Dinner in minutes

Rich, peppery French steak dish a festive holiday choice

 

Side Dish

Garlic Rosemary Potatoes

1 pound red potatoes

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Olive oil spray

2 teaspoons crushed rosemary

Salt and freshly ground pepper

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

Per serving: 188 calories (11 percent from fat), 2.3 g fat (0.5 g saturated, 1.1 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 4.6 g protein, 39.6 g carbohydrates, 5.4 g fiber, 46 mg sodium.


Main Dish

Steak Au Poivre (Steak with Pepper and Mushroom Sauce)

4 cups watercress, washed and large stems discarded

Olive oil spray

1/2 tablespoon cracked pepper

3/4 pound beef tenderloin, fat removed

2 medium-size shallots, chopped (1/4 cup)

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1/4 pound sliced button mushrooms, (1 1/2 cups)

2 tablespoons brandy

2 tablespoons light cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Divide watercress between two dinner plates and set aside.

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

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

Add brandy and cook a few seconds. Place steak on bed of watercress. Add cream to skillet and stir to combine with mushrooms and shallots. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over steak and serve with potatoes. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 369 calories (38 percent from fat), 15.7 g fat (6.2 g saturated, 6.3 g monounsaturated), 124 mg cholesterol, 41.8 g protein, 6.8 g carbohydrates, 1.4 g fiber, 137 mg sodium.


linda@dinnerinminutes.com

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 potatoes only take a few minutes in a microwave.

This meal contains 557 calories per serving with 29 percent of calories from fat.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: Merlot, which can be nicely rich and peppery itself, would make a fine match.

Helpful Hints

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

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

Countdown

• Make potatoes

• Make steak

Shopping list

To buy: 1 pound red potatoes, 1 bottle crushed rosemary, 1 bunch watercress, 3/4 pound beef tenderloin (or strip steak, rib eye, flank steak, skirt steak), 2 medium-size shallots, 1 jar cracked pepper, 1/4 pound sliced button mushrooms, 1 small carton light cream and 1 can olive oil spray.

Staples: Brandy, minced garlic, salt and peppercorns.

Linda Gassenheimer’s latest book is “The Flavors of the Florida Keys.” Her website is dinnerinminutes.com. Follow her on Twitter @lgassenheimer.

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