame.

Serve the steak with a green salad on the side.

Helpful Hints:

  • — Keep a lid by the skillet in case you need to put out the flame.
  • — You can use any type of quick cooking steak such as sirloin or flank.

Countdown:

  • — Prepare ingredients.
  • — Microwave potatoes and set aside.
  • — Make steak and remove from skillet.
  • — Add oil, potatoes and garlic to the steak skillet to brown them.
  • — Serve with the steak.

Shopping List:

To buy: 3/4 pound grass-fed center cut tenderloin fillet steaks, small bottle brandy, 1 can olive oil spray, 1 container no-salt-added chicken broth, 1 bottle Dijon mustard, 1 small carton heavy cream, 1 bunch parsley, 3/4 pound red potatoes.

Staples: olive oil, garlic, onion, salt and black peppercorns.

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Brandy Flambeed Steak with Garlic Potatoes. (Linda Gassenheimer/TNS)

BRANDY FLAMBEED STEAK WITH GARLIC POTATOES

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

  • Olive oil spray
  • 3/4 pound grass-fed center cut tenderloin fillet steaks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/2 cup no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Heat a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Add the steak and sear steak 4 minutes. Turn steak over and sear 4 minutes.

Pour the brandy into the skillet. If using a gas stove, carefully tilt the skillet to catch the flame (if using an electric burner, light the brandy with a long match). Turn off the heat or remove skillet from the burner. The flames will flare up and then subside. If you need to put the flame out, place a lid over the skillet.

Continue to cook the steak 2 minutes for 1-inch-thick steak. A meat thermometer should read 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare. Cook 2 minutes longer 135-145 degrees for medium. Remove steak to a cutting board to rest.

Add the chicken broth and mustard to the skillet. Mix to combine the ingredients into a smooth sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Slice steak and divide the steak between 2 dinner plates and spoon the sauce over the steak. Sprinkle parsley on top.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 384 calories (43% from fat),18.3 g fat (8.2 g saturated, 7 g monounsaturated), 101 mg cholesterol, 37 g protein, 1.7 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g fiber, 206 mg sodium.

SAUTÉED GARLIC POTATOES

Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

  • 3/4 pound red potatoes (about 2 cups cubes)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup sliced onions
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes do not peel and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high 5 minutes. Heat olive oil in the skillet used for the steak. Add the microwaved potatoes, garlic and onion. Toss for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the steak.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 185 calories (34% from fat), 7 g fat (1 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 3.4 g protein, 28.4 g carbohydrates, 3.1 g fiber, 31 mg sodium.

(Linda Gassenheimer is the author of over 30 cookbooks, including her newest, "The 12-Week Diabetes Cookbook." Listen to Linda on www.WDNA.org and all major podcast sites. Email her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.)

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