Tag Archives: asparagus

Mushroom “Stroganoff”

mushroom-stroganoff

YUM

I was reading a few yummy recipes, some for beef stroganoff and some for a mushroom and pasta dish, and the wires must have gotten crossed and this creation emerged.  I had a rather large packet of mushrooms from Costco and I’ve been trying not to waste them (again).  So I figured I’d saute them and server with ribbon pasta and some sort of sauce, but that’s not exactly what happened.  Here is what I did:

Ingredients:
24oz packet of mushrooms (thinly sliced)
1 cup of low-fat sour cream
Roasted asparagus (optional; I just had some in the fridge so decided to use it)
1 large onion (diced)
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, sweet paprika, smoked spanish paprika (all to taste)
Noodles (I used half a pound of whole wheat ones)

Steps:
Cook noodles according to package directions
1. Saute onion.
2. Add mushrooms and saute them too. If you see it sticking, add some stock or pasta water.
3. Add sour cream. Season.
4. Add asparagus, if using.

mushrooms_onions

Mushrooms and onions

mushroom stroganoff

With Sourcream

mushroom stroganoff with pasta

With Noodles

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Roasted Salad

Roasted Salad

Roasted Salad

I am so thrilled that it’s finally summer, but it seems I can’t give up my oven. Though I do have a grill, it’s an electric one. 😦 My local fire department does not allow grilling on balconies. But I still love summer veggies and have a tendency to buy too much. So, today, I decided to put some of those veggies to good use and make a salad. Since roasting is so easy and brings out the flavor so much, I decided to sacrifice personal comfort in my caricature-worthy tiny kitchen for the benefit of the salad.

Ingredients:
3 bell peppers (I used red, orange, and yellow)
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 red onion diced
1 tb basil
Salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar to taste

Steps:
1. Cut up the peppers in large chunks and clean the asparagus
2. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Roast to your desired doneness at 425 degrees; I roasted the asparagus for about 5-6 minutes and peppers for about 15-20.
4. When the veggies cool, dress with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.
5. Add the diced onion.
6. Sprinkle with a little bit of basil

Roasted Salad Detail

Roasted Salad Detail

Voila! Ready to serve.

Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus

I didn’t grow up eating asparagus and it always looked a little scary in restaurants. You know the kind, an unnatural green, bizarely sagging, mushy spears. Yuck. Not knowing how to cook it, I’ve resisted it for a long time, but finally gave it a try. Turns out, I like it. A lot. I’ve roasted it a few times, but I was in an experimenting mood today. What you see is what I came up with.

Ingredients:
1 lb asparagus
1-3 tb of olive oil,
1-2 tb of anchovy paste
3-5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
a pinch of chipotle pepper (optional)

Steps:
1. Heat the minced garlic in the olive oil on low heat, until it’s fragrant.
2. Add the anchovy paste and try to dissolve it. It probably won’t dissolve completely at this point, and that’s OK. It will with the asparagus.
3. Add asparagus (and chipotle pepper, if using) and turn up the heat to high. Cook for a few minutes stirring all the time, until crisp-tender.

I served it with baked salmon. If you’re worried about tasting anchovies, don’t. All you taste is the smoky, velvety taste of something. Can’t quite put your finger on it, but definitely no fishy taste. And my choice of serving it with salmon was great. It worked out well.

I know what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. Who wouldn’t want this even as leftovers?!

Asparagus cooking

Asparagus cooking

Finished Asparagus

Finished Asparagus



Salmon and Asparagus

Salmon and Asparagus

Thanksgiving Part 2

The day is finally here and I’m giddy with excitement. I started cooking late last night and continued today. One of my big realizations was that everything except that was cooked, except the boiled potatoes, was baked. My oven fulfilled its baking duties fully. I love my stove/oven but as my mental list of my dream kitchen grows longer, I’m adding double ovens to that list. Or maybe it should be triple ovens.

Today, we got together around 2:30 and people left after 8. We laughed and toasted and chatted and reminisced and remembered. And ate. And ate. And ate. That’s the “Russian” way.
This year, as we toasted to the things we were thankful for such as family, health, friends, and other such things, we also added “having jobs”. Face it, it’s a blessing to have a job currently.

But as much as I love this day and as much as I look forward to it all year, I am also not sorry that this day is drawing to a close. Finally sitting down in my comfy PJs and running a load of dishes in the dishwasher, I am truly thankful for all that I have, but especially for being here and being able to celebrate this wonderful holiday.

But without further delay, here are the pictures to accompany the menu in this post.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Spread

Thanksgiving Spread

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, in large part because I love all the cooking.  Most people dread all the cooking, but I even take Wednesday off so I can make a few “spares”, just in case something doesn’t turn out and people still leave with overstuffed bellies.  I still love the holiday, despite the mandatory family squabbling.  But without further delay, here is the menu I’m planning (and yes, I take help where I can):

Appetizers:

  • Chicken wings (not a Thanksgiving staple, but I love them and they seem to go over pretty well with the family).  See above
  • Seafood puffs (puff pastry stuffed with seafood, store bought, and I hope they’re good).
  • Smoked Salmon and Goat Cheese Pizza Bites
  • Smoked Mackerel (this can be found in most Russian food stores; ask for “skumbria”)
  • Baked Asparagus with Cheese
  • Shrimp with sauce
Whole fish

Whole fish

Fish in pieces

Fish in pieces

 

 

 

 

Salads:

  • Seafood salad
  • Olivie? (a French salad, and every cook in former USSR has her/his own twist on it. This one is a maybe since I don’t like peeling potatoes or cutting cooked potatoes.) I decided not to make it this time.
  • Egg salad and mushroom
Turkey

Turkey

Main Course:

  • Baked potatoes (my family is averse to mashed potatoes with skins and I am averse to pealing potatoes)
  • Stuffing (of the StoveTop variety. My family will accept no other.)

Dessert:

Zephyr in Chocolate

Zephyr in Chocolate

  • I bought two pies at Sweet Pies of Door County and we’ll have that. They’re yummy, try one.
  • I also bought a Russian-style dessert called Zephyr in Chocolate. I’m not exactly sure what’s in it, but it seems a marshmallow-type substance covered in dark chocolate.

Recipes and pictures for all these to follow.