Sunday, December 27, 2015

Hamburger Stroganoff

I decided this was the perfect recipe for a cold, rainy day here in North Texas.  After huddling last night in the hallway as tornadoes battered parts of the region, comfort food was in order.  I realized I hadn't posted this recipe online before.  Luckily, I found a blurry recipe card in my old-fashioned index card file.

Now, full disclosure: This is NOT a gourmet version of  stroganoff.  The beef is ground, there are no vegetables involved, and the hardest tasks are opening a couple of cans.  What it IS is that wonderful nostalgic kind of food that those of us who grew up in the 1970's remember fondly.  (I will admit that I have increased the seasoning and tinkered with the healthfulness of the ingredients a bit.)

Try it and see what you think.

Hamburger Stroganoff
Serves 6-8.

1/4 cup unsalted butter (You could use olive oil, I guess, but I don't.)
1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced (I substitute 2 tablespoons garlic pepper to kick up the flavor.)
1 pound ground beef (I use a mix of lean ground beef and ground turkey.)
2 tablespoons flour
8 ounces sliced mushrooms  (The original calls for a can of "Broiled in Butter" mushrooms, but I don't think they are made anymore.  You can use fresh.  I split the difference and used a jar of Green Giant sliced mushrooms. Don't drain them.  If you use fresh, you might add 2 or 3 ounces of water. You want the liquid.)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (I know, I know.  But at least I use "Healthy Request.")
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt.  Cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic (or garlic pepper) and continue to cook for 30 seconds.  Add the ground meat and cook until slightly browned, stirring occasionally to break meat up.

Add flour and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.

Add soup and cook for 10 minutes.

Taste and add salt, pepper and/or garlic pepper to taste.

Stir in the sour cream and heat through.  Taste once more and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Serve over rice (my preference) or buttered egg noodles.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Food and Wine Says, "Make, Don't Buy" These Things

Here's an interesting interactive feature from Food & Wine on things you should make yourself, rather than buy.  I would agree, especially on mac and cheese and vinaigrette.  I would also add ricotta to this list.  So easy.

What would you add to the list?  Post in the comments below.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

"What's in the Refrigerator" Soup

I am sick and tired of throwing food away.  Even if it's just into the compost bin, I hate it.  So, in the spirit of "Clean Out the Refrigerator Quiche", I've been salvaging bits of veggies from the produce share to make soup about once a week.  It's a healthy lunch...and sometimes for me, even a quick breakfast.)  Here's this week's edition.  But remember, it's a technique, not a recipe.  Riff on it to your heart's content.

"What's in the Refrigerator" Soup
Servings?  Depends on you...

Take one link smoked sausage (I used andouille.) and chop into half-inch pieces.  Put in a stock pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely browned.  Add one onion, chopped; four stalks of celery, thinly sliced; and four carrots, thinly sliced. Continue to saute, stirring periodically, for 4-5 minutes.

Add one bunch coarsely chopped collard greens and one-half head of cabbage, chopped.  Stir until incorporated.

Add 6-8 cups liquid.  (I used a combination of storebought chicken stock and water.) Season with whatever moves you...a bit of salt and pepper, some Italian seasoning, thyme, a bay leaf or two.  Like I said, whatever moves you.  Bring to the boil and then simmer until vegetables are softened, about 25 minutes. (If desired, add one can of white beans, rinsed and drained, during the last 10 minutes of cooking.)

Enjoy with some crusty bread and feel superior because you didn't throw food away.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Momofuku Ssam Sauce

I've not been big on recipes lately.  Instead, have been experimenting.  Or just cooking simply with good ingredients.

But one way to add interest is new sauces and seasonings.  I wrangled an on-sale pork shoulder into the Dutch over last week for a braise and decided to make it Momofuku Bo Ssam style. Made the two sauces that come with...but did lettuce wraps instead of steamed buns.

And the wonderful surprise?  Plenty of Ssam sauce leftover.  I put it in a squeeze bottle and threw it in the fridge.  So far, it's been great on seared tuna, roasted asparagus and steamed new potatoes.  The possibilities seem endless. Post your ideas/successes in the comments below.

This one is definitely worth the trip to an Asian supermarket.

Makes one cup.

2 tablespoons fermented bean-and-chili paste (ssamjang) (Pictured.)
1 tablespoon chili paste (kochujang)
½ cup sherry vinegar
½ cup neutral oil (like grapeseed)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Salmon with Greek Yogurt Sauce

I know, I's been a while.  Sorry.  Sometimes the beautiful life doesn't include being chained to a blog posting schedule.  That said, I'll try to do better.

While it's only spring, we're already starting to see talk of Alaskan wild salmon.  (Which is the only kind you should eat, by the way.  It's the most sustainable of all.)  And even if you're not seeing the fresh stuff yet, "previously frozen" is perfectly fine.

I found some beautiful fish on big-time sale at our local supermarket and couldn't resist.  We've been into Greek flavors lately.  (Even found our favorite gyros place that delivers!)  So I took some of those ubiquitous ingredients and created this cool (literally and figuratively) sauce/relish to top salmon called however you like it best...whether roasted, steamed or poached. Hopefully, you'll have leftovers that you can flake over spinach with some additional cucumber, maybe a cut-up tomato, and the yogurt sauce as a creamy dressing.  Let me know what you think.

Greek Yogurt Sauce
Makes enough for 3-4 servings of salmon. (Use don't overwhelm the delicious salmon you're craving.)

1 cup yogurt (Plain and non-fat preferably.  You can use Greek, but it makes the sauce a little thick for my taste.)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cucumber, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon oregano (more if you want)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped dill (if you have it)
Pinch of kosher salt
Generous shake or two of ground pepper

Mix all ingredients.  Refrigerate, but let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving on the salmon.