Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Challenge 5.1

I have a feeling I’m not going to be buying this cookbook after all. When I first picked it out for the Cookbook Challenge, I had been through it exhaustively. I had covered one whole side of loose leaf paper (aka A4) with the names of recipes I wanted to try. Of course, I had also overlooked how many of them required specialist equipment not currently available to me (you know, things like mixers and cake pans). But even with the ones that are possible with my limited range of tools, I keep finding myself in the same situation: I read over the recipe, realize how similar it is to one I already have or have been wanting to try—and then make that one instead. Over the weekend, I was all set to make Poor Boy Beef Stroganoff, expecting it to be simply a frugal variation on traditional beef stroganoff. Then I re-read the recipe and noticed that, if I made the cookbook version, after preparing all the major components of the dish—including the accompanying starch—I was going to have to put the whole thing in the oven and cook it again.

And I believe we’ve already covered the way I feel about that sort of thing.

Classic beef stroganoff
Copied down from watching Rick Stein prepare it on British television several years ago, and subsequently adapted over numerous preparations

1 medium onion
1 cup mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp paprika
½ lb/250 g fillet steak
2 Tbsp white wine or chicken stock
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper

Peel, halve, and slice onion. Set aside. Clean and quarter mushrooms. Set aside.

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan. When it starts to foam, add onions and paprika. Sauté onions until softened, 5-7 minutes.

Add mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms begin to release some of their liquid.

Slice fillet steak into strips ¾ inch (1 cm) thick and wide. Add to pan and sear, turning to brown all sides lightly.

Add wine or stock and stir to deglaze pan. Add yogurt and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately over buttered egg noodles (traditional) or Italian potatoes with oil (DP international edition).

Serves 4.


Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said... Best Blogger Tips

Nancy, I have a bit of a crush on old Rick Stein, and I love just about everything he makes. Your recipe looks like no exception.

It's an interesting point you raise - some cookbooks are so visually appealing and lovely, but just don't work for your style of cooking. I feel the same way about the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook that I bought - lots of my friends love it and recommended it highly, but it just doesn't suit my style of cooking. But in the spirit of the cookbook challenge, I shall revisit it and try again.. :)

Cheers, Celia

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, I love his food--no fuss, no flash, just simple and delicious.

This, to me, is the real benefit of the cookbook challenge: that I revisit my assumptions about the book as well as its content. I almost always come away having learned something, and hopefully with at least one recipe that's a keeper, even if I send the book on its way.

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