Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meal Planner

Yay! Two more new recipes this week and both turned out great! I especially feel like dancin' because after many tries with many different recipes I have finally found a crockpot "beef stroganoff" recipe that actually tastes like something someone might want to eat!

First though, let's talk about pork. Rachael Ray has a recipe called Roast Pork with Orange Pine Nut Sauce that is probably very good, but involves way more patience and dishes than I am willing to sacrifice, so I have tweaked it and come up with something that I think is rather tasty and incredibly easy to make.

Here's how I do it:

2-2.5 pounds boneless pork loin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
2 tbsp thyme
2 tsp oregano
approx 10 cloves minced garlic (I use the kind in the big jar soaked in olive oil, but wevs)
1 orange
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries
1.5 cups chicken stock or broth (I don't think it makes a difference in this case)

Place the pork in a a big plastic freezer bag or whatever container you have on hand. Pour in the chicken stock, and squeeze the juice from the orange into the bag. Add the cumin, paprika, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and cranberries. Close the bag and shake it up to combine everything and coat the pork. Marinate the pork in the refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight. (Or if you're pressed for time, not at all. I've done this and it just isn't quite as flavorful but that's not the end of the world.)

Preheat oven to 400ºF. Transfer the contents of the plastic bag to a baking dish (I use a glass 9 x 13.5.) and cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Let the meat rest about 5-10 minutes before cutting it. Slice the pork and spoon sauce over slices when serving. It looks really pretty and tastes great. Perhaps most importantly, there is no chopping and it only uses one dish. I highly recommend it when having last minute guests that you want to wow with your Holly Homemaker fabulousness.

And now for the main event: Beef Stroganoff! (sort of, in a non-authentic sort of way)

I found this recipe at I used some of the tweaks that the commenters suggested and also made a few of my own. Here's what I ended up with.

EDIT: This recipe works well for two adults. Once I added a third adult who is not my Mother-in-Law, and therefore eats a reasonable amount, I realized that when making this for a family one might want to increase the amount of the crockpot ingredients accordingly.

1.5 pounds stew meat (approximately, more or less works too)
21 ounces condensed golden mushroom soup
1 package dry onion soup mix
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (I use baby bella, but not necessary)
4 ounces cream cheese
1 pound bowtie pasta
shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine stew meat, soup, soup mix, Worcestershire sauce, and water in a crockpot. Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.

1 hour before the crockpot is finished add the sliced mushrooms.

Just before serving, combine the cream cheese with the crockpot mixture, and cook the noodles on the stovetop. Serve stroganoff over noodles. We also put some shredded parmesan cheese on top of each serving as a last minute impulse, but that's just us. It was super tasty, and it definitely made leftovers.

Note: Definitely use Golden Mushroom soup. Do not try to substitute cream of mushroom, it will not give you a good result, I promise. I had never heard of golden mushroom and thought it would be hard to find, but in fact it is right next to the chicken and stars so it should be easy for you to locate. Also, the picture while still pretty accurate, is of another person's attempt at the original stroganoff recipe. One day, I'll remember to take pictures of the food I make before eating it, but today is not that day.


SarcastiCarrie said...

That doesn't seem like enough liquid for a crock pot recipe. Promise that it is.

Summer said...

Promise. I actually was concerned when I first started cooking it because it didn't look like enough liquid to me either but it totally worked. That being said, I don't think adding a bit more water would hurt anything. It seems pretty flexible in terms of how thick you like your sauce. If it doesn't work for you I' be really sorry I guess is all I can do!

Stephanie said...

No chopping and one dish AND makes me look like Holly Homemaker? I am so sold!

Also? Yay for anything that goes in the crockpot and comes out delish!

In case you're interested - my friend Jenna does this weekly menu plan thing, which I join in when I actually make a menu plan and remember to post it. If you wanna jump in sometime, it's here:

Summer said...

Cool I will have to check that out