Monday, November 2, 2015

Stroganock-off (a vegetarian variation)

Stroganoff is a classic fall dish.  Childhood memories of my Mother making it include the way the house smelled - full of dill (remember in the mid-1980's when dill the "in" herb?), cooked red meat and that wonderful smell of noodles boiling in water.  I remember being excited about the big flat style egg noodles she would use.  I forgot about the dish for about 15 years but a few years back I remembered it and starting subbing chicken for the red meat.  It was still just as good and continued to bring back memories of Mom cooking on those cold fall nights.  Most importantly: it's an extremely easy dish to pull off.  

The closest Whole Foods to my house is a bit of a drive, but once a month I play a jazz brunch right next door so I stop in and pick up some of their vegetarian meatless meats.  Some are okay, most aren't the same, a few are actually pretty damn good.  The other day I noticed, for the first time, a product from  a company called "Beyond Meat" that was a container of grilled "chicken" strips.  What struck me as interesting was the ingredients.  Many times these fake meats, although meatless, are still filled with chemicals and fake stuff I can't pronounce.  This product was 100% plant protein!  The ingredients included pea protein, carrot fiber, water, sunflower oil and less than 0.5% of vinegar, sugar, spices.  I decided it was time to put a vegetarian twist on Stroganoff with what I am calling: "Stroganock-off".

Classically this kind of protein/entree is served over egg noodles.  I also like it with a side of rice that has diced celery and scallions.  When I make this kind of rice I replace half the water with vegetable stock and add the celery and scallions after the rice is made.  The finely diced celery adds a fun crunch.

Chicken Stroganock-off
       serves 2

2 servings of Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken Strips (about 12 pieces)
1.5 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas
3/4 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon dill (I use fresh or Penzey's dried dill)
2 tablespoons vegetable stock
2 cups (dry) cooked egg noodles
large handful baby arugula
Salt and Pepper.
  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion.  Cook on medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.  Make sure you don't add any color to them.
  2. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.  The salt and heat will pull out water from the mushrooms.  Cook about 10 minutes, add peas, cook additional 7 minutes.
  3. Gently stir in the sour cream, dill and stock.  Add the Beyond Meat Grilled Chicken Strips,  removing from heat just as it begins to boil.
  4. Off heat stir in egg noodles and arugula.
  5. Season and serve.

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