Post #393 Slow Cooker Stroganoff

July 17, 2015 at 9:36 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #393 Slow Cooker Stroganoff

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Just a couple of items before I get on with the blog.  I’m now a No Kid Hungry blog!  You’ve read about No Kid Hungry from me many times and you’re going to hear about it more in the future.  No Kid Hungry is dedicated to raising awareness about the problem of childhood hunger, and providing solutions so kids can be fed.  There are many ways to support this organization that are almost painless.  One of their best known is coming up soon, Dine Out for No Kid Hungry.  Check your local restaurants and see who’s participating.  Then go out to eat at one of those restaurants during the Dine Out week, and the restaurant will donate some part of the proceeds of the meal to No Kid Hungry.  In some places, they donate 100%.  In others, they donate the taxes.  In some restaurants, they donate a percentages, and the wait staff donate all their tips.  I’ve provided a link below to learn more about the organization and their efforts.  It’s deplorable that in one of the richest and strongest nations in the world that anyone should go hungry, but with the kids it’s worse since they have no control over their situation.

https://www.nokidhungry.org/programs

So:

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Today’s slow cooker recipes are easy to make, but produce an elegant meal that can be eaten alone or served to friends.  Keep them warm in the cooker, and they wouldn’t be out of place at a pot luck or block party.

First is Beef Stroganoff.  Stroganoff has long been used to make those tough pieces of beef taste succulent.  This recipe if for two people.

  • 1/2 pound stew beef, or chuck roast cut into bite-size pieces, or long thin slices
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound mushrooms, cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup red wine, optional
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place beef, onion, garlic, mushrooms, wine, and water into slow cooker.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or on high for 6.  Stir about half way through cooking to make sure flavors are blended.  When meat is tender and falling apart, blend corn starch with two tablespoons of water.  (A trick I have to make the easy:  put corn starch and water in a jar and screw cap on tightly.  Shake vigorously until corn starch is well blended, about 30 seconds.)  Add about a half cup of the cooking liquid to corn starch.  Turn slow cooker off and drizzle corn starch mixture over the beef and stir till blended.  Allow to cook for five minutes or so, stirring constantly.  When mixture is blended and thickened, add sour cream and stir.  Then add mustard and stir.  Allow to sit for a few minutes so flavors will blend.  Serve over cooked noodles or rice.

Slow-Cookers-Beef-Stroganoff

Okay, the next recipe is for Scalloped Potatoes and Ham, and I’m going to apologize up front.  This recipe calls for a can of condensed soup.  I don’t ordinarily use the stuff since I’ve outgrown it.  But I’ve never found an acceptable substitute for it.

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 1  cups grated cheese
  • 2 cups cooked ham
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup or cream of celery soup
  •  pepper and paprika

Peel the potatoes and slice thin.  Cut the ham into cubes, or into strips.  I’ve done both and both are good.  Peel the onion and slice into rings as thin as possible.  Use whatever is your favorite cheese or a cheese blend.  Mostly, I use cheddar, but I’ve also used Swiss and gruyere.  Just don’t use American or Velveeta since they break apart.  Grease the inside of the slow cooker, I use butter mostly.  Sometimes, I use butter flavored spray.  Layer half the potatoes, ham, onion, and cheese, then repeat the layers with remaining ingredients.  Do not dilute the soup, but whisk it with a fork to make it more pourable.  Pour the soup over the top spreading to cover.  Sprinkle with pepper and paprika.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hour, until the potatoes are soft.  Do not cook this on high as it will scorch.  Turn cooker off and uncover.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes and serve.  It can stand alone as a main course, or can be served as a side.

scalloped potatoes with cheese

As I was writing this, my mind was wandering on some level back to pot lucks and church gatherings from my childhood.  I remembered one where the minister’s wife invited the whole church back to their house for Sunday lunch, pot luck style.  I don’t remember what I brought (probably a cake), but I remember there was a huge bowl of potato salad the minister’s wife had made.  It was quite impressive and looked like it could feed 50 people, about the twice the number that were there.  She looked quite proud of the spread she had put out.  While I was looking over the table, one of the older ladies from the Busybody Squad remarked on how delicious the potato salad looked.  She took a small taste and said, “Oh, my, it seems very dry.”  I looked at the mayonnaise slathered thickly on the vegetables and wondered what the heck she was talking about.  Without batting an eye or asked permission, she grabbed the jar of mayonnaise standing nearby for sandwiches, and put a large dollop in the center of the salad.  Using a minimum of movement, she spread the dressing through the part of the salad it sat upon.  Then she took her spoon and tasted the area she had just “fixed.”  “Much better!” she cried and wandered away.  The look on the face of our hostess was priceless.  I bit back laughter, caught her eye, and grinned in sympathy.  She made a small hitting motion, winked and walked away.

Enjoy

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