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Beefing Up Dinner with Beef Stroganoff over Buttered Noodles

There are some recipes that are classics that seem to get lost in the shuffle these days and you just do not see them around very often. Michelle had approached me not that long ago and said she really felt like having beef stroganoff for dinner one night. Now I had never made beef stroganoff before, and it is not hard to make at all, but I probably have not had any since I was a child. It just isn’t something I see around that often anymore or that a lot of people make at home. Anyway, there are plenty of recipes out there on the Internet and in cookbooks with various ways to make it, but I decided to stick to a very basic recipe that I found from Tyler Florence on the Food Network and give it a try.

Beef Stroganoff over Buttered Noodles

3 cups beef stock
1 carrot, chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons sour cream, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 (1-pound) package wide egg noodles

Heat the beef stock with the carrot, 3 thyme sprigs, and the bay leaf in a large saucepan over medium heat. Pat the beef dry and season it with salt and pepper. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed Dutch oven over high heat. Fry the meat in batches so that it is browned on all sides. Lower the heat to medium and return all the meat to the pot. Add the onions and cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour in the cognac or brandy and cook until the alcohol has burned off, about 5 minutes. Add the beef stock, discarding the carrot, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf. Cook, partially covered, over a very low flame for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and the remaining 3 thyme sprigs and cook until the mushrooms are browned and cooked through. Remove the mixture from the heat and set it aside.

When the meat is done, remove it from the heat and fold in the mushrooms, sour cream, mustard, and parsley. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling, salted water until they are tender. Drain the noodles well, toss them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and season them with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the stroganoff over the noodles; garnish the meal with more sour cream and chopped parsley, if desired.

That’s all there is to it really. you get nice, tender meat in a wonderful sauce that has the great flavors from the mushrooms, brandy and mustard to go along with the richness of the sour cream. Michelle and Sean both had theirs over noodles while I had mine over rice and there were plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week for everyone. It all comes together pretty easily and can make a nice meal during the week or for something different on the weekend.

That’s all I have for today. Check back tomorrow for more recipes to try out. Until then enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Soups & Stews

 

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Fine Food for Father’s Day, Part 1 – Strip Steak with Brandied Mushrooms and Sweet Potatoes

Father’s Day dinner is always treat. Michelle and Sean get to do all the cooking and I get to pick out what I would like to have for dinner. I picked something simple this year since it was just the 3 of us. Michelle had picked up some New York strip steaks and we had some other things around the house that could make for a simple yet elegant meal. We thought about using the grill, but the weather was kind of iffy at the time we were eating dinner so we thought on the safe side we would just do it inside. The recipe for the steaks comes from Tyler Florence.

New York Strip Steak with Brandied Mushrooms and Fresh Thyme

4 New York strip steaks, each about 1 1/2 inches thick
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds mushrooms, trimmed, brushed clean with the towel and stemmed
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup heavy cream

Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and allow them to come to room temperature. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Sprinkle the steaks all over with salt and pepper. Put the steaks in the pan and cook, turning to brown all sides completely, until medium-rare, about 8 to 10 minutes depending on how thick the steaks are. Remove the steaks to a platter with tongs and cover loosely with a tent of aluminum foil to keep the meat warm while you make the sauce.

Put the sauté pan back over medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup olive oil. When the oil is smoking, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Add the thyme and the garlic, and season well with salt and pepper. Toss a few more times to cook the garlic, then dump the mushrooms out onto a platter. Take the pan off the heat, add the brandy, return the pan to the heat, and cook until almost evaporated. Add the cream and cook that down to 2 to 3 minutes until reduced by about one half and thickened. Return the mushrooms to the pan with whatever juices have collected on the platter and simmer the entire thing another 2 minutes until thickened again. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the steaks thin against the grain. Taste the sauce for salt and pepper and serve.

I loved the mushrooms sauce that came with the steaks. The steaks were cooked perfectly and the sauce added just the right amount of flavor with the mushrooms and the brandy. We did not have to pounds of mushrooms on hand, so we actually ended up about halving the recipe and cut down the amount of olive oil used to about 2 tablespoons and cut the brandy down to about 1/8 of a cup and the heavy cream to about one-fourth.

