Sunday, October 3, 2010
I'm a picky eater. Not the pre-school type of picky that hates Brussels sprouts and any food colored yellow, but the snobbish type of eater with a mishmash of demands. No pork. No dairy. No hot spices that could potentially aggravate my digestive system. No soggy vegetables. No raw vegetables (except lettuce and tomatoes). And just so we're clear, no dairy.
Beef stroganoff, which I associate with Marie Callenders for some reason buried in my inner child's id, is the lactose intolerant's nightmare. Butter. Milk. Sour cream. But last night, the idea of ground beef, mushrooms, onions and noodles in a creamy sauce lodged itself in my brain and wouldn't leave. Even if it had left, those were practically the only ingredients left in our kitchen, so I'd have made it anyway. The key to a successful, safe stroganoff? A sharp, aged cheese sauce to replace the tummy-turning cream.
Beef & White Cheddar Casserole (a.k.a. The Stroganoff Substitute)
(Makes 2 servings)
-1 large shallot, peeled and chopped
-1/3 pound lean ground beef (I used 90%)
-handful of white mushrooms, cut in slivers
-2 cups egg noodles (dry)
-1 tablespoon butter (or spread like Smart Balance)
-heaping tablespoon all-purpose flour
-circa 3/4 cup light soy milk (or Lactaid etc.)
-2 oz. aged white cheddar, cut in small chunks or shredded
Set a pot of water to boil. Spray a saucepan with oil and saute the shallot until limp and fragrant. Add the beef and mushrooms and brown.
When the water has come to a boil, add the noodles. While they cook, heat the butter (or substitute) in a smaller saucepan. Add the flour and brown. Pour in the soy milk a bit at a time, stirring until smooth, until you've created a thin roux. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in the cheese until melted.
When the noodles have finished cooking, drain and add them to the meat mixture along with the sauce and a healthy dash of pepper. Fold to combine, then heap into a foil-lined pan. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°.
Deeelicious. Unfortunately, though I'd satisfied my lengthy list of demands, I live with an equally picky person with a whole different set. One of his rules I learned last night? "No gangly noodles."
Posted by Tamara Marnell at 10/03/2010