Sunday, November 21, 2004


Mushroom Stroganoff

The other day I had a really tasty mushroom stroganoff dish from Whole Foods. When I looked up the recipe on their site it was quite obviously not the same thing, so I decided to concoct my own. I think it came out really well! Normally you would add beef to this, but I just wanted to highlight the fantastic meatiness of the mushrooms. As with any other recipe, the key here is to use super high quality ingredients. Get the best butter you can, use your good brandy and make sure the mushrooms are not spongy. This is a hearty dish that holds up well in chilly weather. Enjoy!

2 tablespoons butter
1 small shallot, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
A hearty pinch of paprika
3 cups mixed mushrooms, sliced or rough chopped
A good dash of brandy
¼ cup sour cream or crème fraiche
Salt and (lots of fresh cracked) pepper to taste
Chopped dill to garnish

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned. The trick to getting mushrooms to brown is to not crowd the pan and to not move them at all for the first two or three minutes. Resist the urge and they will brown nicely. Turn the heat down and move the pan away from the flame, then add the brandy, paprika and crème fraiche, return to the stove and allow heat through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with mashed potatoes or noodles, and a garnish of dill.

Serves four

"Beef stroganoff is a dish consisting of strips of lean beef sauteed and served in a sour-cream

sauce with onions and mushrooms. The recipe, which is of Russian origin, has been known
since the eighteenth century, but its name appears to come from County Paul Stroganoff,
a nineteenth-century Russian diplomat. Legend has it that when he was stationed in deepest
Siberia, his chef discovered that the beef was frozen so solid that it could only be coped with by
cutting it into very thin strips. The first English cookery book to include it seems to have been
Ambrose Heath's Good Food (1932)."---An A-Z of Food & Drink, by John Ayto

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