I have discovered that if I don’t plan things out ahead of time or have had a long day at work, it changes my entire way of thinking about cooking. I throw the health aspects of cooking out the window (for the most part) and stick with old stand-bys and comfort foods from my childhood. Or I punt. The hubs is always amazed at some of the things that I create on a whim or a wing and a prayer. Last night’s dinner was a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new. Or a comfortable stand-by and a far reaching punt! I’d say it was a win-win!
My original plan was to make Bierocks for dinner. Yum. I always make bierocks around St. Patrick’s Day. I won’t go into the details right now, because I’m planning on making them for dinner tomorrow or Thursday (since I didn’t make them last night).
So, having some lean ground beef thawed in the refrigerator and knowing that daughter number 2 can not eat ground meat, I knew that I had to have pasta to serve alongside whatever I came up with. I thought about sitting down at the computer to look through blogs or food sites when I was mulling over in my mind what ingredients I had on hand to use. And it came to me. Stroganoff. Not “real” stroganoff. Quick and easy Hamburger Stroganoff. It is one of the recipes from the Sunday School Cookbook that we created in 1976 and I have used faithfully ever since. This recipe came from a woman whose two sons were a grade above and a grade below me in school. I still see her about once a week. One of these days I should thank her for this recipe. I did alter it a bit tonight, and used very lean ground beef in my recipe. I will share with you the original.
- 1 pound hamburger
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons flour
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 1 cup dairy sour cream
Cook and stir meat and onion in butter in large skillet until meat is brown and onion is tender. Stir in flour, salt, garlic, pepper and mushrooms. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in soup, heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve over butter noodles.
Well, that was the comfort food. By the time the water for the noodles is ready and the noodles are cooked, the Stroganoff is done. Perfect.
For my punt dish, I created a brand new version of a salad that daughter number 2 found several years ago, when she had to create a dish for a class that she was taking. The dish she chose is called Apple Snickers salad. It calls for fresh apples, cored, peeled, and diced, Snickers candy bars, chopped, and whipped topping. That’s it. It’s wonderful. As I was making the Stroganoff I remembered that I had some apples that had been cored and sliced for the Parent Teacher dinner fruit plate. They had gotten pretty brown so I didn’t take them. I thought I would take a look at them and see if they were salvageable. Some of them were beyond eating, but quite a few were just fine. I don’t keep Snickers candy bars on hand (does anyone?) so I punted and came up with my own version. I think it might actually be better than the original. Here it is.
- 4 apples, cored, peeled and diced
- ¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
- ½ can Dulce de Leche
- 1 cup chocolate whipped topping
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Everyone loved it. In fact, the entire dinner was a hit! Yay for me! It is a rarity that everyone at the table likes what is set before them. The Stroganoff wasn’t a fave for everyone, but the hubs and I liked it. The salad was a HUGE success. Huge. I can see this as one of those fun dishes to take to a potluck or gathering. Way too much fun for any one dish!
The next time you’re in a pinch for a ground beef dish, I think you should try the Hamburger Stroganoff. It is quick and easy and a tummy pleaser to boot! Thanks, Jean!