Originally created 01/18/06

Add Dijon for French flavor in cube steak



Cube steaks, dredged in flour and pan-fried, are a weeknight family comfort entree often topped with creamy milk gravy. I've given this down-home family meal a slightly gourmet turn with the help of Dijon mustard.

The French mustard elevates the pan-fried cube steaks in two ways. First, the steaks are brushed with the mustard before being dredged in seasoned flour and pan-fried. Second, the steaks are topped with a luscious, low-fat sauce that's flavored with the mustard.

When pan-frying your cube steaks, be sure your oil is hot before adding your steaks. (The oil should sizzle when a bit of flour is added.) This step helps ensure that the steaks won't stick to the bottom of the pan and that they are nicely browned. After they hit the oiled pan, don't move them until you are ready to turn them over so that they have a crusty coating.

Once all of the steaks are browned on each side and done to your liking ( we like ours with just a bit of pink in the center), remove them to a serving plate while you whisk together the sauce. First, chicken broth is added to deglaze the pan. Using a whisk or spoon to loosen any browned bits of flour remaining on the bottom of the pan will add flavor to your sauce. The sauce gets its creaminess from a slurry of fat-free half- and- half and cornstarch to keep the fat grams down. The sauce is flavored with the mustard along with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.

The mustard flavor in this dish is not overpowering, so give it a try even if you're not a mustard lover. Consider substituting boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or boneless pork loin chops in place of the cube steaks for a tasty variation. Cook a package of your favorite rice mix and steam some fresh broccoli to complete your menu.

Cube Steaks Dijon

For the steaks:

1½ pounds cube steak, cut into six equal portions

¼ cup Dijon mustard

1 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons canola oil

For the sauce:

½ cup chicken broth

½ teaspoon cornstarch

½ cup fat-free half- and- half

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the steaks: Brush both sides of the cube steaks with the Dijon mustard. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a plate. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge both sides of the steaks in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Place a single layer of steaks in the skillet and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Place on a platter, set aside and continue with remaining oil and flour-coated cube steaks. Remove steaks to the platter and set aside while you prepare the sauce.

For the sauce: Pour the chicken broth into the skillet over medium-high heat. Stir and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Combine the cornstarch and half-and-half in a bowl and add to the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, whisk in the Dijon and season with the salt and pepper. Pour over the steaks and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 366 calories, 19.5 grams fat, 6 grams saturated, 82 milligrams cholesterol, 587 milligrams sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates, 33 grams protein

Nutritional analysis provided by r egistered d ietitian Rachel Brookshire, the nutritional education specialist for the Richmond County School Nutrition Program, in conjunction with the Augusta Area Dietetic Association.

Coming next week: Crockpot Chile Verde is a tasty filling for flour tortillas that uses canned salsa verde to season up cubed pork tenderloin.

See Karin prepare the recipe at noon Tuesday on WJBF-TV (Channel 6).

Write to Karin Calloway in care of The Augusta Chronicle Newsroom, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Or send e-mail to karin.calloway@comcast.net. You can find previous Quick Cooking recipes through the online archive at augustachronicle.com/karin.