VEGETARIAN MUSHROOM STROGANOFF

(Sorry, no picture. I lost it when my computer and my camera were not speaking. They have resolved their differences now, but the picture is still missing in action. Will add a picture in the near future.)

Of course you know what most savvy people are saying about vegetarians or people who eat at least one or more meatless meals a week. And yes you are right there with me if you too believe the word is “smart”. But another word immediately jumps into my brain also. And that word is “yummy”. Because there are just an abundance of wonderful recipes out there that don’t contain as much as a quarter cup of meat broth or a tablespoon of bacon fat to make them both delicious and nutritious.

So when I hear someone say they hate vegetarian food, I almost always look at them as if they just stepped out of a brand spanking new Studebaker. And just for your information, the last Studebaker was manufactured in 1967!

Because in my opinion, what these folks have done is limit themselves to food choices that are often expensive, include more protein than is necessary for continued good health, and lack the vegetables, herbs, spices, and whole grains needed to supply our bodies with the necessary vitamins and minerals to support good health. (And no, I don’t believe taking a daily multi-vitamin replaces the lack of fresh vegetables, herbs, spices, and fruits in our diet!) And don’t even get me started on fiber!

So when I decided the other evening to serve “Beef Stroganoff”, I thought about my pledge to serve more meatless dishes. And I concluded that the meat in a stroganoff was not the part I cherished the most. What I loved were the mushrooms, noodles, and the savory sour cream gravy. So I basically made my standard recipe without the meat. And truly, I didn’t miss the meat one little bit.

So in essence you might say that this new spin on my old recipe was “fashioned by an impulsive epicure”.

(Sorry Leah Worth for changing out the words “for” and “ingénue” with “by” and “epicure” from the Bobby Troup classic song “The Meaning of the Blues”.) But it really was Mr. Cs idea to change the lyric. He changed the word “ingénue” to “epicure” while we were listening to the song and talking about food. (Nothing new, believe me!) And I loved the new words, because like Mr. C, I too feel that the word epicure has fallen into disuse. So while I was writing up this recipe, our conversation while listening to Janis Mann’s version of this beautiful blues song came to mind. And I totally felt that Mr. Cs new lyric applied to what I had just done to my original Beef Stroganoff recipe. Hence the musical reference.

(For those of you haven’t the foggiest idea what I’m talking about, I have included the words to one of the loveliest and saddest songs ever written. I’m sure after reading the lyrics you will perfectly understand how the entire chain of events came about. Or not!) But regardless, give this recipe a try. I truly believe the epicure in you won’t miss the meat in the least.

The Meaning of the Blues

Blue was just the color of the sea,

Til my lover left me;

Blue was just a bluebird in a tree,

Til he said “Forget me.”

Blue always made me think of summer,

Cloudless summer skies so fresh and warm;

But now the blue I see is more like winter

Winter skies with clouds about to storm.

Blue was just the color of his eyes

Til he said “Goodbye, love.”

Blue was just a ribbon for first prize

Til he said, “Don’t cry, love.”

And blues were only torch songs

Fashioned for impulsive ingénues;

But now I know, too well I know,

Too well I know the meaning of the blues.

(To hear this song performed, search on “Julie London meaning of the blues”.)

  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. butter, divided
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced (or any combination of fresh mushrooms)
  • scant ½ c. chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ c. dry white wine
  • 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves or ¾ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1½ c. vegetable or mushroom broth
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 8-oz. wide egg noodles, cooked al dente
  • 2 T. chopped Italian parsley

Heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and onion; cook until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms slices are starting to brown. Stir in garlic and cook for one minute. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. When the wine is all but evaporated, add the thyme, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes.

Whisk in broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream and noodles. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve immediately.

Tip: Never cook noodles ahead of time and let them sit until you’re ready for them. If any part of the dish needs to wait, it should be the sauce. And no, I don’t care what any given recipe says. If it instructs you to cook the noodles and just keep them warm, just say no! You know better!

 

Please let me know if you like this recipe. Thanks