Turkey Stroganoff

A few weeks ago, I scored some $1.00/pound packages of ground turkey at Wheatsville. I cooked some of it and froze the rest. This week, I also had a whole container of sour cream (buy one, get one free at HEB) and some cream that was about to go off, as well as a bag of mushrooms that needed to be used yesterday. And I’d bought two huge bags of extra large egg noodles recently, because I’ve been craving them for a while. So, even though it was 95°F, of course I made some turkey stroganoff!

Stroganoff includes some of my favorite flavors: mushrooms, onions, beef broth, and sour cream. The fact that it’s served on an ample bed of egg noodles makes it even more irresistible. This is a meal we had fairly regularly at my house as I was growing up, so I was curious as to how my mom and grandmother came to be so familiar with an apparently Russian dish. It’s called govjadina po Strogonovski or bef stroganov in Russian and gained popularity in 19th century. Traditionally made using strips of beef, onions, flour, mushrooms, sour cream, and butter served on a bed of either crispy potatoes or egg noodles, the dish is named after the important Stroganov family. After the Bolshevik revolution but before the Maoist one, the dish became popular in China as Russians moved into the country. It then found its way onto American tables by way of subsequent Chinese and Russian immigrants, and became very popular in the 1950s. I have no doubt that my grandmother probably got a recipe from a cookbook during that time, and my mother continued to make it because it was familiar and simple (my mom hates to cook!).

For this version, I used this recipe from Rachael Ray, which I highly recommend. I used some white wine to deglaze the pan, and added paprika to the spice mix. I also substituted cream for the milk. The result was pretty flavorful and so filling! I ended up making about eight servings’ worth(!), and I just had a small container of the leftovers for lunch—it’s even better than it was fresh.

What are you having for lunch?


Homebrewed Coffee Milk Stout

This is just a teaser. A full post will come later, when I have time.

We popped open the first bottle of our homebrewed Coffee Milk Stout last night (a little early, I admit!), and it was amazing. It was thick, dark, opaque—not red in the light, like Guinness. It smells like coffee, with a kick of parsley (?). It’s smooth, with no bitterness, and complex. It tastes like coffee—just the right amount of flavor, not overpowering. It finishes clean. I can’t wait to share the whole process with you soon. Eric made it with our pals Mike* and Kris.

*What kind of freak doesn’t have a blog?

Homemade Cheese Enchiladas

Last night, to celebrate the fact that I just quit my job (more on this soon), and in lieu of spending $20 at the local Tex-Mex establishment in light of of this same fact, I made a big batch of cheese enchiladas! And they turned out fantastic. I made ten, and we only have two enchiladas left over! Oops!

Here are full instructions on how I make my Old School Tex-Mex Enchiladas, including my super easy and very addictive Fieldmarshal’s Basic Tex-Mex Enchilada Sauce.

I taught myself how to make this stuff while living in England for four years, with nary a decent Mexican restaurant in a thousand mile radius (let’s pause to consider that for a moment, shall we?).

It’s so easy, just as good as the restaurant version (if not better), and great for the budget cook. Of course, enchiladas also make great leftovers.  This sauce is so good, I could drink it. I lick the spatula like it’s cake mix.

This batch of enchiladas were stuffed with a mix of cheddar and pepper jack cheese and topped with sauce, chopped onions, and more cheddar. That’s it. I served it with leftover Stella’s Frijoles Refritos Negros (also cheap but delicious), homegrown jalapeño slices, and a dollop of sour cream (I am also addicted to sour cream.  I could eat the whole tub in one sitting!).  I thought I had made so many enchiladas that we’d have leftovers to eat for days, but someone liked them so much he ate seven enchiladas!

I told you they were good.

Stella’s Colcannon

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

The Queen planting a tree in Ireland.

The Queen planting a tree in Ireland.

Well, it’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and I am a hardcore Anglophile, but I just couldn’t help whipping up some delicious Irish comfort food this week, so that’s what you’re getting! Hopefully, as heralded by Her Majesty’s recent trip to the Emerald Isle (the first by a reigning British monarch since her grandfather King George V visited in 1911), relations between the two countries will continue to improve. Meanwhile, we can all enjoy the best, butteriest foods from both windy isles.


3 lbs. potatoes (about seven medium-sized potatoes), peeled and chopped
1/2 head of green cabbage, roughly chopped
2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
2 sticks of butter
6 additional pats of butter, pre-sliced and softened
1 cup of cream
10 slices of bacon
salt and black pepper
3 spring onions, finely chopped (optional)

1. In a large stock pot, cover potatoes with water, lightly salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for about fifteen minutes, or until fully softened.

2. Meanwhile, heat bacon in a large skillet over medium low heat. Allow to sizzle for about ten minutes, turning occasionally, until nicely browned. Drain on paper towels, crumble, and set aside.

3. In a medium stock pot, cover cabbage and spinach with water and bring to a boil. Allow to cook for about five minutes, until cabbage begins to darken, and add a pat of butter. Stir and cover. Boil for a further ten minutes, then drain and set aside.

4. Once potatoes are cooked through, drain and return pot to stove. Lower heat to simmer and add about half the remaining butter, plus salt and pepper to taste. Mash until potatoes are as smooth as possible, slowly drizzling in cream. Taste, and add more salt and pepper as desired. Add the cabbage and spinach, along with the rest of the butter, reserving four pats. Stir thoroughly so that all ingredients are evenly mixed.

5. Serve immediately by ladling the colcannon out into bowls and smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Add reserved pats of butter, one per bowl, and allow to melt into the grooves created by the spoon. Top with crumbled bacon, chopped spring onions, and additional black pepper, if desired.

Serves 6. Also makes great leftovers. Just throw a pat of butter on there and reheat!

*I used Kerrygold! Mmmmmmmm.

Brunch at the Goodnight Diner in Wimberley, Texas

Sriracha and yogurt fried chicken with waffles. This was absolutely amazing. The crispy batter wasn’t exactly spicy, but it had a fantastic flavor and was expertly fried.

Biscuits and gravy with a fried egg (so volcanic). This was also great.

Chili and eggs (with homefries). The menu said, “You’ll love it!” so I felt compelled to try it! Turned out, it was so large and rich that it ended up being three breakfasts–for only $7.00! I do love it.

Goodnight Diner
15401 RR 12
Wimberley, TX 78686