Visitors - Come on in and say hello!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Recipes and Condiments and Grocery Stores - OH MY!

Have you ever stared into your refrigerator wondering if a particular mixture of condiments with flavors and spices from around the globe can come together and "pop" into a legitimate meal?

I decided that it can't, and who wants to waste perfectly good sauces and syrups and spices on an experiment that makes no sense?

It's a rainy day here in Minnesota (FINALLY! HOORAY!), and although that makes it a great day for napping, it's also wonderful for cooking and using the oven. Because this rain is also a cool rain so it inspires me to think of fall things like soups and dips and the like.

So I wondered what I would make:

Garlic Soup? Maybe
Roasted Red Pepper Soup? Hmm...maybe.
Beef Stroganoff? - Never did it before, but I'm craving it and feeling adventurous
Seafood dip with fresh French or Italian bread from the deli bakery? - Maybe. I need to use up some ingredients.
Angel Hair Pasta with Pesto, onions, and fresh tomatoes? Caprese?

So a-shoppin' I went. Normally I do my grocery shopping early on a Saturday, and this afternoon, was reminded as to WHY.

Because there was NO BREAD at EITHER of the grocery stores I went to. NONE. There was sliced Vienna bread. Not what I needed or wanted. There was Garlic Artesan bread. Too heavy for my needs. There were roll and a tiny baguette with poppy seeds. Nope.

So Garlic Soup is out. And so is the seafood dip. I guess the ingredients will have to pend for another day or so.

I turned my focus to my needs for Roasted Red Pepper soup. It's an easy soup, and Serrrano peppers were available, but the fresh red and yellow peppers were in DISMAL condition. I considered it, but that thing so so bruised and nicked, I could not in good conscience even make it into a soup...unless they'd be willing to give it to me for free. Fat chance.

So soup is out unless I want to scoop it from a can.

So that leaves either pasta which I have at home, but don't want, or beef stroganoff. I picked up some stew meat, I have lots of hamburger, so I got some fresh onions, some mushrooms, I have green onions, I picked up garlic, and I can make beef broth from a bullion. And I picked up sour cream and egg noodles.

Wish me luck. I'm not really much of a cook. It's not that I can't cook, it's just that I'm normally uninspired. Usually stuff turns out well, but there have been a few flops in the past. I pray this is not one of them. Can I still do this half in the pan and half in the crock, esp as I'm using stew meat? It's tougher than the sirloin that some recipes recommend, and I don't want to go the cheap route and use hamburger and cream of mushroom soup...although I may.

So we'll see what happens. If it works, I'll share the recipe. Stay tuned!


Adoro's Beef Stroganoff:

Cubed Stew Meat
Egg Noodles
1/2 - 1/3 C. Chopped Vidalia Onions
Chopped Green Onions
Sliced Mushrooms
Chopped Garlic
1 C. Sour Cream
1/4 C. Flour
1 Bay Leaf
1 1/2 C. beef broth
Garlic Powder
Salt/Pepper to taste
Various other spices - to taste and according to whatever's in the cupboard
Worcesteshire Sauce
White or red wine. (Note: NEVER cook with wine you would not actually serve)

In large frying pan,melt the butter or vegetable oil, brown the beef with the onions, mushrooms, and garlic.

Add beef broth and spices. Simmer 1 hour or until meat is tender.

Cook egg noodles according to directions and amount needed.

When beef mixture is ready, add sour creme and flour mixture, stir, and cook down. Add a little water if necessary.

Serve. Enjoy.

* Egg Noodle substitutes: Mashed potatoes, Gnocchi, other pasta or starchy edible material.

I would serve this meal to Jesus if He came to my house. Probably with egg noodles, but if he made a request I'd acquiesce.


Fr. V said...


God for you.

It is a good thing I don't live on my own. I would either forget to eat or eat salmai sandwiches for every meal - not healthy either way.

What is your specialty?

Adoro said...

Fr. V. ~ Right now it's simmering, but this might become a new specialty! I will let you know for sure. I'm not completely following the recipe. It's a conglomeration of recipes and hopefully in the end it will be good.

Currently I have a few specialities.

* Creole Garlic Soup (named for the garlic - lots! - and the spice mixture, not for any actual ethnic origin.)

* I make a mean French Dip, and it's a little different every time.

* Grilled steak!

And now maybe Beef Stroganoff. You should know this one, Fr. V. ~ This one is from Russia and I think it has lots of variations. I'm serving it with egg noodles, but it would likely be great over Gnocchi or other Hungarian pasta.

