Olives, walnuts, capers enliven steak
Sautéed steak flavored with the bountiful produce of the Mediterranean — olives, walnuts and capers, provides a quick, 15-minute dinner.
The flavors of this fascinating area have captured the imagination of travelers for centuries. Add a glass of red wine and you can understand why it is said the wars of the area were fought over olive groves and vineyards.
Serve with couscous, which takes only five minutes to make. It's made from semolina flour and is, in fact, a form of pasta rather than what many people think is a grain. You just boil water, remove from heat, add the couscous, cover and let stand. In this case, I've added fresh mint and chopped tomatoes to add a fresh flavor that goes well with the steak.
Tip: Use a skillet that just fits the steak to capture the pan juices. A larger skillet will cause the juices to boil off.
3⁄4 pound steak (skirt, flank, etc.)
1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Olive oil spray
1 tablespoon walnut pieces
8 sliced green olives
2 tablespoons capers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove visible fat from steak and sprinkle both sides with cayenne. Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Brown steak two minutes per side. Sprinkle walnuts, olives and capers into skillet and over steak. Lower heat to medium and cook two minutes for medium rare. A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees. Cook two minutes longer for thick steak. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, place couscous on two dinner plates, carve steak and place on top. Spoon any pan juices over steak. Makes two servings.
1 cup water
1⁄2 cup couscous
1 cup diced tomatoes
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh mint
Bring water to a boil. Remove from heat and add couscous and tomatoes. Cover with a lid and let stand five minutes. When ready, fluff up with a fork. Add mint and salt and pepper to taste. Makes two servings.
Linda Gassenheimer is the author of 14 cookbooks including her newest, "The Flavors of the Florida Keys" and "Mix 'n Match Meals in Minutes for People with Diabetes." Visit Linda on her web page at DinnerInMinutes.com or e-mail her at Linda@DinnerInMinutes.com.