Quick Beef Stroganoff

I love beef stroganoff, and it seems that there are so many different recipes out there with the smallest change making a huge change if flavor.  What attracted me, though, to this recipe from Gimme Some Oven was it’s 30-Minute timeframe.  While this did take me a little longer than 30 minutes, it was so worth it!  And between you and me, I think the reason it took longer was completely my scattered fault.  I just can’t seem to get my ducks in a row, and if I finally get them in a row, they certainly don’t stay that way!  There were some substitutions I made to make it a little healthier or I was missing an ingredient.  There are also many ways you can make this healthier, instead of steak, you can use sliced chicken or turkey.  Or, if you are vegetarian, sub mushrooms and use vegetable broth.  All in all, a wonderful weeknight dish!

Ingredients:

1 lb wide egg noodles
4 Tbs butter, divided
1 ½ lb thinly sliced steak (I bought the fajita sliced steak in the meat department.  They also have super thin carne asada style)
1 white or yellow onion thinly sliced (I used a small one, the size depends on your enjoyment of onions)
4 cloves garlic minced (As always, I used the pre-minced from Spice World)
1 lb sliced mushrooms (You can use a mixture of different kinds of added flavor)
½ cup dry white wine (or you can just use more beef broth.  I had the wine, but it fell into my mouth . . . )
1 ½ cups beef broth
1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (thanks to the kids experimenting, I didn’t have any.  I used A-1 instead and it brought a very nice, unique flavor)
3 Tbs flour
½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (or you can use light sour cream, the yogurt added a different flavor)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, as optional garnish

Preparation:

Cook egg noodles in boiling water according to package directions (Gimme Some Oven recommends actually adding the egg noodles to the water at the same time that the beef broth is added, and this is a perfect recommendation for timing!)

As pasta water is coming to a boil, melt 2 Tbs of butter in large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add steak in a single layer and season with salt and pepper, let it cook for 3 minutes without turning to get a good sear.  Remove the steak from pan with slotted spoon, transfer to a separate dish.  Discard the cooked butter from the pan.

Return pan to heat and add remaining 2 Tbs butter.  Once melted, add onions and saute for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and mushrooms, stir to combine.  Continue sauteing an additional 5-7 minutes, or until mushrooms have through and onions are soft.  Add white wine (or broth) and deglaze pan.  Let mixture cook down an additional 3 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk together beef broth, Worcestershire (or A-1) sauce, and flour until smooth.  Pour the broth mixture into the pan and stir to combine.  Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next, stir in Greek yogurt (or sour cream) until combined.  Finally, stir in cooked steak.

Serve over egg noodles, garnished with parsley if desired.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Cabernet Sauvignon
Malbec
Merlot
Pinot Noire
Sangiovese

Total time: About 40 minutes

Serves 6

Quick Beef Stroganoff

Quick Beef Stroganoff

 *Derived from Gimme Some Oven

Mexican Sour Cream Rice

Pretty much everyone that knows me knows how much I adore my rice cooker.  I can’t help it!   When it finally dawned on me that I should have been using a rice cooker all these year, I had no idea where to start.  First I checked out Consumer Reports and then I went to Amazon.  I was so overwhelmed with rice cookers.  Who better to ask than my girl friend Matilde.  She and her family make rice just about every day!  Once I made the decision of which rice cooker to purchase, I haven’t looked back!  And am seriously considering a bigger version of the one I have.  A lot of lovely things come out of my rice cooker, including this dish!

Ingredients:

1 (14 oz) can chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
4 oz diced green chiles (I omitted)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ¾) can yellow corn, drained (I used frozen)
¼ cup cilantro chopped (I omitted)
1 cup uncooked rice

Preparation:

In rice cooker, add rice and chicken broth.  Set it and forget it.  Or, if preparing in a pot, bring rice and broth to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.  When rice is done, in a large bowl mix sour cream, green chile peppers (if using), ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, corn, and cilantro with cooked rice.  Season with salt.

Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and top with remaining ½ cup cheese.  Bake uncovered 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serves 4

Prep time 15: Total cooking time: 50 minutes

Mexican Sour Cream Rice

*Derived from Just a Pinch Recipes

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Beef, Veggies and Rice

Sometimes you just need to get dinner on the table fast. Maybe it’s been a long day and you left work a little late. Or you finally made it to the pharmacy, after hopping the puddles of an early storm, only to discover the pharmacy is closed (is it that late already?). You’re finally home and frantically trying to put a meal together that does not include bags or boxes, but every movement is met with, “Mommy! He . . . ” or, “Mom! She . . .” It’s too early to call Calgon (totally dating myself. Do they even still make Calgon?) and no one has been fed. This recipe is tantamount to Calgon in that you can get a tasty, not processed meal on the table. Oh, and once again I’m singing the accolades of my rice cooker! Everyone quietly eating almost makes you think you are soaking in that bubbly warm bath, sipping your favorite glass of vino

Ingredients:

2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 1/2 cups rice
1 cup sliced carrot (buy them pre-sliced to save even more time for bubbles)
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb top round steak, trimmed of fat and cut into thin strips (Or save time and buy fajita steak. Are those bubbles I hear calling??)
1/4 cup onion chopped ( you can buy this pre-chopped, too. Think of it as having your own personal Sous chef)
1 cup fresh snap pea pods, strings removed (Who has time for this?? I subbed a cup of frozen peas)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preparation:

 To rice cooker, add broth and carrots. Set it and forget it. If you choose to not use a rice cooker: heat broth to boiling in 2 quart saucepan. Stir in rice and carrots. Heat to boiling; reduce heat, cover and simmer 6-8 minutes or until carrots are crisp-tender; remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

While rice cooks, heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef and onion about 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is brown and onion tender. Stir in cooked rice and carrots, peas, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are tender. Add a small amount of water if it becomes dry before peas are tender.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Cabernet Sauvignon
Malbec
Merlot
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese
Petit Sirah

 Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 35 minutes

photo (4)

*Derived from Pillsbury

Risotto with Beans and Vegetables

Oops I did it again! I played with your heart . . . Oh wait,wrong sentiment. Well, a little. I did do it again, I made a wonderful risotto in the rice cooker!  It’s almost daily now that I am looking at the rice cooker and thinking, “Hmmm. . . ”  I wonder if I stuff some laundry in there it will magically be cleaned and folded.  Oh, oh, oh!  I’ve got it!  Can I shove my computer in their and all of my scopes of work and subcontractor matrices come out DONE!!  Bim Bam!  Because that’s how I am viewing my wonderful little rice cooker now, it’s this magical little pot.  I’m not sure how it does what it does.  I don’t even care.  Just as long as it keeps bubbling away and turning out amazing food.  (The laundry would help, too, though.)

Ingredients:

3 cups vegetable broth
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms (I bought presliced cremini)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbs olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup finally chopped zucchini
1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 15 oz can low sodium cannellini, pinto, or black beans; rinsed and drained
1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (plus about a handful more for topping when ready to serve)

Rice Cooker Preparation:

Turn rice cooker on, once it’s heated add 2 Tbs olive oil, mushrooms, onion, and garlic.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add uncooked rice.  Cook and stir about 5 more minutes or until rice is golden brown.  Add 3 cups of broth, zucchini and carrots, stir to combine all ingredients.  Cover and let cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  After 20 minutes, rice should be slightly creamy and just tender.  Stir in beans and Parmesan cheese; cover and heat through.  Sprinkle with additional cheese for serving.

Non-Rice Cooker Preparation:

In medium sauce pan bring broth to boil.  Reduce heat; simmer until needed.  Meanwhile, in a large saucepan cook mushrooms, onion, and garlic in hot oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add uncooked rice.  Cook and stir for about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown.

