beef stroganoff

A Beef Stroganoff Recipe From Betty's Cook Nook

From Russia, With Love

Turns out I didn’t know much about savory stroganoff growing up; I surely didn’t know how to spell it or make it … but I sure knew how to eat it!

While researching a bit for my first stroganoff post back in 2011, I learned that stroganoff (as it’s name would imply) is a dish inspired from Russian cooking. I Googled “Russian Food Facts” and found this interesting passage …”Russia is mainly a northern country with a long-lasting cold winter. The food should give us much energy and warmth to survive during the winter time. So, the essential components of Russian cuisine are the ones, which provide more carbohydrates and fat rather than proteins.”

Yup. Those are my roots – carbs and fat (light on the proteins). LOL. Enough of the history lesson – let’s cook!

foodie tip ~

 Noodles or rice? Go for some wide noodles (shown) … nothing’s better!
 For you stroganoff fans out there give Mom’s Sausage Stroganoff recipe a whirl. It’s a different take on this beef stroganoff, it’s just as tasty and if you’re in a hurry to get your stroganoff fix, it’ll do the trick!

i. ingredients

¼ cup | flour
1 teaspoon | salt
⅛ teaspoon | pepper
1 ½ pounds | beef, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons | butter
1 cup | onion, sliced
1 clove | garlic, minced
½ cup | water
1 teaspoon | worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons | catsup
4-ounce can | button mushrooms
¾ cup | buttermilk
to serve | noodles or rice

ii. what to do

1. Combine flour, salt and pepper. Coat cubes of meat with this mixture.

2. In a large pan, brown the meat slowly with the butter. When the meat is brown on all sides, add the onion, garlic, water, worcestershire sauce, catsup and liquid drained from canned mushrooms. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. Trust me, it’s worth the time as the meat should finish out very tender!

3. Stir in the mushrooms and the buttermilk and cook only until heated through.

Serve over noodles or rice.

A Scan Of Mom's Beef Stroganoff Recipe

OK. I lied about no more history lessons!

As you can see by examples of my Mom’s handwritten recipe cards here on Betty’s Cook Nook, Betty had great penmanship. This morning I was admiring her handwriting in her recipe card above and noticed the funny little “ands” … Mom wrote them like a little “o” with a cross through it. A few online clicks later and I found out this character stems from shorthand – a form of abbreviated writing – that was invented before recording devices- back then the tape recorder. The connection to this recipe?

Mom's Computer: The IBM PC XT Circa 1982.When I was growing up Mom was a court reporter. This meant she knew stenography (the process of writing in shorthand) and she was skilled at typing faster than the wind. Mom’s business tools were much different from today’s modern day tools; she often typed in duplicate and triplicate, making copies via carbon paper. To archive documents she made Xerox copy machine “copies” – not electronic scans. She had a typewriter – not a computer – until the early 1980s when technology started to transform her industry. I remember her first “green screen” IBM computer (sample above) … something that would completely revolutionize how she did work. And this funny little device called a stenomask she could place over her mouth to quietly repeat – almost in unison – what was being said in the court room; she could later come home and with a tape recorder and a “fancy” foot pedal device she could listen back-and-forth to court testimony while she typed it out the good ole fashioned way.

OK, now I’m done with the family history lessons. For now.  :)


chicken noodle casserole

mom's chicken noodle casseroleA Fast & Hearty Meal

My grandmother “Nanny” (Betty’s Mom) and I were the best of friends when I was growing up.

We spent a lot of time laughing and being silly.

I’d have sleep-overs at Nanny’s on the weekend and we’d walk from the Barcelona Apartments at 33 Brees Boulevard around the corner to Winn’s Five And Dime store in the Sunset Ridge shopping center. I was toy huntin’.

Nanny had a special cardboard box of toys tucked in her closet just for my visits. While the toys provided much needed entertainment in a time before computers and cable or satellite TV, my favorite time during my visits was when Nanny would cook.

For Sunday breakfast, she’d make waffles; not an “Eggo” popped in the toaster, but homemade waffles dripping with butter and syrup! For her special dish, she’d make chicken noodle soup with real chicken she’d carefully boil off the bone. She’d fill the soup with her wonderfully wide egg noodles and serve. My taste buds would go into outer space! Love me some savory.

While this chicken noodle casserole won’t appear on today’s cooking shows targeted to the fancy foodie (um, it calls for *canned* chicken), it’s very hearty and quick to make. It’s a dish inspired from chicken noodle soup so who doesn’t love that?

Soup’s On

i. ingredients

1 can | cream of chicken soup
⅓ cup | milk
1 cup (5 oz. can) | boned chicken
1 cup | cooked noodles (al dente)
1 cup | green beans, fresh or frozen
1 teaspoon | fresh minced onion
to top | buttered bread crumbs

ii. what to do

1. In a 1½ quart casserole, blend soup with milk, add chicken, noodles, green beans and onion. Gently mix all ingredients. Top with bread crumbs.

2. Cover casserole and place in refrigerator early in the day.

3. When ready to heat, preheat oven to 400°F.

4. Bake casserole about 25 minutes, let rest a few minutes and serve!

Makes: 4 servings.

Foodie Tips ~

 Per Mom; “Fix in the morning ~ heat it up at nite.”

 This recipe can easily be doubled (the more the merrier).

 I measured 1 cup of uncooked elbow pasta then cooked it al dente (vs. cooking the pasta first and measuring off 1 cup).

 Use Falfurrias brand butter ~ it was Nanny’s butter of choice!

 Not a canned chicken fan? You can substitute it with cooked chicken.

a scan of mom's chicken noodle casserole recipe