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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

Last night I searched the net for a good beef stroganoff recipe. There's tons out there so I just winged it and made what I thought would be good. Good thing I trusted my gut because it was pretty darn good. I'm going from memory here, but I wanted to get my method down so I can make it in the future. There were no real exact measurements so if you want exact measurements than this will frustrate you.

Ingredients:

1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs. beef steak cut into 1 inch chunks (sirloin, tenderloin, or the tenderest cut your money can buy)
butter
flour
1 sweet onion, sliced into strips
bacon (optional), cut up into pieces
garlic
red wine
2 1/2 cups beef broth
mushrooms
worcestershire sauce
sour cream
cooked buttered noodles

In a cast iron skillet, melt about a tablespoon of butter. Lightly coat the beef in flour, shaking off any excess. Salt and pepper the meat, and sear the beef over med high heat on each side until brown. Remove from pan to a towel lined plate.

In a separate deep pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook the onion strips over med low heat until soft and lightly browned. If using bacon, skip the butter and fry the onions and bacon in the bacon drippings. Once cooked, add a few minced cloves of garlic and cook a minute or so, being careful not to burn. Deglaze the pan with a good amount of red wine, probably 1/2 to 1 cup, making sure to really scrape the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Cook until liquid is decreased by half. Add about 2 cups beef broth. Once the mixture starts simmering, add a package of sliced baby portabella mushrooms. Add a few shakes of worcestershire sauce. In a separate bowl, pour about 1/4 to 1/3 cup beef broth. Heat in microwave until hot. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of flour into the broth and whisk until thick, making a thick roux. Add the roux to the mixture in the pan. Stir and simmer over med/low heat until thickened. Add the beef to the pan. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup sour cream, until desired creaminess is achieved. The stroganoff should not be runny, but smooth.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

For this week's soup I dug out my Mitford Cookbook for a recipe I've made only once before. It was great the first time, but a little messy with having to transfer the soup into the food processor in batches and puree, so I never made it again. I couldn't wait to try it out with the immersion blender. Man, what a difference that makes. It was SO easy! I love that thing!
Anyway, here's my take on the recipe:

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

2 TBS olive oil
1 cup chopped green onions or shallots
4 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups chopped jarred roasted red peppers, drained
2 (14 1/2 oz.) cans whole stewed tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 - 1/2 cup half and half
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream or cheese for serving

Warm the olive oil in a large heavy sauce pan over medium heat. Add the green onions and saute until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, red peppers, tomatoes, sugar, garlic and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add in the half and half (or whipping cream if you're going for it!) until desired creaminess is achieved. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with sour cream or parmesan cheese.

Swiss Chard Pizza


I treated my aunt Kathy and I Friday night to this wonderful pizza posted by Kara on her blog. I got some nice swiss chard in my CSA box this week and this was the best recipe for it! I will definitely make this again, and I think next time I might toss in a little sauteed granny smith apples. It would really compliment the walnuts and cheese. Kathy's going to make it topped with grilled chicken. Oh, and to make it easy, I used pre-made pizza dough from Trader Joe's.