Beef Stroganoff—an ideal Christmas or Holiday Dinner Entrée
Over the years one of my ‘go to’ recipes for Christmas Dinner, Christmas Eve, or a New Years Eve Party entree is Beef Stroganoff because:
- It feeds either a crowd or a few
- Can be served buffet style in serving dishes or chafing dishes
- Can be prepared up to a day ahead of time
- Everyone loves it, and
- It is hostess and host friendly! When it is time to eat, with a couple quick and simple steps, the dish is assembled and served with ease.
Of course, I serve it because this recipe tastes so good and I like it! You can economically use Sirloin as the beef, or, for just a little more, and because it is the Holidays, you can use some decadent beef tenderloin (filet).
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2.5 lbs. Sirloin Steak (or beef tenderloin), trimmed, sliced 1/4 inch thick, then cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt (2/3 tsp if coarse kosher salt)
- 1/3 teaspoon pepper
- 5 ounces of chopped onion (about 2/3 cup chopped onion)
- 20 ounces (2.5 cups) Swanson Beef Broth
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallot
- 1/2 pound (8 ounces by weight) Crimini Mushrooms, trimmed and quartered or sliced
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pint (16 oz.) Daisy Sour Cream, at room temperature
- 1 lb of dry egg noodles, cooked in salted water and set aside
- Optional: 3 or 4 tablespoons of minced flat leaf parsley or dill
- Salt and pepper the sliced meat. Heat a heavy skillet to medium to medium-high heat then melt 4Tbl butter. In batches briefly sear sliced meat on both sides to brown, don’t overcook or meat will toughen. Remove from pan and set meat aside.
- Lower heat to medium and in same pan cook onions for 2 or 3 minutes, then add mushrooms and cook both onions and mushrooms for 10 minutes more. Deglaze the skillet with some of the beef broth and use wooden spoon to scrape browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
- In large pan warm beef broth mixture to a simmer then reduce heat so that it does not boil and is below a simmer. Add onions and mushrooms. Add salt, pepper.
- Mix flour into the sour cream, set aside.
- Just before serving add the cooked sliced meat and any meat juices to the broth. Making sure the broth is below boiling, add Sour Cream/flour mixture into the warm broth. (Caution: Once the sour cream is added if the broth boils the sour cream will separate and that’s not good!)
- Adjust seasoning and add salt if needed.
Serve over buttered warm egg noodles. May garnish with minced parsley or dill.
- Clos du Val Pinot Noir
- Dry sparling wine such as Champagne or Asti
Baby Bella Mushrooms Stuffed with Italian Sausage, Parmesan, and Cream Cheese
These scrumpous stuffed mushrooms can be assembled up to a day ahead then popped in the oven just before guests come. Or take the prepped mushrooms to a party and pop them in the oven at the party. They will be a hit!
- 24 Baby Bella Mushrooms
- Dry white wine
- Olive oil
- 3 links Wohlner’s Italian hot sausages, casings removed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- pinch of red pepper flakes or a couple shakes of Tabasco (optional)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces), divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 5 or 6-ounces of cream cheese, room temperature (about 2/3 of a pkg)
- 1 large egg yolk(optional)
Directions - stuffing
- Sauté and brown the sausage, oregano, and optional red pepper flakes in skillet over medium-high heat.
- Be sure to use a wooden spoon to break the sausage into small pieces.
- Remove for skillet with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool in a bowl.
- When cool then stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder, then cream cheese.
- Season filling with salt and pepper; mix in egg yolk.
Directions - mushrooms
- Brush 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish with olive oil to coat.
- Remove stems of each mushroom.
- Brush the outside of each mushroom cap with olive oil, and brush inside of each mushroom cap with white wine; fill with almost 1 tablespoon stuffing and then sprinkle some of remaining 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese onto the stuffing in each mushroom.
- Arrange mushrooms, filling side up, in the oiled baking dish. (May be made a day ahead to this point.. Cover and chill.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake uncovered until mushrooms are tender and filling is brown on top, about 25 minutes.
- Zinfandel, Chianti, Barbera, or Malbec.
- Cinzano Asti, chilled.
Baby Bella Mushrooms Stuffed with Crab
(On sale: Baby Bella Mushrooms-use 8 to 10 baby bellas, Geisha Brand Crab, Crystal Farms Cream Cheese)
5 minutes of prep + 20 minutes of baking in oven = Plenty of happy guests
- Serve with a chilled crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes, Albarino, or for the holidays the perfect pairing is festive chilled sparkling Martini and Rossi Asti and/or Cinzano Asti.
