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« Valley Food Home

By Linda Gassenheimer

Published: Wed, February 8, 2017 @ 12:00 a.m.

Impress your valentine Flavorful Steak and Potatoes

By Linda Gassenheimer

Tribune News Service (TNS)

Try this pan-roasted steak with mushroom pesto sauce for a Valentine’s Day meal at home next week or for any time. It won’t break your calorie bank. Thick-sliced portobello mushrooms make the base for this sauce. Pesto sauce made with fresh basil, parsley, olive oil and Parmesan cheese originated in Genoa, Italy. Adding mushrooms to a prepared pesto sauce gives it an earthy flavor.

The Hot Pepper Potatoes are microwaved and then browned in the same skillet used to cook the steak. Microwaving the potatoes saves time, and there’s no pot to wash. If you do not have a microwave oven, I’ve also given a stove top method for boiling the potatoes.

Open a bag of washed, ready-to-eat lettuce to complete this meal.

Fred Tasker’s wine suggestion: The earthy mushrooms call for an earthy red wine, maybe a French Cotes du Rhone red.

Helpful Hints:

Use the same skillet to cook the mushrooms, then the steak, and to finish the potatoes.

Any type of quick-cooking steak can be substituted for tenderloin: flank, skirt, or strip.


Microwave potatoes.

Saute mushrooms.

Make mushroom pesto sauce.

Cook the steak.

Finish the potatoes.

Shopping List:

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Dinner in Minutes.

To buy: 3/4 pound grass-fed beef tenderloin steak, 1 small container reduced-fat pesto sauce, 1/4 pound sliced baby bello mushrooms, 1 small bunch watercress (optional) and 1 pound red potatoes.

Staples: olive oil spray, olive oil, hot pepper sauce, salt and black peppercorns.


RECIPE by Linda Gassenheimer

Olive oil spray

1/4pound sliced baby bello mushrooms (about 12/3 cups)

3 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons reduced-fat pesto sauce

3/4pound grass-fed beef tenderloin

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Several sprigs watercress (optional)

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Add mushrooms and saute 1 minute, turn and saute 1 minute. Transfer to a food processor and add the water and pesto sauce. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Add the steak to the same skillet. Sear over high heat for 2 minutes, turn and sear 2 minutes. Turn heat down to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees. Or, cook another 2 minutes for medium (160 degrees.) Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper to taste. Slice steak, divide between 2 dinner plates and spoon sauce on top. Reserve skillet for the potatoes. Place watercress on the plate for a garnish.

Yield 2 servings.

Per serving: 323 calories (48 percent from fat), 17.1 g fat (5.6 g saturated, 7.2 g monounsaturated), 87 mg cholesterol, 39.3 g protein, 4.5 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fiber, 238 mg sodium.


Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 pound red potatoes

2 teaspoons olive oil

Several drops hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Wash potatoes, do not peel and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 5 minutes. Test with a fork. If not soft, continue to microwave 2 more minutes.

When steak is removed from the skillet, add the olive oil and hot pepper sauce to the skillet. Raise the heat to high. Add the potatoes and toss until crisp and golden, about 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the steak.

Yield 2 servings.

Stove top method:

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium-high and boil 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Drain and continue with the recipe.

Per serving: 199 calories (22 percent from fat), 4.8 g fat (0.7 g saturated, 2.2 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 4.3 g protein, 36.1 g carbohydrates, 3.9 g fiber, 49 mg sodium.

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