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Friday, March 30

Beef with mushrooms & barley

Mushrooms, dried, such as porcini
1 ounce
Water, boiling
2 cups +
1 cup
Butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons
Beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 pounds
Onions, yellow, finely chopped
Garlic, minced
2 cloves
Mushrooms, fresh, preferably cremini, brushed clean, stems removed, and caps thinly sliced
1 pound
Beef broth
16 ounces
Pearl barley
½ cup
Carrots, finely chopped
Parsnips, peeled, finely chopped

Pepper, freshly ground

Dill, fresh, chopped
2 tablespoons

  1. Place dried mushrooms in a bowl, add boiling water, and let soak for 20 minutes.
  2. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth placed over a bowl.
  3. Rinse the mushrooms under cold running water, and then finely chop.
  4. Set the mushrooms and soaking liquid aside.
  1. In a large frying pan over medium-heat heat, melt butter.
  2. Working in batches, if necessary, add the beef.
  3. Turning frequently, brown the beef on all sides, about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the pan, and set aside.
  1. Add the onion to the pan, and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in rehydrated mushrooms.
  4. Add fresh mushrooms, and sauté over medium heat until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the mushroom soaking liquid and the broth.
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Transfer the beef to a Dutch oven.
  3. Add the mushroom mixture, and stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, about 2 hours.
  5. Uncover, and stir in barley with 1 cup of boiling water.
  6. Cover, and cook for an hour.
  7. Uncover, and stir in carrots and parsnips.
  8. Cover, and cook until the beef and barley are tender, about 30 minutes longer.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  1. Spoon into warmed bowls.
  2. Garnish with dill.
  3. Serve immediately.
Based on a recipe from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking.

Sunday, March 25

Beef stroganoff with mushrooms

Chuck steak or round steak, cut crosswise into strips about ½-inch wide
3 pounds
Flour, all-purpose
3 tablespoons +
2 tablespoons

Pepper, freshly ground

Butter, unsalted
6 tablespoons +
6 tablespoons +
2 tablespoons
Olive oil
2 tablespoons +
1 tablespoon
Onion, yellow, thinly sliced
2 cloves
Dry red wine
1 cup
Beef broth
2 cups
Thyme, fresh
2 sprigs
Mushrooms, assorted fresh, cleaned, stems removed, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 ½ pounds
Sour cream
16 ounces
Dry sherry
¼ cup
Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons
Dry mustard
1 ½ teaspoons
Parsley, fresh, chopped
2 tablespoons +
3 tablespoons
Egg noodles, cooked
  1. Combine 3-tablespoons flour with 1-teaspoon salt, and ½-teaspoon pepper in a shallow dish.
  2. In a large frying pan over high heat, melt 6-tablespoons butter with 2-tablespoons oil.
  3. Working in batches, roll the steak in the flour mixture, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove steak from the pan, and set aside.
  5. Add the onion to the pan, and sauté over medium-high heat until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, and sauté for about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the wine and broth, and bring to a boil, stirring and scrapping up the browned bits on the pan bottom with a wooden spoon.
  8. Transfer the steak and any accumulated juices to a large Dutch oven.
  9. Pour the broth mixture over the steak, and add the thyme.
  10. Cover and cook over very low heat until the steak is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  11. In a large skillet over high heat, melt 6-tablespoons butter with 1-tablespoon oil.
  12. Add the mushrooms, and sauté until brown, about 4 minutes.
  13. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and add the mushrooms to the steak.
  14. In a bowl, stir together the sour cream, sherry, and Worcestershire sauce.
  15. Stirring constantly, sprinkle in 2-tablespoons flour with dry mustard, until thoroughly blended.
  16. Add to the mushroom-steak mixture.
  17. Continue to cook, covered, until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.
  18. Combine cooked noodles with 2-tablespoons butter and 3-tablespoons parsley.
  19. Serve stroganoff over the noodles with parsley sprinkled atop.
Recipe Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking.

Saturday, March 24

Corn & chive pudding

Butter, melted and cooled
4 tablespoons
Corn kernels
1 pound
¼ cup
1 ½ teaspoons
2 cups
Eggs, large
3 tablespoons
Chives, chopped
¼ cup +
3 tablespoons
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a shallow 1 ½-quart casserole.
  3. Using a blender, coarsely chop half the corn, and transfer to a medium bowl.
  4. Add the remaining corn, sugar, and salt; stirring until well combined.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, butter, flour, and ¼ cup of chives; stir in with corn mixture until well combined.
  6. Pour into the butter dish, and sprinkle with nutmeg.
  7. Bake until the center is set, about 45 minutes.
  8. Garnish with 3 tablespoons chives, and serve.
Recipe from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever.

Friday, March 23

Sautéed greens with leek & garlic

Garlic, minced
3 cloves
Leek, large, sliced crosswise
Olive oil, extra virgin
1 tablespoon
1 bunch
1 bunch
Mirin or sherry
2 tablespoons
Balsamic vinegar

  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, sauté garlic and leek with the oil until soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add greens and mirin (or sherry), and sauté until the greens are bright green and tender, about 4 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Wednesday, March 14

Strawberry cream(ed) pie

Let's just say, for the record, cream pies and mountain roads are not good companions.
Milk, whole
1 ¼ cups
Eggs, separated
2 tablespoons
½ cup
Strawberry preserves
1 cup
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Combine milk, 6 tablespoons sugar, a few grains of salt, cornstarch, and slightly beaten yolks.
  3. Cook over hot water (in a separate bowl, of course) until thick and smooth.
  4. Add strawberry preserves, which have been well drained.
  5. Pour into baked pastry shell.
  6. Cover with meringue made from egg whites and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
  7. Bake 20 minutes.
Recipe from The Household Searchlight Recipe Book, passed down from my Grandmother Miller.