Monday, April 16, 2007

Sunday Supper: Country-Style Steak with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cheese Muffins

I was seriously awaiting the appearance of the Four Horsemen yesterday, ya'll. I mean, it was cold and windy as anything, and just a wretched, wretched day. The dog nearly lost her poor tiny mind. I swear I saw my mother-in-law fly by on her bike outside...

So it was time for some comfort food. Here below the Mason-Dixon line, that is something of a redundant statement -- all food is related to comfort. But I take personal pride in figuring out how to still eat warm, homey meals that remind me of home and childhood while maintaining my daintiness. THAT dichotomy really is a Southern thing -- how else could belles with 15 " waists have invented pecan pie?! Which literally involves like 990 calories a slice. (Not that it isn't worth it...)

The Country-Style Steak is my mother's recipe, though I've revamped it only slightly -- I use low-sodium gravy mix (I'm just so excitable folks, that I have high blood pressure). The garlic mashed potatoes, I believe, came from an online source, like or similar. And the cheese muffins are the combined efforts of myself and a Weight Watcher's cookbook from the 1980s. For real.

First the muffins -- I made them a day before, anyway. They save really well, just so long as they're in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cheese Muffins
Preheat your oven to 375 and spray a muffin tin with Pam or similar.

You'll need:
2 C. flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 t. table salt
1 t. paprika
1 t. Mrs. Dash

Sift these together into a large bowl and create a well in the middle.

2 T. melted, unsalted butter
1 large beaten egg
1 C. soy milk, light

Combine and pour into that little well.

1 t. basil, oregano, fresh chopped parsley
5 oz. feta or blue cheese (I like using one of the flavored fetas they have now, like the sun-dried tomato with herbs), divided into twelve portions

Once you've combined the dough (it will be lumpy), stir in the basil, oregano and parsley last. Fill each muffin hole with 1 T. of the batter, then topp with the cheese. Add another layer of batter to each muffin hole and top with any remaining crumbles of cheese. Bake for 25 min. until golden. 12 servings, at only 110 calories per muffin!

Country-Style Steak
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

You'll need:
1 -- 1.5 lbs. beef cubed steak
flour, salt and pepper
2 packages low-sodium brown gravy mix, water

Season all sides of the meat and then dredge thru flour. Brown all pieces in skillet, then drain any grease. Meanwhile, prepare gravy according to package instructions (i.e. combine the mix with water and heat). Pour the gravy into the skillet with the meat and bring to a boil. Then lower heat and simmer on low, covered, for 45 min, shifting the pieces occasionally.

Serves 4 -- 6, depending on how much steak you buy. Each serving is just 200 calories, but watch your portions -- don't use much more than 1/4 C. of the gravy if you're watching you figure.

While your steak is simmering, get your potatoes going! I bake them first in the microwave, but you can go old-school and use the oven.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

You'll need:
1.5 lbs (about 4 medium to large) baking potatoes, cooked and tender
5 --7 garlic cloves, minced (to taste)
2 T. butter
1/3 -- 1/2 C. light soy milk (depends on how milky you like your potatoes)
salt and fresh pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped parsley

Spoon all the meat from the potatoes into a medium bowl. In a small skillet, heat the garlic, milk and butter together until just bubbly and hot. Pour over potatoes and mash. Stir in salt, pepper and parsley -- plus any extra milk if you want them creamier. If you're using light soy, the calories are pretty low.

Serves 6, only 90 calories per serving! I save my 1/4 c. of the steak gravy to go over these bad boys. Mmmm. Just like when I was a kid (looong before I ever worried about my weight at all :)

Comfort Easy Listening:
Listen to any music that makes you nostalgic! This is different for eveyone -- I listen to Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins "El Paso" and other songs I recall from my childhood! Trust me -- it puts you in a better mood.

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