Sunday, April 13, 2014

Beef Stroganoff

This one's a throwback to the cuisine of the 1980's. My mom always used to make beef stroganoff with ground beef, but I haven't had it in years. This is my take on a recipe from the 1987 Philadelphia Rotary Club Cookbook.

This can be served over any noodles or rice - I used some homemade pappardelle.

Serves 4:
2 pounds beef (chuck), cut into cubes
5 tablespoons bacon grease, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup chopped onion (about ½ large white onion)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 six oz. can tomato paste
12 oz. beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry red wine
½ cup sour cream
Curley parsley
Salt and pepper

Heat a dutch oven up over medium high heat, toss in a tablespoon or so of bacon fat and brown the beef in two batches. Remove the beef from the pot, turn down the heat to medium, add in another tablespoon of bacon fat if you need it and add the mushrooms and onions. Cook for about 4 minutes then add your garlic and cook for another two minutes. Remove the mushrooms, onions and garlic from the pot and set aside.

Add 3 tablespoons bacon grease to the pot. Add in 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk to form a roux. Cook for 1 minute. Add in the stock and the wine and stir to combine. Add in the meat, the mushroom mixture, the tomato paste and the bay leaf.

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours until tender. If you want to make this ahead (or have leftovers), you’re finished at this point.

When you’re ready to eat, reheat the stroganoff and add in ½ cup sour cream. Serve over noodles.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Zucchini 'Pappardelle' with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

This meal is basically ‘how to eat a meal of nothing but vegetables and still make it taste great.’ Spoiler alert: the answer is to add a good bit of extra virgin olive oil and parmesan cheese. This is also really quick to cook, since everything can be done in one pan at the same time.

For 1 serving:
~ 2 zucchinis, peeled
Handful of asparagus
Handful of cherry tomatoes
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Lemon Juice
Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Basil

Cut off the rounded ends of the zucchini and using a mandolin (or a knife if you want to be Mr./Mrs. Precision McKnifework) slice into 1/8” thick ribbons. Cut the ribbons in half down the middle. Lay out the slices of zucchini in one layer on a tray (or anything that will hold them) and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the asparagus by removing the woody stem ends. Then, take a paring knife and peel off layers of the remaining stem, from the head on downward. Your asparagus stalks should look like shaved poodles when you’re finished.

Halve the cherry tomatoes, cut up the garlic and onions and your prep work is done.

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add in a good lug of extra virgin olive oil and toss in the zucchini, asparagus, tomatoes, onion and garlic. Cook over medium for about 7 minutes, then sprinkle on some lemon juice. Season with a pepper and a little salt if you think you need it.

Chiffonade your basil by stacking a few leaves on top of each other, rolling them up like a cigarette and cutting into thin strips.  Serve the veggies with the basil, parmesan cheese, and an extra squirt of olive oil.