Friday, 23 April 2010

Beef Stroganoff

This week's recipe is really yummy. I couldn't be bothered to get out my cookbook when I wanted to make Beef Stroganoff this week, and it turned out so well that I decided to write it down for next time! I usually use ground beef - simply because it's cheaper, and I always have it in the freezer. But stroganoff is ten times better if you have a nice cut of beef, cut into bite sized pieces, and simmered for an hour so it's falling apart!! Oh, yum. This recipe will work with both. Enjoy!

Beef Stroganoff - serves 4ish

1 lb. beef (ground beef or beef tips, trimmed)
8 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (or a 15 oz can, drained)
1 onion, diced
1-2t pressed/crushed garlic (depending on your tastes)
1.5 C water
3 bullion cubes (enough to make 3C beef broth - however your bullion specifies)
1/2 C dry red wine (merlot is very nice)
1T Worcestershire
1/4C cold water
3T cornstarch
1/2 - 1C plain yogurt or sour cream (sour cream works best - yogurt tends to separate. Use more or less to taste)
cooked egg noodles, penne or rotini for all

  1. Begin to brown the beef. For ground beef, when it is 1/2 done add the onions and mushrooms. For beef cubes (you'll need to use a bit of oil), add them when the beef is brown on all sides. Continue to cook until the onions and mushrooms are soft - about 5-8 min. Add garlic and sautee 1 min.
  2. Dissolve the bullion in the water. I find that hot water makes it easier. There is 2x the bullion as compared to water to give the stroganoff better flavor. Add the beef broth, wine and Worcestershire to the skillet, reduce to medium/low and simmer ground beef about 10 minutes, beef cubes (covered) 45min - or until very tender.
  3. Mix the cornstarch with the cold water until the lumps are gone, then slowly add to skillet, stirring constantly until thickened - about 1 min. (taste the sauce before hand - if it tastes weak, you can use wine instead of water) The sauce should be fairly thick. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking, then stir in sour cream or yogurt - which will thin it a bit.
  4. Serve over fresh hot egg noodles, penne or rotini!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

West Coast Salmon & Shrimp

Here is another fish recipe for you! I'm supposed to eat more Salmon for the Omega-3s, according to my midwife. Here is a wonderful recipe to help me do that - although you can sub any fish you happen to like. It's also not as high in fat as many cream sauce recipes, because it's thickened with cornstarch instead of a roux. I try to make it once every week or 2!


West Coast Salmon & Shrimp


Serves 4, or 2 with great leftovers

Ingredients:
2 T butter or olive oil
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly (into 1/2 rings)
1C sliced mushrooms (or 1 can, drained)
1T minced garlic (about 3-4 cloves pressed - I use the stuff in a jar)

1.5 C milk
1 T fresh dill (1/2T dried)
1/2t salt
1/2 t fresh cracked pepper
1/4C milk
2T cornstarch (if you use arrowroot powder, the quantity will be different - hopefully you know how much!)

1 lb. salmon, cubed (or other fish - I've tried cod and it was good)
1 C shrimp (fresh or cooked)

Fresh parm
Hot, cooked rice - white or brown

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375F. Heat the butter in a large skillet and begin to sautee the onions. After 5 min, add the mushrooms and sautee until everything is tender and browning. Add the garlic for the last minute, to keep it from burning. It seems like a lot of garlic, but it mellows in the oven.
  2. Pour in the 1.5C of milk, and add all the seasonings, and bring to a simmer. It looks like a lot of dill, but it also mellows with baking. Taste and adjust the salt & pepper if needed. It may taste a bit bland now - it will take a lot of flavor from the fish as it bakes. Just make sure it's salted enough, as you'll be serving it over unsalted rice.
  3. Mix together the 1/4 C milk and 2T cornstarch until it is very smooth, then add to the skillet, stirring constantly. Simmer 1 min. or until thickened.
  4. Stir in cubed fish and shrimp - if your shrimp was frozen, thaw it in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes then drain before adding.
  5. Spray a 2 qt. casserole dish with oil and pour in your sauce. Cover and bake for 30 min. or until fish (and shrimp) are done. If you like, sprinkle with fresh parm and broil until brown. Or just serve each plate topped with some.
  6. Serve over white or brown rice with a steamed green veggie!
My extra notes:

  • This dish favors lots of changes. Last time I added a can of crab (undrained for more flavor). You can also sub whatever fish your meat dept. happens to have on sale. It works equally well with strong fish (like salmon) and white fish (cod, haddock, etc) although salmon is my favorite.
  • Increase or decrease the fish ingredients - use all fish, or all shrimp, or one of those 'fish pie' mixes with several types of fish, squid, shrimp, clams, etc. Use around 2-3 C of meat total.
  • Make it a complete meal by adding 1-2C frozen broccoli flowers(thawed), or peas. If you use fresh broccoli, steam it for 2-3 min. before adding, to be sure it cooks all the way through. I would make a bit more sauce (and of course use a bigger casserole) to make sure that there's plenty of sauce for the rice. If you need to thicken it more, you want to aim for a medium/thick consistency. It will thin slightly in the oven, and you want it to soak into your rice, not run all over your plate.
  • If someone is not a mushroom lover, but is willing to pick them out, the person who will eat the mushrooms will thank you for leaving them in. They're super yummy.
  • I usually make this up at lunchtime (while Abby is napping) and hold it in the fridge until dinner. If your casserole is cold, you'll want to give it 45 minutes to bake. Removing it from the fridge 30 min or so before baking will help, too.
  • Wonderful with garlic bread!