Friday, March 13, 2009

Karen Surprise

I'm an OK cook. I hate trying to come up with what to cook and I'd much prefer if someone else did the work, but I'll do my job. Once in a while I get "creative" and make something without a recipe, just using what I have on hand. These dinners are called "Karen Surprise" in our house. Sometimes they come out tasty, sometimes awful, but Dave is generally good about eating anything.

I was at a loss yesterday of what to cook for dinner, and had the TV on. Rachael Ray was making her version of Shepard's Pie, stuffing everything back into the potato skin. I didn't have any potatoes, but I was intrigued with the meat mixture she made and it inspired this Karen's Surprise which got a rave review, and I'm trying to write it down so I can remember it for next time.

Odd item in this recipe is Dried Shitake Mushrooms. Dave was doing the Costco run one day and came home with these, think bag the size of a family size bag of potato chips. I'm sure any old mushrooms that you have on hand, either fresh or canned, would be a fine substitute, but I've got to use up that big bag.

Karen's Surprise Stroganoff

1 can beef broth
1 cup dried shitake mushrooms
1 lb ground beef
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced red pepper
salt & pepper
1 tbsp margarine
2 tbsp flour
large splash, about 1/4 cup soy sauce
small splash, about 2 tbsp worchester sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 cup sour cream

Soak the mushrooms in some of the beef broth while gathering other ingredients and starting to brown the ground beef. Add in the onion and red pepper, cook to soften. When the beef and veggies are cooked, create a hole in the center of the pan to melt the margarine, then add the flour and stir the roue (this is what Rachael did). Once together you can just stir it into the meat mixture. Add the soaked mushrooms and broth and the rest of the can of beef broth. Stir while it thickens. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sour cream. At this point I let it simmer for a while to "blend the flavors" and soften the mushrooms more. Just before serving add the sour cream, then serve over cooked noodles.

Voila!

If anyone tries this, I'd love to hear about it!