Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

My husband was craving this dish and I had never made it before. I was pleasantly surprise. This is not your traditional and rich beef stroganoff. It is brightened up by a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice and flavored by some tomato paste. Definitely, a keeper!


- For stroganoff:
2 Tbspn. olive oil
1 pound beef sirloin, cut into 2x1x1/8-inch strips
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbspn. unsalted butter
8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbspn. tomato paste
3 Tbspn. all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth, homemade or low-sodium canned
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tspn. Dijon mustard
2 tspn. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbspn. chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

- For the noodles:
Kosher salt
One 12-ounce package wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper


Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Raise the heat to high and heat 1 tablespoon oil. Season half the beef with salt and pepper, add to the skillet, arranging it in a single layer, and saute, without stirring, until well-browned and still pinkish inside, about 1 to 2 minutes. (It is key to only partially cook the meat at this stage, since it will be finish cooking later in the sauce.) Transfer to a large plate and set aside. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef. Discard any excess oil.

Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and, when the foaming begins to subside, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until well-browned, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the plate with the beef.

Heat 4 tablespoons butter and, just as the foaming begins to subside, add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 1 minute more. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the beef broth and, whisking constantly, bring to a full boil. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the sour cream, mustard, and lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. Set the sauce aside covered.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously, and cook the noodles until tender but not mushy. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the butter and season with pepper to taste.

Add the beef and any juices, mushrooms, and parsley to the sauce and reheat over medium heat until just hot. (Do not boil.) Divide the noodles among 4 plates and top with the stroganoff. Serve immediately.

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Food Network Kitchens" - Adapted

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Crème Fraîche Ice Cream

The weather has been ideal to try all kinds of ice cream recipes. The other night we had friends over for dinner and I thought this would be a great opportunity to try this luscious ice cream. Crème Fraîche is a french cultured cream, similar to Mascarpone Cheese to Italians. It is less sour than regular sour cream and it has a comparatively low viscosity and a higher fat content. By itself can be added as a topping to a dessert or even use to smooth a delicious and creamy soup. In this case, it is added to a simple custard and as a result... you'll get a delicious, smooth, sweet and luscious ice cream...


1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Big pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
2 cups Crème Fraîche


Prepare a medium-sized bowl with a mesh strainer over the top and set it in an ice bath.

Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back in the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof plastic spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir until cool over an ice bath. Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator.

Once cool, whisk in the Crème Fraîche, then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Note: If you can't find Crème Fraîche in your location, you can make your own version by stirring together 1 cups of heavy cream and 1/4 cup buttermilk. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours, until thick. Refrigerate until ready to use.


Source: Recipe Courtesy of "The Perfect Scoop" by David Lebovitz

Monday, July 18, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are in season and muffins are a perfect pair for them! I have already posted a blueberry muffin recipe before, but when I saw this new one, I decided to try it. I was not wrong. They are so incredibly airy, full of flavor and let me warn you... they can be addictive!


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbspn. baking powder
½ tspn. salt
1 egg
1 cup granulated sugar
4 Tbspn.unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1¼ cups sour cream
1½ cups frozen or fresh blueberries


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F*. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin (or line with paper liners) and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined. Whisk the egg in a separate medium bowl until well-combined and light-colored, about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and whisk vigorously until thick, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition. Add the sour cream in 2 additions, whisking just to combine.

Add the berries to the dry ingredients and gently toss just to combine. Add the sour cream mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until the batter comes together and the berries are evenly distributed, 25 to 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be very thick. Do not overmix.

Using a large spoon or a cookie scoop sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, divide the batter amount the muffin cups. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown and a toothpick or thin knife inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time. Immediately remove muffins to a wire rack and cool for at least 5 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

Note: I tried this recipe with fresh blueberries (like the first picture) and they have a cleaner look, while the batch I made with frozen ones, the batter part makes purple stripes in it (picture bellow)

Trust me. You will not regret to make these guys!

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Brown Eyed Baker"

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Mexican Grilled Corn

If you're ready looking for a delicious recipe for grilled corn, here is this one. Full of texture, flavor and depth! This 4th of July can be the day to make your corn with a little twist and add some Mexican flare!


1/4 cup regular or light mayonnaise
3 Tbspn. sour cream
3 Tbspn. minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 medium garlic clove, minced
3/4 tspn. chili powder
1/4 tspn. ground black pepper
1/4 tspn. cayenne pepper (Optional)
4 tspn. juice from 1 lime
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)
4 tspn. vegetable oil, plus extra for cooling grate
12 tspn. kosher salt
6 large ears corn, husks and silk removed


Turn all burners to high and heat grill with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes.

Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cilantro, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, pepper, cayenne (if using), lime juice, and cheese in large bowl; set aside. In a second large bowl (I used a gallon sized ziploc bag), combine oil, salt, and remaining chili powder; add corn and toss until coated evenly.

Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in vegetable oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooling grate. Grill corn, turning occasionally, until lightly charred on all sides, 7 to 12 minutes. Place corn in bowl with mayonnaise mixture; toss to coat evenly (I used a kitchen brush and brush them evenly around). Serve immediately.

Source: Recipe Courtesy of "Cook's Ilustrated, Summer Grilling

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summer Fruit Tarts

Talking about summer treats, this is one of our favorites. Easy to make and delicious to pieces! You can either make it as a big tart or individual ones. I chose to use a square biscuit cutter to make mine.


- For the pastry:
2 sheets of puff pastry, thawed

- For the glaze:

1 large egg lightly beaten
1 Tbspn. milk

- For the Cream Filling:
1 cup mascarpone cheese or cream cheese
1 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
4 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1 tspn. pure vanilla extract

- For garnish:
Any combination of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries) or other fruit such as slices of peaches, plums, bananas, cantaloupe, melon, or kiwi.
Mint leaves, chiffonade.
Powder sugar


For the Pastry Tart: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Roll out the puff pastry and smooth it out with a rolling pin. Using a biscuit cutter, cut 9 pieces and put them on the baking sheet . Using a sharp paring knife, score a 1/4-inch-wide border around each pastry square. Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled (15 minutes or so)

In the meantime, make the glaze (egg and milk). With the help of a pastry brush, brush the little squares and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350º F and continue to bake the tart shells for a further 5 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Remove and place on a wire rack.

Once the shells are cooled, with the help of a sharp paring knife remove the top of the inside square. Set those aside, you'll use them at the end for decoration.

Cream Filling: In a large bowl, beat the mascarpone or cream cheese until fluffy and smooth. Add the heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until soft peaks forms. At this point, you can start filling up your shells. You can use a pipe or spoon the filling into the shell. (I used a cookie scoop for mine).

Garnish: Decorate with the fresh berries or fruit of your choice and chiffonade mint. Cut the little square tops in half and add it to the final mini tart. Sprinkle some powder sugar.

Note: You can make the puff pastry shell several hours in advance but do not fill with the cream and fruit until shortly before serving.

Source: Recipe adapted from "Joy of Baking"