TONIGHT, TONIGHT : MEATY MUSHROOM STROGANOFF WITH AMARANTH AND PEAS

Soups, stoups, and stews are comfort food for me, so this is a big problem I have with summer. Cold soups just don’t warm me on the inside. This is rich without being too heavy, and is nutrient-packed without having the dense presence of those dark winter greens because of the amaranth. I think the light and bright sweetness of the mirin keeps this from going to the world of gravy-ladden comfort foods (which I love, but not in a city summer). This is also a great repeater eater AKA for leftovers. I’ve included some recommendations along these lines, below.

MEATY MUSHROOM STROGANOFF WITH AMARANTH AND PEAS serves 2 – 4

REPEATER EATER :  Leftovers? The stroganoff is great reheated and served on warmed brioche. Leftover amaranth will cool like polenta – thick! If you are going to have leftovers, pour out the leftover amaranth (while still warm and easy to work with!) into ramekins or other small formed dishes. This way when you want to serve it again, you can coax it out of its container nicely shaped to be served with the leftover stroganoff. In ramekins or other oven safe wares, you can reheat it in the oven, but I would plate the amaranth and stroganoff and heat on medium in the microwave for a few minutes. You can also thin the amaranth back out by reheating it on the stove with a bit of broth (chicken or beef or veg).

Time to prepare : 30-45 minutes.

  • 1 c amaranth     (new to amaranth? Read about it here.)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 T salted butter

Bring water to a boil, add amaranth. Cover and turn heat down to med-low. Simmer for 25 minutes until a porridge-like consistency. Once it’s finished and you are ready to serve, stir in butter and plate with stroganoff on top.

Preparing the chicken

  • 1-1.25 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T salted butter

Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Salt and pepper them and saute on med-high in the olive oil and butter to get each piece nice and golden. You are looking for developing a nice amount of fond on the bottom of your pan – this is essential for making a concentrated and flavorful stroganoff sauce. ESSENTIAL. Once the chicken is golden and there is nice coating of fond, remove the chicken with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat down to med-low.

Preparing the stroganoff

  • 10 oz package of frozen baby peas (or fresh peas!)
  • 8 oz package of whole crimini (baby bella) mushrooms – Clean the mushrooms. Cut each in half and then slice each half, thinly.
  • splash of water
  • 1/4 tsp truffle salt (please, please don’t balk at this ingredient. It is so, so versatile, it’s worth the $20. Put it on popcorn, in mashed potatoes, as an addition to any mushroom recipe, in gravies – and of course, french fries – really it adds so much without requiring much in return)
  • 2 canned in oil anchovies (can refrigerate the leftovers from the can, indefinitely)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T mirin
  • 1/4 tsp beef boullion (I used Better than Boullion brand)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 8 oz sour cream

Once the chicken has been removed, add the water and while it simmers, scrape up the fond from the bottom, until the water has turned a rich brown and the bottom of the pan is clean, clean, clean. Add the mushrooms and all the rest of the ingredients, except for the sour cream.

Cook the frozen peas, according to the instructions on the packaging, set aside.

Once the mushrooms are tender and cooked through, turn the heat to low and add the sour cream and the chicken into the pan. Stir to combine. Then add in the peas. Stir to combine and cover. At low or med-low (depending on your stove), warm the stroganoff up so it is simmering. Once simmering remove from the heat.

Plate the stroganoff with amaranth on the bottom, spread it evenly on the plate. Top with stroganoff and serve!

 

 

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