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Weekday dinner inspirations: Pan-Grilled Beef Fillet With Marsala Peppercorn Sauce and more

Mon | Pasta plenty

Make a quick Shrimp Scampi Pasta by sauteing minced garlic and a bit of shallot in equal parts butter and olive oil. Add some white wine and toss in peeled shrimp and small broccoli florets that have been steamed. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook through and serve over angel-hair pasta with a sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley. (Save some of the pasta water in case you need to loosen the sauce.) French bread and a spinach salad complete the meal.

Tues | TV night

The Winter Olympics or American Idol tonight? Maybe a little of both? Even though you're not in training, go healthy with a Big Green Salad loaded with veggies. For protein, toss on sliced hard-boiled eggs and canned tuna. Any dressing will do, though don't drown out the goodness. Breadsticks on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Carve the bird and serve with BLT Salad. Mix ice-cold Romaine with halved cherry or grape tomatoes. Just before serving, dress lightly with ranch and top with crumbled, cooked bacon and chunky croutons.

Thurs | Save!

Cheesy-Egg Bagel Sandwiches are inexpensive and filling. Toast the bagel and add a fried egg (I break the yolk) with cheese melted on top. If you've got sliced ham, warm that, too. Tomato slice? Sure. Forage in the freezer and see if you've got any frozen hash browns or tater tots. On the side; a sliced apple or any other fruit you have.

Fri | Splurge!

Pan-Grilled Beef Fillet With Marsala Peppercorn Sauce (recipe below) is a deliciously extravagant way to end the week. Serve with twice-baked potatoes and a Caesar salad. TGIF, indeed.

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>>easy

Pan-Grilled Beef Fillet With

Marsala Peppercorn Sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided use

4 (6-ounce) beef fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick, at room temperature

Sea salt

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

2 teaspoons green peppercorns

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced (see note)

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1/2 cup Marsala wine

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Divide 1 tablespoon of the olive oil between steaks and rub into both sides; season with salt. Crush black and green peppercorns with the flat side of a knife and press half of the peppercorns into both sides the steaks, reserving the remaining peppercorns for the sauce. Sprinkle the rosemary on both sides of the steaks and press it into the meat.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Place the steaks in the skillet for 5 to 6 minutes per side, turning only once, for medium-rare, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 120 degrees. Remove the steaks to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let them rest for about 5 minutes.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet. Add the shallots and saute for about 2 minutes just to soften them. Add the Marsala, vinegar and the remaining black and green peppercorns, and simmer for about 2 minutes, until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the butter. Spoon the sauce over the steaks and serve warm.

Serves 4.

Note: Substitute 1 teaspoon minced dried rosemary for fresh.

Source: Sara Foster's Casual Cooking (Clarkson Potter, 2007)

Weekday dinner inspirations: Pan-Grilled Beef Fillet With Marsala Peppercorn Sauce and more 02/16/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 16, 2010 3:30am]

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