Chicken, Feta and Spinach Sausage Greek Mezes (Cocktail Bites)
(On Sale: Wohlner’s Chicken Feta Spinach Sausage and Mt Vikos Feta Cheese)
A 2 ingredient appetizer!
Here is an easy and tasty Greek meze /party appetizer you can make in no time and serve warm or cold. Wohlner’s Own Chicken, Feta, and Spinach Sausage is the delicious star of this hors dourves augmented with a small cube of Mt. Vikos Greek Feta Cheese.
- 4 to 6 links of Wohlner’s Chicken, Feta and Spinach Sausage
- Mt. Vikos Feta Cheese
- Garnish: Fresh Spinach Leaves
Directions - cooking
- Brown links of Chicken Feta Sausage in a pan with until thoroughly cooked through (to 165°F internal temperature).
- Remove form heat and allow to cool enough to handle.
- When cool enough to handle slice cooked sausage about ½” thick on the bias.
- While sausage cools make some 1/4 inch cubes of feta cheese.
Directions - assembling
- Place a cube of feta on the cut surface of a sausage, secure the feta to the sausage with a toothpick.
- For some color you could also place a small piece of fresh spinach between the sausage and the feta cube.
- Arrange neatly on a plate. Enjoy.
- Serve with a chilled crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes, Alabarino, or for the holidays the perfect pairing is festive chilled sparkling Martini and Rossi Asti and/or Cinzano Asti.
Guacamole with Tostitos Tortilla Chips
(On sale: Avocados, Red Onions, Daisy Sour Cream, Tostitos Tortilla Chips.)
Grab some Avocados and whip up your favorite Guacamole recipe.
- Fat Tire, Tecate, or Dos Equus Amber
Cranberry Sauce Bars - Fun, Festive, and Fantastic
(On Sale: Ocean Spray Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup Ocean Spray whole cranberry sauce, drained
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine the first 5 ingredients: flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, baking powder, and melted butter, until crumbly (large crumbs).
- Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture.
- Press the remainder into an ungreased 8 or 9 inch square pan.
- Spoon and spread the cranberry sauce over the crumb mixture.
- Sprinkle with the reserved crumbs and gently pat.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool and cut in bars (store in the refrigerator).
Makes 16-24 bars.
Crème Caramele a la Franc unmolded
Crème Caramel is a custard where a caramel is first poured into te mold and lowed to cool, then the custard is made with just a few of the simplest ingredients: sugar, water, milk, vanilla bean9or extract), eggs, and egg yolks. It differs form it’s cousin, Crème Brule in that it is ummolded and the caramel is liquidity.
There is only one thing that can improve on Julia Child’s Crème Brulee - Half and Half. If it is made with whole milk it is indeed delicious but imo a little watery in taste and consistency. Substitute some Half and Half for some of the milk and the dessert turns epic.
Ingredients - caramel
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
Ingredients - custard
- 1½ cup whole milk (not 2%, not skim, only whole milk)
- 1 cup Robert’s Half and Half
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean
Directions - caramel
- Add sugar and water to a heavy stainless steel saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.
- When it starts to brown, swirl the saucepan around but do not stir.
- This will ensure that the sugar turns color evenly and will help wash any crystals off the side.
- When it is thick and a light, nutty brown, remove from heat and pour directly into molds; swirl each mold to coat evenly with the caramel.
Directions - custard
- Bring the milk and vanilla bean (if you are using) to just below a simmer in a saucepan. Let the vanilla steep in the milk while you prepare the rest of the custard ingredients.
- Gradually beat the sugar into the eggs and egg yolks in a bowl until well mixed, light, and foamy. Continue beating while pouring in the hot milk in a thin stream of droplets. If you are using vanilla extract rather than a vanilla bean, add it now. Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve into the caramel-lined molds.
- To bake the molds, set them in a pan and pour enough boiling water around them to come halfway up the sides. Place in the bottom third of an oven preheated to 350F. After five minutes, turn down the heat to 325F. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the center is firm but slightly wobbly. Cooking it too long will result in a tough rather than tender custard.
- If you would like to serve the custards warm, set the molds in cold water for about ten minutes before unmolding; otherwise chill in the refrigerator. To unmold, run a knife between the custard and edges of the mold. Place a serving dish upside down over the mold and quickly reverse the two, and remove the mold from the custard.
I like to use a ring mold, but a 1.5 quart pyrex baking dish, or a number of custard cups or ramekins will also work for individual servings.
Cocktails of the Season
- Robert’s Egg Nog fortified with a bit of Jim Beam Bourbon or brandy.
- Jim Beam and Ginger Ale Highball