Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Beef Stragonoff

Dear Whimsical Readers,

F~ So today is my birthday!! Yeah! Happy Birthday to me! I'm not really a big-party person, I just don't like the idea of having a big party and not being able to interact with everyone, I prefer a something smaller where everyone one has the opportunity to talk to each other. Although come to think about it, I haven't had a party for myself since I was 12. Every other party for me is either small with my various groups of friends and big ones I host are usually for someone else.

Turning 22, its not so significant as 21 but I was on an island waiting for the storm to pass with a group of campers so we can kayak our way back to the mainland, plus the fact I was camping the whole month so basically means I was cut off from the world, doesn't really make it a typical 21st birthday. Nonetheless, it is memorable for me because I was doing what I love, out in the "wilderness"! Some of you would think I'm crazy but I absolutely love the outdoors and camping. And since this year I am within civilization, I decided to have a small dinner party of 8.

This is actually the first time I've made dinner for 8 people all by myself and  have to say, I'm really proud of my accomplishment, next step Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner for 25! Wow..haha. Back to my birthday dinner, I made Beef Stroganoff with a side of pasta. It is easy enough to make and you can cook it a little earlier in advance and let it simmer to perfection as you entertain your guest. And making a larger portion is no a problem either.

Beef Stroganoff is originally a Russian dish which included sour cream in the recipe and instead of pasta, rice was served with it. The recipe varied as it travelled to Europe, North America, Australia, South Africa, Brazil etc. This version of beef stroganoff is more towards the european styled cuisine with cream sauce.

Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients: Serves 4
600 grams Beef Tenderloin (pounded flat, sliced, lightly coated with Flour)
375 grams Fettucini Pasta
300 grams Mushroom (preferably fresh, thinly sliced)
1 Medium Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
300 grams Cream
60 grams Butter
30 grams Flour
60 ml Red Wine
1 Tbsp Tomato Pureè
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Basil Leaves (garnish, optional)

1. In a boiling Pot of water, add some Oil (so the Pasta doesn't stick to each other) and Salt (for minimal flavour) before adding in the Pasta. Cook it accordingly and drain it, then keeping it warm, aside
2. Meanwhile, in another heated Pan/ Wok, melt 40 grams of Butter before putting in the Onion and letting it glaze for about 2 minutes.
3. Followed by the Beef, letting it cook for 5 minutes. Dish out the Beef and Onion and put it aside, keeping it warm.
4. Add the remainder Butter into the same heated Pan/ Wok, then toss in the Mushroom for about 3 minutes. Cook them until they start to turn into a nice brown.
5. Once the Mushroom starts to brown, add in Tomato Pureè and Red Wine and continue cooking for another 2 minutes or until the liquid begins to thicken.
6. Now bringing back the Beef and Onion into the Pan/ Wok, then mix in the Cream under a low to medium flame, thickening the Cream. (approx 1-2 minutes). Also not forgetting the Salt and Pepper to taste.
7. Dish out a generous portion of both beef and pasta and serve hot. Garnish with a couple Basil leaves.

- A good tip how to properly cook your mushroom (which I learnt from movie: Julie & Julia) is not to crowd your mushrooms. fanning them out thus giving them enough space to cook and brown nicely.
- For those of you who prefer more sauce like me, what you can do, it add a little more Cream (100 grams) as well as Water (65 ml). However keep note that once the cream sauce cools down, the tendency of the sauce to reduce is very likely.


Yours Truly,
The Whimsical Buddies


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