Vinegar glaze enhances steak

Basil Linguine makes fine side dish

January 23, 2008|By Linda Gassenheimer | Linda Gassenheimer,McClatchy-Tribune

Steak with onions and balsamic vinegar cooked to a sweet glaze is a perfect dinner. Linguine with fresh basil and tomatoes makes a colorful side dish.

Balsamic vinegar is made in Modena, Italy. To be sure you are buying good-quality vinegar, check the labels; grapes should be the only ingredient. Lesser-quality vinegars have brown sugar added. Top-quality balsamic vinegars are aged 25 to 50 years and are used drop by drop. Choose a medium-priced one for cooking.

Wine suggestion: Hearty steak with powerful balsamic vinegar is an occasion for a powerful Italian barolo.

Balsamic-Glazed Steak

-- Serves 2

3/4 pound skirt steak

olive-oil spray

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

salt and freshly ground pepper

Remove fat from meat. Spray a medium-size nonstick skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high. Saute steak 3 minutes per side if thin, 4 minutes per side if thicker.

Remove to cutting board. Add the onion and vinegar to the skillet. Cook to a glaze, 3 to 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the steak on a diagonal against the grain and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Divide it between 2 plates and spoon the glaze on top.

Per serving: 246 calories, 9 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 102 milligrams cholesterol, 36 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrate, 0 grams fiber, 96 milligrams sodium

Basil Linguine

-- Serves 2

4 ounces fresh linguine

1 medium tomato, diced (about 1 cup)

1 loosely packed cup fresh basil, torn into bite-size pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook 2 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl. Add tomato, basil and olive oil. Toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss again.

Per serving: 324 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 11 grams protein, 53 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 16 milligrams sodium

Helpful hints

Any type of quick-cooking steak can be used.

Already-chopped fresh onion and tomato are available in the produce section of many supermarkets.

Dried linguine, cooked according to package instructions, can be substituted.

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