Besides making some corn on the cob to go with the steaks, we also used a recipe from Bobby Flay of the Food Network for grilled sweet potatoes with lime and cilantro. Even though we didn’t actually grill the potatoes, I think they still came out pretty nicely for indoor cooking. It’s very easy to make this recipe and takes next in no time at all.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro

3 sweet potatoes, unpeeled
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

To par-cook the potatoes, place the potatoes in a large pot of water and boil until fork tender, about 8 minutes. Allow the potatoes to cool completely. Slice each potato lengthwise into eighths.

Preheat the grill to medium or place a cast-iron grill pan over medium heat. Mix 1 tablespoon of salt, the lime zest and the cayenne pepper in a small bowl and set aside.

Brush the potato wedges with the oil and season well with salt and pepper. Grill the potatoes until they are golden brown on all sides (including the skin) and just cooked through, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the potatoes to a platter and immediately season with the salt mixture and sprinkle with cilantro.

We simply made the potatoes in the cast-iron pan instead of dragging the grill pan out and I think they turned out just as well. Par-cooking them is really necessary here because you want to make sure the potatoes are going to be cooked all the way through when you make them this way. If you just put them in raw, they are not going to be done in one to 2 minutes and will burn. I really liked the mixture of the lime and the salt with the cayenne pepper; it really help to bring out the flavor of the potatoes and I actually used some of the salt on my piece of corn on the cob as well.

That’s all there is for today. Next time I will post the recipe Michelle used to make banana cream pie for dessert for Father’s Day. I can tell you it was pretty darn good and I really enjoyed it. Check back for that one as well as some of the recipes that I have done recently and plan to post on the blog. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!002

 
 

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‘Tis the Season for Soft Shell Crab

While you can get soft-shell crab until about the month of September, the best time of year is to get it between June and July. The local fish market that I go to just recently started having it in and since I was there yesterday I decided to get some. Ideally, if you can get the crabs live that is the best way for you to get them. Most fish places will then clean it for you, which usually involves them trimming off the eyes and mouth and cleaning out the gills. Soft-shell crab should be eaten within 24 hours of purchasing that way you can be sure that it is good and fresh. Most recipes you will come across involved sautéing or frying the crab in some way. I decided to use this recipe that I’ve found from Tyler Florence that makes a soft-shell crab BLT with a special lemon-pepper mayonnaise.

Soft-Shell Crab BLT with Lemon-Pepper Mayonnaise

Lemon-Pepper Mayonnaise

2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Crabs

2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon crab boil seasoning
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium soft-shell crabs, cleaned and rinsed
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 cups all-purpose flour

Sandwich

4 soft bread rolls, such as brioche or croissants, split and lightly toasted
4 red leaf lettuce leaves
1 fine-ripe tomato, sliced
8 slices hickory-smoked bacon, cooked
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and sliced

To make the mayonnaise, in a food processor, combine the egg yolks, salt, dry mustard, and lemon juice; process together to form a stable base. With the motor running on the food processor, add a few drops of the oil through the feed tube, until the mixture begins to thicken. Begin adding the remaining oil in a thin, steady stream. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and pour the mayonnaise into a small bowl. Mix in the black pepper and the parsley, cover, and refrigerate. The mayonnaise may be kept for up to 3 days.

To prepare the soft-shell crabs, pour the buttermilk in a shallow bowl large enough to hold all the crabs. Season the buttermilk with crab boil seasoning, salt, and pepper. Lay the crabs in the buttermilk mixture and marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Soaking the crabs in the buttermilk will help them plump up when cooked. Remove the crabs from the milk bath and let the excess drip off.

Pour 2 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy frying pan or large pot and heat to 350°. Put the flour in a pie dish or plate and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper. Dredge the crabs in seasoned flour to coat, shaking off the excess. Lay the crabs in the hot oil in a single layer without crowding; you may have to fry them in batches. Be careful since the crabs have a tendency to pop and spatter (if you have a splatter screen, now is a good time to break it out and use it). Cook the crabs for about 3 minutes on each side, turning once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To build the sandwich, spread the lemon-pepper mayonnaise on both halves of the toasted bread. Add the lettuce, tomato, bacon, and avocado. Lay a fried soft-shell crab on top and close up the sandwich.

