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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

beef stroganoff, hold the beef

the motivation behind our move from portland to seattle was simple-- rob's job was here, and i no longer had a job anywhere. since i was unemployed and therefore home all day, i got to be the one who essentially unpacked and put the house together.

it was during one day of unpacking that i turned on the food network, which i'd never really watched before, to see if there was anything worth having on in the background while i looked for the right place to display comic book action figures. that's when i discovered tyler florence and his show tyler's ultimate. i got hooked pretty fast, primarily because tyler's recipes are all based on fresh ingredients and taste. he's not offering you a lightened up version of mac and cheese substituting craisins for the mac and chickpea puree for the cheese-- oh no. tyler is afraid of neither fats nor calories, so long as the end experience is, according to his shtick, "the ultimate." (he is from texas, after all.)

one saturday morning i got rob to watch an episode with me. tyler was making beef stroganoff using slow braised short ribs and it looked SO GOOD to us that we bought the ingredients and spent the afternoon making it. while it did taste amazing, there was something about the short ribs that didn't quite fit with the rest of the dish. we had our leftover sauce with the addition of peas the next night and realized our folly-- the dish needs no meat! especially not pricey meat cooked separately and served on top of everything else.

we recreated the (now) mushroom stroganoff a couple of nights ago with great success. i still used tyler's sauce recipe as a base, but made a few modifications including adding some mushroom stock to cut through the cream.

mushroom stroganoff

1 1/2 lb mushrooms (i used cremini and chanterelles)
1 shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brandy
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 - 1 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup chicken broth (or veggie broth for a vegetarian dish)
small sprig fresh thyme
salt and pepper

wash, trim and slice mushrooms, reserving trimmings.

in small saucepan, add chicken or veggie broth, mushroom trimmings, and small sprig of thyme, and simmer over low heat while working on the rest of the sauce. taste and add salt if necessary.

heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add mushrooms. saute until they begin to cook down. add shallots and garlic and cook until the liquid lost from the mushrooms is reduced. add brandy and cook until reduced.

add mushroom stock to pan, pouring through strainer to catch the solids.

remove pan from heat and allow to cool slightly, then slowly add cream and stir. return pan to heat, add peas, and cook until sauce begins to thicken and reduce. it should be thick enough to stick well to pasta.

stir in mustard and sour cream and warm though. season to taste with salt and pepper.

serve over pasta of your choice. we had it with fettuccine which worked out quite well.

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