I am a strong believer in the power of positive thinking. That’s the only way I have found to be successful at anything I have ever attempted. Well positive thinking and a Betty Crocker cookbook given to me when I was 20 years old! You see, Betty taught me to cook. And one of my early culinary successes was Beef Stroganoff. And through becoming confident in the kitchen, I became confident in other areas as well. Or at least confidence enough to try other endeavors that interested me. And believe me, through the years I have taken on many projects and adventures that had I been told as a teenager I would be doing, would have caused me to laugh out loud or bury my head under a pillow!
Now don’t get your hopes up too much. This is not the recipe that was in my 1961 First Edition Betty Crocker’s New Picture Cook Book. This is my version that has been manipulated, adjusted, and massaged for over 50 years. But even with all the revisions I have made, this is still one of the easiest and quickest dishes to prepare. Also one of the most delicious. So, absolutely perfect for a weeknight meal. Serve with a green salad or a nice steamed green veggie, and dinners ready.
And as far as using your cooking skills to translate into the power of positive thinking, it really only makes sense. Good food on the table makes your family and friends happy. Which means they will always want to be at your table which only makes you feel better about yourself and want to continue feeling that way. So I say, cheers to good food and to those who provide it! Of course you still have to use your head while reeling from the afterglow of a meal well prepared. You still can’t fly or jump off roofs or any of the other skills attributed to super heroes. You are still human, even if you are a marvelous cook! But if you drift off to sleep dreaming of your face on the cover of Time magazine, that’s OK. It means you have the confidence to believe that anything is possible. And confidence in confidence alone is a great thing. Just ask Julie Andrews!
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, cut in half then thinly sliced
- ½-¾ lb. button mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ lb. high quality lean beef, cut in very, very thin strips against the grain, then into bite sized pieces
- ¼ c. brandy
- 1 c. beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. whole grain mustard
- 1 c. sour cream
- 1 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley or 2 tsp. dried parsley
- 1½ c. uncooked thick egg noodles, cooked al dente
(I buy my thick noodles at Costco. They are every bit as good as homemade – and a lot less work!)
Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy skillet. Fry the onion and mushrooms over medium heat until the mushrooms are dry and browned. While they are cooking add salt and pepper. Remove to a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Add cut steak to the same skillet and quickly fry over high heat for 30 seconds to a minute. (The meat should still be semi-rare.) Remove from pan and add to the bowl with the cooked onion and mushrooms; set aside. Remove pan from heat and add the brandy, beef stock, and bay leaf to the pan. Return pan to stove and reduce the liquid by half. (If there are brown bits on the bottom of the pan, be sure to scrape them up into the liquid.) Stir in the mustard and add the cooked onion, mushrooms and meat, sour cream, parsley, and cooked noodles. Adjust seasoning and discard the bay leaf. Cook just until hot, then serve immediately.
And remember: if any part of this dish has to wait, make your sauce wait for your noodles, not the other way around.