On Sunday, I went for a lazy afternoon walk and enjoyed frozen yogurt sitting on a bench in the sun. Yesterday, I walked home from the gym wearing a sleeveless T-shirt and shorts (and carrying my coat) and was 100% comfortable. After all, it was 70 degrees!
And then reality set in when I scoped out the five day weather forecast. Looks like we're not out of
the woods winter yet, folks.
As annoyed as I might have been to see snow predicted not once, but twice, I had to pat myself on the back. Why? Because I had a toasty warm meal ready in the crock pot when I got home. Beef stroganoff was on the menu! "Have you seen a calendar lately, Katy? It's spring! Enough with the cozy comfort foods already." Well, yes, it may technically be spring, but I'm not quite ready to pack away my winter coats and turtleneck sweaters. Especially with that kind of forecast.
Crock pot meals on Monday mean outrageous leftovers for me a few days later, perfect for combating the cold front headed this way. And those leftovers are even better when they are smothered in a tangy rich sauce chock full of tender beef, mushrooms and onions. Beef stroganoff, utilizing an inexpensive cut of beef, is typically served over simple egg noodles, another budget-friendly pantry staple. The sauce that's flavored by Dijon mustard and smooth sour cream is the kind of thing you'd swear you could eat poured over even cardboard. (What, just me? Try it for yourself!) And the mushrooms and onions? A match made in Heaven, I swear.
One Year Ago: Maple-marinated salmon
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
(adapted, in parts, from Everyday Food and Betty Crocker)
1 pound beef chuck, trimmed of excess fat and cut into thin slices (about 1/2 inch thick and 3 inches long)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 pound white mushrooms, trimmed and halved (or quartered, if large)
Ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Cooked thin egg noodles, for serving
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
In a slow cooker, toss beef, onion, mushrooms, and 1 1/2 cups water with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover, and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours (or on high for 6 hours).
In a small saucepan, whisk cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water. Ladle 1/2 cup cooking liquid into measuring cup; whisk to combine. Place saucepan over heat and bring to a boil; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. With slow cooker turned off, stir in cornstarch mixture, then sour cream and mustard. Serve beef over noodles; sprinkle with dill, if desired.