I love the way this sandwich came out. The crab tasted great with the bacon and avocado and the lemon-pepper mayonnaise added just the right flavor to the sandwich. I did season the flour a little bit with some Old Bay seasoning to add some extra flavor. One word of warning when making the mayonnaise – when you’re going to use raw egg yolks, I would recommend that you use eggs that have already been pasteurized to avoid any risk of salmonella. You could also make the lemon-pepper mayonnaise by using store-bought mayonnaise and simply mixing and the lemon juice, dry mustard, pepper and parsley yourself and avoid the problem altogether. Mayonnaise itself isn’t that hard to make if you have food processor or a really strong wrist for whisking, so you should give it a try sometime if not this time. I also added a little bit of sliced red onion to the sandwich. I served the sandwiches with some homemade coleslaw and it was a perfect meal for a hot night.

That’s all there is for today. Check back again during the week to see what other recipes we decide to use. I did go shopping yesterday and I do have some plans this week to make some chicken, some pork chops and I did get some ground beef and some sausage, though I have not yet decided what to do with them. So check back and see what comes along. Until the next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on June 3, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, Sauce, Seafood, Side Dishes

 

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More Ways to Make Meatloaf

Even though it’s been quite hot here this week, I’d been having a hankering for some meatloaf. I haven’t made one in quite a while so I went out and bought the meat and then started looking for a new way to make it. There is nothing wrong with the recipes I’ve used in the past; every once in a while I’d just like to try something different. That’s when I came across this recipe from Tyler Florence. It was listed on the Cooking Channel’s website and it looked pretty interesting so I thought I would give it a try.

Meatloaf with Tomato Relish

Extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded, and finely diced
2 tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
12 ounces ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices white bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 eggs
Leaves from 2 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 to 4 bacon slices

Preheat the oven to 350°. Coat a large skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place over medium heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bay leaves for a few minutes to create a base flavor. Add the red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until softened. Add the 2 tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley, ketchup and Worcestershire; season with salt and pepper. Simmer the relish for 5 minutes until all the flavors meld. Remove the pan from the heat; you should have about 4 cups of relish.

Place the torn white bread in a bowl and add the milk to just barely cover. Swish the bread around in the milk and allow it to sit while you gather the rest of the ingredients for the meatloaf. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef and pork with 1 1/2 cups of the tomato relish, the eggs, and the thyme; season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the excess milk from the bread and add the soaked bread to the meat mixture. Toss the ingredients with your hands and mix together to blend everything well.

Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Transfer the meat mixture to the center of the cookie sheet and format into a log about 9 inches long and 4 inches wide. Coat the top of the meatloaf with another 1/2 cup of the tomato relish. Lay the bacon slices across the top of the meat lengthwise.

Bake the meatloaf for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the bacon is crisp and the meatloaf is firm. Rotate the meatloaf while it is baking every 25 minutes to ensure that the bacon browns evenly. Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the remaining tomato relish on the side.

I have to say I was a little bit skeptical as to how the meatloaf itself would come out without having a lot of spices in it, but I was pleasantly surprised. The tomato relish adds a really nice flavor to the meatloaf and keeps it very moist. The great thing is that there’s always leftovers with meatloaf that you can use for sandwiches later on. I served this with mashed potatoes and corn and made a a simple beef gravy with 2 cups of beef stock, 1/4 cup of flour, 2 tablespoons of butter and some salt and pepper. I poured in some of the drippings from the meatloaf with the butter and flour, whisked it together to make a quick roux and then slowly added the beef stock, whisking the whole time to make a nice gravy. To me, you can’t have meatloaf and mashed potatoes without any gravy. I would definitely make this recipe again.

That’s it for today. Check back again next time to see what recipes come along. I have a few ideas for the coming week but I still need to do my shopping for next week so I’m not quite sure if everything will work out the way I hope. We’ll have to see what kind of ingredients I can get and what we decide to make. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on June 1, 2013 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, Gravy

 

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