Beef Stroganov


While this isn’t my most favorite dish, it is one of J’s most favorite dishes and he’s been searching for a good recipe for a while. He found this one from Big Oven ending the search. Extremely filling and comforting, with a few tweaks this is hands down the best Beef Stroganov recipe. Originally fearful of the nutmeg addition, it added a flavor depth that made the whole dish.

Ingredients:
2 Boneless Sirloin Steaks, sliced thinly
1/2 cup flour
1 medium onion, sliced thinly (we used a mandolin)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon Seasoning salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup sherry
1 can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 cup of sour cream
egg noodles
Fresh parsley chopped

Directions:
Heat olive oil in pan. Coat sliced meat in flour and cook until brown. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes until slightly softened. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beef stock and bring to a boil. Add paprika, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer until meat is tender, approximately an hour. Add mushrooms and sherry and simmer about 10 more minutes. Turn off stove and fold in sour cream. Let dish reheat gently and spoon over egg noodles. Garnish with fresh parsley.

My opinion:
I usually find  Beef Stroganov to be too heavy, too filling and too much everything. This dish isn’t too much of anything. It’s flavorful without being overwhelming.

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Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck Garlic Shrimp


The hardest part of returning to the mainland from Hawai’i is leaving behind the ocean, the views and the food. Luckily, a few of our favorite dishes aren’t that difficult to recreate. Giovanni’s Shrimp truck is legendary.  It’s in all the Oahu guide books and is worth the amazingly scenic drive. The menu is simple: shrimp scampi, spicy shrimp and lemon butter shrimp. We started our recreation with the easier scampi. With the help of Google, we found this YouTube video, which gave us the ingredients and a few tips.

Ingredients:
Extra large shrimp, deveined, shell on
1 head (10 cloves) garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1 tablespoon for spicier tastes)
1/2 stick clarified butter 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup white wine (dry)
2 tablespoons regular butter

Directions:
Pat the shrimp dry. In a gallon zip top bag, mix the flour, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add shrimp and coat each piece of shrimp with the mixture. Heat saute pan over medium-high heat (any higher and the garlic will burn). Add clarified butter and garlic. Stir for 1 minute, then add all of the shrimp. Saute 3 minutes on each side. After 3 minutes on the second side, add the wine and 2 tablespoons butter. Saute, turning shrimp occasionally, until it reaches a caramel brown color.

My opinion:
We had way more shrimp than would fit in one pan! The next time we make this, I will be using the wok, as that would probably keep the garlic from burning. As we had about three pounds of shrimp total, we ended up using the entire bottle of wine. We’ll also probably take the shells off instead of leaving them on as we really like the coating. All in all, it was very close to the deliciousness that is Giovanni’s. Now if only it came with a side of the ocean…

Ham and Bean Soup

This recipe is similar to the one served in the United States Senate. “Bean soup is on the menu in the Senate’s restaurant every day. There are several stories about the origin of that mandate, but none has been corroborated,” according to the Senate website devoted to the topic. It’s super easy, very filling and wonderful on a cold night.

Ingredients (to serve 8):
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large celery ribs cut into 1/4 pieces
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small lemon
1 can (14.5 ounces) petite diced tomatoes
3 cans great Northern beans
16 ounces chicken broth PLUS 14.5 ounces of vegetable broth OR 2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound (or as much or little as you like) ham

Directions:
In a saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in celery, garlic, carrot and onion. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
Squeeze lemon juice into the saucepot. Add tomatoes and their juice, undrained beans and remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce to medium-low, simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes to blend flavors. Makes about 10 cups.

My opinion:
This soup was super easy. J made the entire thing start to finish in less than 40 minutes. It was flavorful and very filling. We will definitely be adding this to the regular winter rotation.

Super Simple Fried Chicken

#cookchat regulars will remember this from the chat earlier this summer. Since then, though, we’ve made a few tweaks and the recipe is as delicious as ever. (Full disclosure: this is one of J’s specialties. I just help.)

ingredients:
Vegetable oil
boneless skinless chicken breasts
eggs (scrambled)
1/3 cup matzoh meal
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup flour
spices (we use Alton Brown’s spice mix of 2 tablespoons kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika, 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper)

Directions:
Combine the spices, flour, matzoh meal and corn starch in a zip top gallon bag. Heat a bottle of vegetable oil (or the oil of your choice) in a wok (what we use) or a 12-inch cast iron skillet or heavy fry pan. When water droplets “dance” when sprinkled on the oil it is hot enough. Coat the chicken in the egg mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Add the chicken to the bag of dr mixture and coat. Then place in hot oil.

If you are adding more than one piece at a time, be sure not to crowd the pieces together. Fry for about 6 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and place in a colander or on paper bags.

Once cool, plate and enjoy!

My opinion:
If you like spicy chicken the easiest way to make the chicken spicier is to add more spices or spice amounts to the mix. However, you can always add hot sauce to the egg mixture or brush the chicken with hot sauce before adding to the dry mixture. We love this dish! It is better in flavor and texture than store-bought or fast food chicken.