This week's Craving Ellie in My Belly recipe was chosen by my good blogging friend Liz of The Not So Skinny Kitchen. Liz and I, as she mentioned in her last post about my pick of Tortellini-Spinach Soup, have both been trying to overcome our fears/aversions to certain types of food. Often, we will compare notes about how we tried foods with ingredients we do not normally care for, usually to discover that we are pleasantly surprised with the results. She tried my soup pick last week, even though she probably never would have chosen to do so on her own, and she ended up really liking it.
So, when I realized that the following week was her pick, I was excited. I wanted to cook along with her, just as she cooked along with me. She chose to make the Beef Stroganoff and Green Beans with Grainy Mustard. Now, I don't eat beef; in fact, I don't think I've ever prepared it, either. But that wasn't about to stop me from cooking along! I simply pulled a pound of pork tenderloin out of my freezer (cuz lord knows I need to clean out my freezer, anyway!) and got on with it.
First of all, let me just say how delightful these green beans were. Who knew? All it took to make these was two ingredients, green beans and grainy mustard (four if you count the salt and pepper). Simply steam the fresh, trimmed green beans until crisp-tender, then toss with the mustard, and then add salt and pepper to taste. My husband tasted these and nearly fell off his chair. "Is this just green beans and mustard? That's it?" he exclaimed. I told him that it was and he couldn't stop gushing about how unbelievably good they were. "That's Ellie!" I replied smugly. She never ceases to amaze.
The stroganoff was probably the ultimate Andy food. This is exactly the kind of meal that he loves to come home to. It's hearty, it's comforting. It contains many of his favorite things (wine, mushrooms, and egg noodles, just to name a few), and it reallly satisfies. Like Liz did last week, I kinda did a double take when I saw her choice because, even though I know she's overcome her avoidance of mushrooms, I was still surprised that she chose such a mushroom-heavy dish. However, I really did enjoy the mushrooms in this. I guess I'm over my avoidance of mushrooms, too! In fact, I really couldn't imagine this dish without them; they're kinda essential.
There were two minor gripes I had with this meal, though. One, I feel like my sauce took a long time to thicken up. Did anybody else have this problem? I used lowfat sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt at the end, but I don't think that affected anything. Once I turned the heat off under my skillet, things did speed up. Like I said, a minor gripe. Also, I feel like it needed more flavor, or something. True, I used pork, which is not as flavorful as beef, and I had white wine on hand, so that went in rather than red wine. I'm sure if I had used the correct ingredients, that would have made a big difference. So I can't really fault the recipe for that. All in all, this dish really satisfied our appetites (and the five year-old really liked it!). I would totally make it again, with a few tweaks.
So, thank you, Liz! Once again, we've discovered what happens when we push outside of our little boxes; we find a great meal that we never would have tried otherwise. Please do stop by the CEIMB blogroll to see what the others thought. And check out the original recipe for the stroganoff, here.