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Dinner in Minutes: Pepper steak festive choice

Shopping list

To buy: 1 pound red potatoes, 1 bottle crushed rosemary, 1 bunch watercress, ¾ pound beef tenderloin (or strip steak, rib eye, flank steak, skirt steak), 2 medium-size shallots, 1 jar cracked pepper, ¼ pound sliced button mushrooms, 1 small carton light cream and 1 can olive oil spray.

Staples: Brandy, minced garlic, salt and peppercorns.

By Linda Gassenheimer
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, 9:15 p.m.
 

A perfect quick dinner for the holiday season is steak au poivre, French for steak with pepper sauce. I used a small piece of beef tenderloin, but any other quick-cooking steak — strip, rib-eye, skirt or flank — can be used.

The accompanying pepper and mushroom sauce uses shallots, a mild-flavored member of the onion family. Shallots break down as they cook, making a smoother sauce than their onion cousins. Red or white onions could be substituted.

The Garlic Rosemary Potatoes take only a few minutes in a microwave.

Merlot, which can be nicely rich and peppery itself, would make a fine match.

Steak au Poivre (Steak With Pepper and Mushroom Sauce)

4 cups watercress, washed and large stems discarded

Olive oil cooking spray

½ tablespoon cracked pepper

¾ pound beef tenderloin, fat removed

2 medium-size shallots, chopped (¼ cup)

½ teaspoon minced garlic

¼ pound sliced button mushrooms, (1½ cups)

2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons light cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Divide the watercress between two dinner plates and set aside.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Press the cracked pepper onto both sides of the steak and add to the skillet. Brown for 2 minutes; turn and brown the second side for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate.

Lower the heat to medium and add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes. Return the to the skillet, and cook until done, for 5 minutes for a 3-inch thick tenderloin (3 minutes for thinner flank steak). A thermometer should read 145 degrees for medium-rare, 160 degrees for medium.

Add the brandy and cook for a few seconds. Place the steak on the bed of watercress. Add the cream to the skillet and stir to combine with the mushrooms and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the steak and serve with the potatoes.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 369 calories, 16 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 124 milligrams cholesterol, 42 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 137 milligrams sodium

Garlic Rosemary Potatoes

1 pound red potatoes

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Olive oil cooking spray

2 teaspoons crushed rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Wash the potatoes (do not peel), and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place the potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Remove the potatoes and add the garlic. Cover and microwave for 3 more minutes. Test to see whether the potatoes are cooked. They should be soft through. Add another minute if needed. Coat the potatoes with cooking spray, sprinkle with rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Toss well.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 188 calories, 2 grams fat (1 gram saturated),0 cholesterol, 5 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams dietary fiber, 46 milligrams sodium

Hint

The quickest way to wash watercress is to place it head first into a bowl of water. Leave it for a minute, then lift out and shake dry.

Cracked pepper can be found in the spice section of the supermarket.

Linda Gassenheimer is a food writer for the Miami Herald. Write to her in care of Living, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale St., Pittsburgh, PA, 15212, or emailtribliving@tribweb.com.

 

 
 


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