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A simple horseradish cream sauce adds great flavor to the most decadent piece of meat, filet mignon. Whipping the cream before adding flavoring gives it luxurious body.

The tricky thing about cooking a filet is judging the doneness. Sometimes filets are several inches thick, making it difficult to predict exact cooking time - the outside sears long before the inside cooks through. For more predictability, look for filets that are only about 1-inch thick (or slice a very thick one in half, horizontally). If the meat is much thicker than 1 inch, finish it in a 400-degree oven for about 3 to 5 minutes after cooking it on the stovetop.

There are several ways to judge doneness. The visual: cut into the steak with a sharp knife to take a peek. The touch-test: medium-rare meat should feel almost firm to the touch, but with a bit of spring (like the flesh on the base of your thumb). With very thick steaks, be more scientific - use an instant-read meat thermometer, which should register about 130 degrees for medium rare; the meat continues to cook for a few minutes while you let it rest to distribute meat juices.

If you have a great-tasting main dish recipe that uses no more than five ingredients and can be made in 30 minutes or less, tell us. (Salt, pepper and oil for greasing a pan don't count.) If we print your recipe, we'll send you a 5:30 Challenge apron. Send recipe to 5:30 Challenge, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Eighth Floor, 72 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, or e-mail

Main course

Filet Mignon With Horseradish Cream Sauce

8 to 12 ounces filet mignon

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 to 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

- Season both sides of filets with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof, lightly oiled skillet, over high heat, sear the beef on both sides until browned. Sear the edges, by holding the meat with tongs, rotating it for even browning. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium rare (if your steak is more than 1 inch thick, place in a 400-degree oven at this point; keep an eye on it and check doneness with touch or instant-read thermometer). Let the meat rest while you make the sauce.

- With an electric mixer, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in sour cream, 1 tablespoon horseradish and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding additional horseradish as desired.

Serve meat sliced, with sauce on the side.

Makes 2 servings.Nutritional information per 4-ounce serving: 380 calories (percent of calories from fat, 72), 24g protein, 3g carbohydrates, trace fiber, 30g fat (15g saturated), 116mg cholesterol, 98mg sodium.