Russian and French Visit for Dinner

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I’ve been focusing a little bit more on making what is on my List of things I’ve been wanting to make.  What’s the point of a list if you don’t follow it?   I wanted to cook so badly since I really hadn’t made anything during Ramadan.  I came across a beef stroganoff recipe that seemed pretty simple and wouldn’t take up too much time. 

Now making something that you’ve never had before while fasting is a shot in the dark.  I wouldn’t know what it would taste like, or if that’s how its suppose to taste anyways.  I use to freak out if something didn’t turn out right (okay I do still a little bit) but now I can tell myself it’s okay and that is simply how you learn and try again.  You might say I’m a little Julie obsessed but I actually learned a lot reading her book.  And this is one of things I learned, that it is okay to mess up.  Not everything is going to be perfect.  It doesn’t have to be.  I use to beat myself up over failed dishes but now I’m glad to say I’ve got less bruises. 

Not many people have heard of beef stroganoff, and by God, I don’t know why.  It’s so incredibly easy and yummy.  It’s like mac and cheese but with a beef Russian twist.  I’m determined to make this the next new food trend.  Something so easy and good shouldn’t be left in the dark.  

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Beef Stroganoff

1 lb ground beef (I used lean meat, although traditionally it’s made from shredded beef)

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

1/8 tsp paprika

a dash of onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, and thyme

1 tsp minced garlic

1/2 onion, chopped

1 cup sliced white mushrooms

1/2 cup sour cream

2 cups beef broth

1/2 lb (or 2 cups) elbow macaroni or wide egg noodles

1 tbs oil, olive or vegetable

White Cheddar cheese (optional)

Start by bringing a big pot of water to boil.  Season with salt and add in macaroni.  Cook till al dente.  Reserve cooking water. 

While the macaroni is cooking, wash your meat and season with salt, pepper, paprika, and dash of each, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme.  In a deep skillet, heat the oil on medium heat and brown your meat until no longer pink.  Add in your onions and let them sweat for a couple minutes.  Next, put in your mushrooms and sautee the mixture till juices are released. 

Now add in your macaroni, sour cream, and beef broth.  (For my beef broth I used a cube that I dissolved in the pasta water).  At this time, you can add in cheese if you want to.  Cook till the sauce thickens.  Serve with some cheese or parsley for garnish. 

 

That is all this dish takes.  So simple. 

I had bought some corn to make Cream of Corn as I had left over cream.  Corn is just about out of season so it was now or next year.  I wasn’t going to make it with the stroganoff as I was super tired and it didn’t really go with the dish.  As I was waiting for the onions and mushrooms sweat, I was like whatever, JUST MAKE IT. 

Home Grown Basil
Home Grown Basil

I shucked my corn and cut off the kernels with a knife right into a pot.  After that it was just throwing ingredients into the pot and letting it sit to cook.  I had some fresh basil that someone brought over to top it which gave it a magnificent flavor.  Another simple, simple dish. 

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Cream of Corn

3 ears of corn

1/2 tsp minced garlic

1/2 cup cream

salt and pepper to taste

basil

Shuck corn and remove kernels by cutting against the bone of the corn into a pot.  Add in the garlic, cream, salt and pepper.  Let the mixture reduce for about 10 min.  Take off heat.  Pulse immersion blender (optional).  Top with a of bit chopped basil. 

 

 And ofcourse, I had to make dessert.  I’ve been wanting to make Plum Clafoutis and since they’re in season, it was the perfect time.  This is yet another simple simple dessert.  I would say the stroganoff, cream of corn, and dessert was all done in an hour.  Maybe less.  It’s a French dessert that is absolutely delicious.  The heat sweetens the fruit even more, and the combo of fruit and custard….just yummm!  You can use different fruit aside from plums like cherries.  Maybe I’ll try that next.

I wasn’t raving about this dessert when it came out of oven.  (Note:don’t use a spring-form pan to make this, the batter will leak out)  It looked like yucky mush and I didn’t even put it on the table to attempt to serve it.  I had my Bavarian cream as back-up.  A took it off the counter and brought it to the table and with much bravery tried it.  Next thing you know, A and A Lil Nibble were devouring it.  I took a bite.  And surely, it wasn’t my last bite. 

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Plum Clafoutis (adapted from here)

3 large plums, pitted and sliced into eight wedges each
½ cup plus one tablespoon sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Butter a nine inch cake pan.  Spread the plums in the pan and sprinkle with the tablespoon of sugar.  Next, combine the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl till smooth and poor over plums.  Cook for 45 min or until the edges are cooked and the center is set like custard, not runny.  Let cool for 10 min and serve. 

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I made some fruit salad and a traditional drink to break our fast.  For the fruit salad, I usually cut up whatever fruit we have on hand like bananas, apples, pear, pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries, pears, guava.  Basically whatever. 

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The drink is called Roohufsa.  The drink is usually made with a rose essence syrup and mixed into milk or water.  I added some flare to it with basil seeds (thukmariya) and some china grass. 

 

Rhoohafsa

Jug of milk

couple tablespoons of Rhooshfsa (add as much as to you liking, add more if you want it to sweeter)

2 tbs basil seeds aka thukmariya dissolved in water till they bloom (clear bubble around the seed)

1 tbs china grass aka agar agar

food coloring (optional)

Bring a cup of water to boil and add in the china grass and dissolve.  Take off heat and pour into a shallow dish.  You can color it with food coloring if you want.  Let it cool till it sets and cut into cubes. 

Teal Color China Grass
Teal Color China Grass

In a large jug, add the milk, rhoohafsa, basil seeds, and china grass and stir.  Serve cold for a refreshing drink.

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3 thoughts on “Russian and French Visit for Dinner

    RobD said:
    October 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Hey, great blog…but I don’t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Can you Help me, please 🙂 🙂

      canihavesomemoremum responded:
      October 10, 2009 at 10:18 pm

      at the top of the page there should be something that says Feed: Posts or Comments. select posts and then you;ll have to click on ‘subscribe to feed’. hope it works for you!

    Beef Stroganoff + Pasta Gratin « A Lil Nibble said:
    October 11, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    […] to make, and how well seasoned you prefer your food.  To get an idea of spice ratios, visit the Stroganoff and Gratin […]

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