The desires of our culinary cravings is ostensibly so dependent on the weather outside. It was just a mere few weeks that I was preparing leafy green salads with strawberries or raspberries and delicious summery tarts with tomatoes and crumblings of goat cheese. Now as the weather turns from the warmth of summer to a rather undesirable cold and wet prelude to Autumn, my appetite seems to long for heartier and more robust meals. But my body is not there yet!
I tend to be adamant at this time of year. Fearing that I have to wave goodbye to my favorite time of year, I hang onto my sandals, light summer dresses and tops and do everything imaginable to ignore those goosebumps. Mind over matter!
It does not work though. The weakest part of me rebels with a throat infection, reminding me to be responsible and dress appropriately for the weather. So out come the scarves, wrapped tightly around the neck, the long sleeved tops, the warmer pumps and with a slight sadness I begin putting away the brightly colored summer wear. As summer moves on, I realize seasons can’t last.
While the markets are still offering brightly colored ruby red tomatoes, deep green zucchinis, luscious scenting strawberries and shiny blackberries, I see the pumpkins, plums and figs too. I am partially reconciled.
The kitchen is disarrayed as my indecisiveness what produce to tackle first brings on slight confusion. Should it be the light summery dessert or the warming hearty stew? I look at the raindrops as they pearl down the window, the melodic pitter-patter playing a tune of their own, my senses begin to take control.
Growing up one of my favorite dishes used to be the Beef Stroganoff. It’s a classic Russian dish, which has proved its deliciousness time and time again. Strips of sautéed lean beef embraced by a creamy sour cream sauce with onions and mushrooms for added subtle earthy flavors - the perfect dish for a cool, rainy day. Served with a steaming bowl of buttery pasta this was simply the perfect way to bring warmth to a cold day.
In my version I add gherkin slices and chanterelle mushrooms for a slightly different version. One can argue if he gherkins should be served on the side or in the recipe, I personally like the slightly sweet, sour and crunchy texture they add to the recipe. You can use a variety of mushrooms – try crimini or even a selection of wild mushrooms.
Printable version of recipe here
500g sirloin or tenderloin steak, cut into strips approx. finger-width
2-3 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon smoky paprika powder
300g chanterelle mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
250g sour cream
Handful parsley, roughly chopped
- In a large frying pan sauté shallots and garlic on a medium heat in a drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika powder and cook until shallots and garlic have softened.
- Turn up the heat and add mushrooms and butter. Continue to sauté until the mushrooms are browned. Set aside.
- In another frying pan and olive oil and fry the beef for 2 to 3 minutes until brown on the onside but still pinkish on the inside then add the mushroom mixture. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste and remove from heat.
- Add the sour cream, gherkins and sprinkle with parsley. Serve with some buttered pasta and a large green salad.
This does make up for the cold and gloominess outside. The three of us snuggle around the table and fill our plates with steaming pates of the stroganoff and pasta. And as the raindrops make their music, we enjoy the warmth of the each others company. Seasons never last and summer will be here again, in the meantime my head is spinning with ideas for the Autumn produce that lie in front of me.
You might like these ideas from WFLH:
|Beef Ragout - Melt In Your Mouth||Black Bean Chili with Saffron Rice & Papaya Guacamole||Fettucine with Spicy Lamb Sausage Meatballs|
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