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TMCNet:  Add zip to a filet mignon with a special

[February 18, 2013]

Add zip to a filet mignon with a special

Feb 18, 2013 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- A juicy beefsteak and sauteed mushrooms go together perfectly _ especially when you add a great sauce to the mix.

Make that beefsteak a filet mignon, add a yummy zip sauce, top it off with a tangy blue cheese and you've got a combo that's irresistible.

Today's recipe mixes up sauteed mushrooms with some fresh green beans and my version of a zip sauce, a hearty sauce that enhances the beef's flavor.

Another plus: This recipe keeps the mess to a minimum because it uses the same skillet to cook the beef and the mushrooms and make the sauce.

Just make sure the skillet is oven-proof.

Using a skillet to sear the filets first is a way to ensure a crusty exterior and a tender, juicy interior. Finishing them off in the oven provides low and slow constant heat.

Another option is to grill the filets over a high heat and then move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish the cooking. When grilling, you'll need to make the sauce separately, keeping in mind it won't have any of those flavorful beefy pan juices or little bits of food that are packed with flavor.

Many metro Detroit chefs offer a version of zip sauce served with steaks.

In Detroit, the original Lelli's restaurant, which burned in 2000, is known as the originator of zip sauce. Lelli's, which now operates in Auburn Hills, Mich., serves the sauce with its famous filet mignon.

Lelli's, of course, won't dish on the recipe, only describing it as "a rich, buttery and slightly salty glaze." And if you've ever had it, it's arguably all of that.

Some Detroit area grocery and gourmet stores sell versions of zip sauce. Michael Esshaki, a former waiter at Lelli's in Detroit, created a zip sauce called the Original Zip Sauce. All you need to do is add butter. Order it at ___ BEEF FILET WITH BLUE CHEESE AND ZIP SAUCE Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 15 minutes Total time: 40 minutes Maggi Seasoning is an all-purpose sauce used to enhance flavors of sauces, soups and stews. Look for it in the condiment aisle.

4 beef tenderloin filets, 2 inches thick and about 5 ounces each Salt and pepper Favorite steak seasoning 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 4 cups thinly sliced cremini mushrooms 2 cups fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces \ cup sherry { to 1 cup fat-free beef broth 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar or Maggi Seasoning 1/3 cup reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles Season the beef filets on both sides with salt and pepper and, if using, steak seasoning. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When hot, add the beef filets (don't crowd them) and sear on both sides about 2 minutes or until well-browned.

Transfer the skillet to the oven to finish the cooking, about 12-15 minutes for medium rare, depending on the thickness. Remove from the oven and transfer the filets to a platter and keep warm.

Carefully using the same skillet (the handle will be hot), place it over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and butter. Add the mushrooms and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and saute 2 minutes until they are just crisp tender. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the skillet to a plate. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the sherry and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add the beef broth, balsamic vinegar and any of the juices from the platter. Bring to a boil and reduce until slightly thickened.

To serve, place a filet on a plate, top with a heaping tablespoon of blue cheese and a serving of the mushrooms and beans. Drizzle with the zip sauce and serve.

From and tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

374 calories (55 percent from fat ), 23 grams fat (8 grams sat. fat ), 9 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams protein, 385 mg sodium, 92 mg cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.

___ (c)2013 Detroit Free Press Visit the Detroit Free Press at Distributed by MCT Information Services ----- PHOTO (from MCT Photo Service, 202-383-6099): FILET-MIGNON

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