Beef Stroganoff was one of the very few American dishes my mother knew how to cook growing up (the other was broccoli cheese casserole, which is still one of my all-time favorites) and every time she announced that beef stroganoff was on the menu for dinner, my heart skipped a beat. It’s one of those dishes that’s so nostalgic for me; it takes me back to our country-style dining room table, sitting together as a family, discussing how our day was.
Even though I grew up loving beef stroganoff, I couldn’t tell you the last time I’ve had it. It’s not everyday that I think eating heavy cream, crème fraîche and pasta in the same bowl is a good idea. But every now and then I figure it’s ok. Everything in moderation.
Whenever I want a dish that’s filling, comforting but doesn’t involve meat, I look to mushrooms for inspiration. They have the ability to not necessarily act as meat, but offer a nice texture that’s weighty, delicious and perfect for these colder months. In this instance I wanted beef stroganoff but was hoping for something a teeny bit lighter. Beef Stroganoff is traditionally made with sour cream; in my iteration I swapped in crème fraîche because I like the texture and flavor better (but feel free to use sour cream, if that’s what you have), the balsamic vinegar adds a bit of tang to an otherwise rich dish. And I used shiitake mushrooms because, well, if I’m being honest, they were on sale at the grocery store. I say use a mushroom that’s on sale! Cremini, oyster, portobellos or even button mushrooms would all work just fine.
It’s that type of dish that hugs you after a rough day. It soothes your soul just a little bit. Carbs, cream and butter have that ability, I think.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound shiitake (cremini or oyster mushrooms), sliced
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, crème fraîche or sour cream
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons, balsamic vinegar
- Splash of heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- Salt (I added about 1 teaspoon)
- 8 ounces egg noodles
- Italian parsley
- In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat, melt the tablespoons of butter. When the butter has melted, add the shallot and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Next, add the garlic cloves, shiitake mushrooms, crème fraîche, splash of heavy cream, balsamic vinegar, tarragon, nutmeg, pepper and pinch of salt. Give it a good mix and then cover the pot to cook for 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are softened. Note: If you're using sour cream, cook the mushroom mixture at a lower temperature, as sour cream has the tendency to curdle when cooked at high temperatures. Salt and pepper to taste (I added an additional 3/4 of a teaspoon of salt and an additional pinch of pepper).
- Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Pour in the egg noodles and cook per the instructions (I found the 7 minute recommendation too long - mine were done at the 5-minute mark.) Drain and serve with the mushroom stroganoff; garnish with a sprinkling of Italian parsley.
Yield: 2 servings
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.