Flank Steak with Maker's Mark Reduction & Sweet Plantains

Every year for Valentine's Day, Alex and I play "Chopped" for dinner. We head to Wegmans and give each other "baskets" with four ingredients of our choosing and then let the other person shop for their accompanying ingredients. This year my basket from Alex consisted of flank steak, fluff, peanuts, and a plantain. (He thinks it's funny to give me processed foods because they make me squirm.)
I first decided to make sweet plantains, and cook them as I would apples for french toast syrup. I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to use the fluff as well, in a sticky sweet sauce which would go over the plantains. Now to stick with this "sweet" theme, I wanted to sear the steak and then to deglaze the pan with Maker's Mark whiskey (which has notes of caramel) and then add a little butter and chopped peanuts. You probably noticed the other beautiful little savory side on the table: citrus pickled red onions over white rice (one of my personal favorites).
Little did I know, this wacky combination of ingredients would yield one of the most delicious meals that I've ever made.

Flank Steak with Maker's Mark Reduction
& Sweet Plantains
Yield: 2 Servings

Flank Steak with Maker's Mark Reduction
3/4 lb flank steak
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup Maker's Mark
2 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts
1 tablespoon butter
kosher salt
ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and preheat a grill pan over high heat. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel, rub it with the tablespoon of olive oil, and liberally sprinkle it with the kosher salt and black pepper. Place it onto the grill pan for 3-4 minutes on each side until it's perfectly seared, then remove it from the pan and place it onto a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, deglaze the grill pan by adding the butter, then the Maker's Mark. After it has reduced for a few minutes, add the peanuts and take it off of the heat. When you remove the steak from the oven, allow it to rest for another 10 minutes to let the juice re-disburse.

Sweet Plantains
1 ripe plantain
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 dash cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup fluff

Cut the ends off of the plantain and use a paring knife to slice off the exterior skin. Slice it in half lengthwise, and then slice each half into thirds. Place a small pan over medium heat and add the butter. After it's melted, place the plantains onto the pan and turn the heat to low after they're browned on each side (after 3-5 minutes). Next, add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and allow them to cook for another fifteen minutes or until they're softened.
In the mean time, place a small pot over low heat and add the heavy cream and the cinnamon sticks. Allow this to simmer for ten minutes, then take it off of the heat and stir in the fluff until it's completely incorporated.

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