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Mellow mushroom-cashew stroganoff. November 6, 2013

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. One of my favorite go-to recipes for fall and winter is mushroom-cashew stroganoff, which is simple to make but so satisfying on a cold night! You only need five ingredients—a sweet onion, mushrooms, cashews, sour cream, and olive oil—plus fettucine and salt and pepper to taste.

To make my mushroom-cashew stroganoff, heat a large pot of water for the fettucine. While it’s heating, add extra-virgin olive oil to a heavy pot (I love my LeCreuset Dutch oven for this) and toss in a large diced sweet onion (such as Vidalia or Walla Walla) and sliced or diced mushrooms, depending on how you like them.

You can add a large carton of button mushrooms, or mix them up (the other night, I added shiitakes and portobellos to the buttons, simply because I had them in the fridge). We like lots of mushroom in our stroganoff, but suit your own tastes. Then add plenty of salt (we like RealSalt or Trocomare) and fresh-cracked black pepper. If the onions and mushrooms start to stick, add veggie broth or stock (or water) in splashes to prevent burning.

Once the onion has clarified and the mushrooms have released their juices, add a 16-ounce (2-cup) carton of sour cream and a good half-cup of shoyu (fresh-fermented soy sauce), tamari, or soy sauce. We love Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu, which is available from health-food stores and has a deep, rich, almost winey flavor. Your goal is to create a dark-brown, sort of beef-gravy-colored sauce, so add as much shoyu or tamari as you need (making sure you taste as you go).

By now, your pot of water should have come to a boil. But be patient; don’t add the pasta until your stroganoff sauce has really started to thicken up. Your goal is to have a rich sauce that thickly coats each piece of pasta and wouldn’t even dream of dripping, and you don’t want the pasta to be done before the sauce reaches this stage. (You can always turn the sauce off once it’s reached the desired thickness, cover it, and it will be just fine when you add it to the hot al dente pasta.

Now that your sauce and fettucine are done, you might be wondering, hey, what about the cashews? Well, you don’t want them to go soft and gummy, so you stir them in the exact second you’re ready to serve up the pasta. You can toss the fettucine (or spaghetti, if you prefer it, but you need a strong, sturdy pasta to hold up to this sauce, no “thin” or angel-hair spaghetti, please) with the sauce and cashews, or top it with the cashew-laden sauce.

As with the mushrooms and onion, our friend Ben and I like lots of cashews in our stroganoff; we’ll typically use almost a whole can or package, but suit yourself. They add a yummy crunch that sets off the creamy sauce perfectly, but I never want to overwhelm the sauce with cashews, so I make sure I add plenty but not so many that it becomes cashew-mushroom stroganoff rather than the other way ’round.

While the fettucine is cooking, I throw together a crunchy salad to serve with our stroganoff. We like a simple Caesar with this, but certainly a mix of any combination of romaine, arugula, radicchio, kale, iceberg, red cabbage, endive, shredded carrot, diced bell pepper, and scallions would be great. The salad just needs plenty of body and a non-creamy dressing, such as a simple extra-virgin and balsamic vinegar, because the stroganoff is so rich. And I never serve bread with this stroganoff! We do find that it goes well with a full-bodied red wine like a cabernet sauvignon or a zinfandel.

So simple, so good. Enjoy! I think this will become one of your cold-weather go-to dishes, too.

‘Til next time,

Silence

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1. Silver Price - November 24, 2013

Serves 4-1 onion, diced-1 zucchini, diced-4 cloves garlic, minced-2 tsp sweet hungarian paprika-1/4 tsp smoked paprika-1 can crushed tomatoes-2 tbs tomato paste-250ml passata sauce-1 can cannellini beans, rinsed-1 can red kidney beans, rinsed-1/2 cup torn parsley-1 cup torn kale-In a large pot, lightly saute the onions and zucchini in a drop of safflower oil-When onions and zucchini are soft, add the garlic and paprikas and stir well to coat-Pour in the tomatoes, passata and tomato paste, and bring to a gentle, rolling boil-Add the kidney and cannellini beans, and reduce to a simmer-Simmer gently for 15 minutes, allowing the beans to soften and flavours to develop-Stir in the parsley and kale, and let simmer for 5 more minutes-Serve with brown rice, wholegrain pasta, or some delicious crusty bread.


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