Slowly add 1 cup of broth to rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add another 1/2 cup of broth, zucchini, and carrots to rice mixture, stirring constantly.  Continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Add another 1 cup broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until broth is absorbed. (THis should take about 20 minutes).

Stir remaining 1/2 cup broth into rice mixture.  Cook and stir until rice is slightly creamy and just tender.  Stir in beans and Parmesan cheese; heat through.  Sprinkle with additional cheese for serving.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

White Burgundy,
Chardonnay,
Nebbiolo,
Pinot Noir,
Sangiovese,
Sauvignon Blanc

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes; Cook time: 30 minutes

photo (3)

*Derived from BHG

Mushroom and Sausage Ragu with Polenta

If I had an Italian grandma, this is what she would make.  I can even imagine the whole huge family gathering at her house for Sunday dinner.  As everyone makes their way inside the front door, they stomp the snow off of their books, remove their coats and scarves, and are overcome with the wonderful aroma of the sausage and mushroom bubbling away quietly on the stove.  But, I don’t have an Italian grandma, a large family, or live where it snows.  That, however, did not stop me from making this for Sunday dinner with my fantastic little family.  Suffice it to say, my Italian grandma would do a better job of the polenta than me.  It wasn’t all my fault though!  A big part of it is that 1970s stove top I’m working on (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).  I will try this again, but will be more kind with my polenta, and maybe my polenta will be more kind with me.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
8 oz sweet turkey Italian sausage (original recipe called for hot, but I knew the kidlets would NOT be on board for that)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb sliced cremini mushrooms
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked polenta
4 oz 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
1 Tbs butter

Preparation:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 1 1/2 tsp olive oil to pan, swirling to coat.  Remove sausage from casings and add sausage to pan; saute about 3 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble.  Removed sausage from pan.

Add 1 Tbs olive oil to pan, swirling to coat.  Add onion; saute 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add mushrooms; saute 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; saute 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in sausage, 1/8 tsp salt, and tomatoes, bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium; simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Bring broth and 1 1/2 cups of water to  boil in medium saucepan.  Add polenta, stirring well.  Reduce heat to medium, and simmer 20 minutes, or until thick, stirring occasionally.  Stir in remaining 1/8 tsp salt, cream cheese, and butter.  Serve over with sausage mixture.

Wine Pairings Suggestions:
Cabernet FrancMalbec
Merlot
Pinot Noir
Sangiovese

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Sausage Ragu

*Courtesy Cooking Light

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Asparagus-Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan

I love risotto.  I love everything about risotto.  The comfort food feel you get from it.  The rich taste.  The creamy texture.  My risotto recipes have been “go to”s for me for years.  And I completely forgot I had this one.  The kicker, the rice you use has to be pre-cooked.  Um, what?  Who has time for that?  That’s when the little light bulb went “Pop” over my head.  I don’t own a rice cooker for nothing!  Wow, what a huge difference that made.  And I could have the rice cooker going while I was prepping and cooking the asparagus and mushrooms.  Brilliant!

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Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots chopped
2 minced garlic cloves
6 cups sliced mushrooms (any combination cremini, oyster, etc.)
1 tsp dried thyme
4 cups cooked Arborio rice (I doubled this because it was our main dish for dinner, if you’d like it as a side, reduce to 2 cups)
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

To cook the Arborio in the rice cooker, I added 2 cups of rice and 5 cups of chicken broth (had I read ahead, i would have used beef broth, but I don’t think it had a huge impact on the taste).  The very basic cooker I have has an on / off and warming button (I’m hoping to get an upgrade, *hint hint to my Hubs).  So I just hit the on button and let it do its work while I prepped the rest of the meal.

Heat olive oil in large stock pot over medium heat.  Add shallots and garlic.  Cook 1 minute until garlic is fragrant.  Add mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes, until tender and releasing juice.  Add thyme and cook 1 minute.  Add rice, broth, and asparagus and bring to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes.  Stir in parmesan and chopped parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 15 minutes

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*Derived from Robin Miller / Food Network