Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beef Stroganoff: the cheater's version

I love me some beef stroganoff, but every recipe I have ever seen (except this one, which was adapted from one I found in the "Fix-It and Forget-It 5 Ingredient Favorites" book I've mentioned before) involves browning the beef in a skillet, making a huge mess on my stove top. I am the kind of clean freak who is not actually a fan of cleaning-- a lot of times, I'd rather not do an activity than do it and clean up after it. Honestly, this is one of my biggest problems with cooking-- the clean up involved. Hence, my love for crock pot meals that involve no pre-cooking.

When I made this recipe a few weeks ago, we happened to have some Parmesan cheese in the fridge, so we sprinkled it on top. Mmmmmm! It went very well with steamed green beans, too. For some reason, the sauce looks really pale in this picture-- I think it was because of the flash, because I don't remember it being this pale.

10 3/4 oz can cream of mushroom soup (the condensed kind)
14 1/2 oz can beef broth
1 lb beef stewing meat (buy the kind already cubed in 1" pieces)
1 cup sliced mushrooms (buy the kind already sliced)
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 cups egg noodles

1) Stir together the cream of mushroom soup and beef broth in the crock pot.

2) Add meat and mushrooms.

3) Cover and cook on High for 3-4 hours; reduce heat and cook on Low for 3-4 hours. (If you're not going to be home and won't be able to change the temperature, cook it on High for 5-6 hours, but the beef will be a bit tougher when you do that.)

4) At some point during the day, cook the egg noodles.

5) Right before you're ready to eat, stir in the sour cream (you can whisk it to make it combine with the broth more quickly), and then stir in the noodles.


Seriously-- could this get any easier? I love this recipe so much!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Nectar of the gods or, Avocado Salsa

This recipe is awesome. AWESOME. I put the salsa over tilapia but it would also be great on hamburgers, with chicken, or as a side.

2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/3 cup chopped onions
3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp lime juice
2 large-ish cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Mix it all up. Cover it all up. Chill for 1 - 2 hours. Re-mix. And prepare to be blown away.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Summery Pasta Salad

6 oz. tortellini, cooked and cooled
1 cup broccoli cooked and cooled*
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed*
3/4 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (you may want to have extra to sprinkle over the top when serving)
1/2 cup Italian dressing

2/3 cup mayo
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp dill weed
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all salad ingredients together. *I find the easiest way to cook the peas and the brocoli is to throw them in for the last 2-3 minutes with the tortellini. Chill for 15 - 30 minutes. Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and gently stir in to salad. Chill for at least two more hours.

Monday, May 3, 2010

White Fish with Olives

Yes, I'm posting yet another recipe that my sister won't eat. I'm considered the picky eater in the family, oddly enough! Niki won't eat potatoes, sushi maki rolls (even the vegetarian ones), or fish. I refuse to eat certain flavor combinations and a lot of vegetables. And baby animals. And really spicy stuff. Okay, so maybe I'm pickier. Whatever!

I adapted this recipe from one that I found in a Real Simple magazine a few years ago. The original recipe was a bit too spicy (ahem), so I needed to tweak it a bit. Now for the part where I admit the way in which I screwed this recipe up the first time I made it: I used olives with pits still in them. Whoops! Kind of annoying, but not disastrous. So-- make sure you buy the pitted olives (the ones sold in the refrigerated section next to the fancy cheeses).

A few more notes: There's no need to use a lemon zester.... I didn't know we owned one, so I used a cheese grater, and I liked the zest that came from the grater better than the zest I got from the lemon zester when I made it the second time. This recipe serves 4 people, but make sure you have a substantial side dish and veggies to go with it. Go ahead and buy a dry white wine that you like because you will use barely any of it in this recipe.


2 pounds white fish filets
3/4 cup dry white wine (like Sauvignon Blanc)
1/2 cup mixed olives (or kalamata olives)
Zest from one lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place fish in small roasting pan (or a casserole dish). Add enough wine to reach halfway up the sides of the fish. Scatter the olives around the fish and the lemon zest on top of the fish. Drizzle with the olive oil and season with the peppers and salt.

Roast until fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork (about 20 minutes). Remove dish from oven and sprinkle with the parsley.


When I made this recipe recently, our side dish was some insanely awesome foccacia bread I found in the bakery at Super Target. I highly recommend picking some up! Mmmmmm....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Most Excellent Marinade

I got this recipe from my Mom. She used it for steak and, MMMMM BABY, was it delicious. I think it would also be good on chicken, pork, etc.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the following...
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 C dry red wine
3 cloves garlic minced
3 TBS fresh minced parsely
1 TBS chopped fresh oregano
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Place meat in bowl or bag and make sure you move it around in marinade. Do this over night. Grill meat without marinade.