Do you remember back in the day....when you're whooole life was ahead of you? You were young, (you're husband was young!!). You were thinking of starting a family and had dreams of grandeur. You had no money, no experience....it was all so new and exciting. And you were in loooove
(ok...if you're not a gal or you're still young (and I won't hold it against you much....just humor yourself and keep reading anyway)
And you couldn't cook worth shit. But you're husband said you were the best cook ever. (boy...the things men will say to get a little hanky panky! )
Imagine being in your early twenties again (no no....don't get depressed, it's all about those memories). Its a cool night and you're home before the love of your life is and you want to make something good for dinner. Something new but not too difficult. (something that doesn't require pulsing in a blender, making a roux, braising or any of those other terms and "skills" that have yet to be understood or mastered).
Imagine the days when ground beef was a main ingredient and a staple. Hamburgers, hot dogs, mac n cheese in a blue box were all items eaten on a weekly basis for lack of experience and know how. (Do you know what kind of look I'd get if I tried to serve mac n cheese and hot dogs for dinner tonight?? )
It was probably a night very similar to that, that had me skimming the pages of my then new Better Crocker Cookbook, thumbing and scouring the "hamburger" section trying to find such a recipe. It had to meet a lot of requirements....
1. It couldn't be too involved or overly complicated.
2. It had to have ingredients that I knew he'd like (or hoped he would)
3. It had to have ingredients that I had in my pantry
And there it was. On page 35: Hamburger Stroganoff!!!
Little did I know back then that it would remain a family favorite over the years. Here I am, 21 years later (oh God...I got OLD!!! shhhhh...don't tell anyone. Least of all ME!! )
and I'm still making what I like to refer to as Poor Man's Stroganoff
This is such a simple meal. It's creamy. It's filling. And its inexpensive.
1 lb hamburger
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup margarine or butter (thank God they said "or" cuz I'm sure all I had was margarine back then LOL)
2 TB flour
1 tsp salt (I use a lot LESS)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped, or 1 tsp garlic salt (there it is again, the ever important "or")
1/4 tsp pepper
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms stems and pieces, drained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup dairy sour cream or unflavored yogurt (I use sour cream)
2 or 3 cups hot cooked noodles or rice (back then, egg noodles were always used)
Cook and stir hamburger and onion in butter in 10-inch skillet until hamburger is light brown. Stir in flour, salt, garlic, pepper and mushrooms. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes. Stir in soup. Heat to a boiling, stirring constantly; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Stir in sour cream; heat through.
Serve over hot noodles and if desired, sprinkle with snipped parsley.
Thats it. Serves 4.
Let me give you a little tip though. All these years, once I add that flour, it sticks to the bottom of the pan. I'd try to scrape it up...or stir more but it always always happens.
So what I do now is add a bit of water or broth to the pan just prior to adding the soup....thus de-glazing the pan and not losing a single bit of flavorful goodness.
Do you have a recipe that you've been making since "the good ole days" that is reminiscent of the times?