Melanie Bettinelli said...

Good luck. Beef stroganoff is one of my favorites, both to eat and to cook. It was a staple in our house when I was a kid. My mom made it frequently, by popular demand.

If yours doesn't come out, let me know and I'll send you my recipe.

Adoro said...

melanie b ~ It looks like this will turn out (we're getting there) but will you send me your recipe anyway?

I'll be posting mine after dinner. Unless it's bad.

Warren said...

Mmmm. Beef Stroganoff. Love it!


Anonymous said...

veggie stroganoff seems to me an acceptable diversion ... now, if the beef is really lean, and you lace the final product with a statin compound, then maybe we could count the 'beef' variety of stroganoff as acceptable.

Adoro said...

Ultra ~ Want me to send you some? :-)

Uncle Jim ~ Yeah....I don't see that happenin' in my kitchen. I'm a meat-n-potatoes type of girl, true to my Irish farmer heritage!

Um...although I eat more pasta than potatoes in today's world.

Warren said...

Adoro~ Sure! It might get a little moldy by the time it gets here though. :-)


Fr. V said...

Though I am rarely permitted to cook anymore, I made a copy of your recipe. It sounds sooooo good. And as for galic - there is never enough. I had roasted garlic in NY last week for lunch - just a whole clove of garlic - and I wish it could have had more garlic in it.

Adoro said...

Fr. V. ~ It is really good! I'm going to be honest..I think I've had better, but considering I haven't had it in awhile, I must reserve judgment on that factor. In any case, it's completely edible.

One note of caution: Last night I made only half the meat so I would't completely destroy it if it went bad, so today I cooked the rest. Same recipe. But I used fat-free sour cream and I didn't mix the flour in with it first. BIG MISTAKE. MIX the two before you add them! And I forgot the Bay Leaf, too. :-( And I used a little more Worcestershire sauce.

Today's wasn't as good. But the mixure went in with yesterday's stuff so ultimately it should balance out.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting two types of onions and cinnamon and allspice? You are brave to invent your own--I'm the kind of girl who measures everything according to weight--I have a kitchen scale--I like the quality control--you get a consistent product that you know will taste good.

My daughter the Chef--she always created her own, she's a vegetarian--and makes the best vege food ever. Now she is a food stylist working out of New York City--she loves her job---hmmm--maybe you could try your hand at being a chef?

Adoro said...

Tara ~ You do NOT want me to be a chef! LOL! I'm not "known" as a cook, and "hospitality" is NOT my gift!

But my last roommate was a great cook, my roommate before her was a decent cook, and I think that, between the two of them, I learned not to fear a little experimentation.

The recipes I've enjoyed the most came from people who could not give me exact amounts...and so from them, I learned that SOMETIMES exactness is necessary, but a lot of the's not.

Maybe it comes back to a teacher in Jr. High who taught me to "estimate". I can't do numbers to save my life, but I'm great with theories and's the way my mind works. So if you give me a recipe or a bunch of recipes, my mind can look at them, see the commonalities, what makes sense....and put together something that actually tastes good.

The recipes I used for my Beef Stroganoff included amounts...but I went through my cupboard and added my own spices. It seemed salty and I added sweetness via cinnamon and allspice. (I don't even know what allspice is, but it's slightly sweet!).

I love crockpot cooking, because I can taste and mess with the spices all day long. That's fun!

Someday you must have my French Onion Soup. It's yummy! And my French Dip! It's never the same.

I'm really not much of a cook, maybe would be if I had someone to cook FOR, but I live alone, so if I cook, it's once or twice per week and the rest of the time is junk or leftovers, not really a way to develop a career.

I don't see myself as a sous chef. But if you come to my house for a visit and I promise you dinner, I think you won't run away screaming! :-) Or sick...that would be worse.

Anonymous said...

My husband travels and I often spend time alone--having to cook for myself--it's easy to just throw a burrito in the microwave--cooking is fun, but when it's just for one--you wonder if it's worth the effort.

Watch out, one day I might show up at your doorstep to take you up on your offer for dinner.

And, you also are always welcome at my house for dinner--some people think I do a very good job--quality control you know, from exact measurements--LOL!

Adoro said...

Tara ~ I live alone so that's why I normally don't cook. I'll be eating Beef Stroganoff all week!

So I tend to get sick of all the things I cook. Usually it's a frozen pizza, or sandwich, or spaghetti...something easy. I don't like most microwaveable foods, though.