A big yes for me has been pushing myself to get started again, exploring the cookbooks and treating myself to a few food magazines every now and then in an attempt to spice things up a bit in the kitchen (no pun intended). Which is lucky for you guys because I have also pledged to share my absolute favourites here with you lovely lot, so that you can benefit from my tried and tested experience.
First up is a new ‘go to’ recipe for me – Beef Stroganoff. This recipe is spectacularly easy to follow, you can whip it up on no time for a midweek meal. It is deliciously creamy but isn’t too heavy either, and because you make it from scratch, it can be made pretty healthy by using alternatives to fatty creams.
After making this a couple of times, I have actually tweaked the recipe slightly to turn it into a sauce for chicken too – and it works pretty well. Part of the yes cooking philosophy is to try new recipes, but it’s also to adapt recipes and experiment: try your favourite sauces on different meats, add different veg or spices. Mix things up a little bit. You will see some of that creeping into my recipe shares.
Having a pretty well stocked spice cupboard certainly makes experimenting a bit easier!
(serves 2, 10 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cooking)
1 tbsp oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 green pepper, chopped (I’m not a fan of green pepper so I always opt for yellow or red)
200g / 7oz mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
150ml / 1/4 pint beef stock
200g / 7oz lean rump steak, slice and all fat removed (I sometimes use frying steak, if that’s what I have in the freezer, but you really do notice the difference if you use rump)
150ml / 1/4 pint fat-free fromage frais (I can never find fromage frais that isn’t strawberry flavoured, so whilst I am aware it’s not the same, I opt for creme fraiche and it’s still delicious)
To make chicken Stroganoff
Substitute the beef for chicken (obviously), the beef stock for pork or chicken stock (I prefer pork because it has a stronger flavour, but chicken works well too) and red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar or cider vinegar.
Then follow the method as below but with you substitutions (varying times accordingly – you obviously need to cook the chicken thoroughly and for much longer than the beef).
Heat the oil in the pan and fry the onion for a few minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and paprika and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add the pepper and mushrooms and fry for 5 – 8 minutes until softened.
Add the vinegar, boil to reduce until almost evaporated, then pour over the stock and bubble for a few minutes until thickened slightly.
Add the beef and cook for 2 – 3 minutes depending on how rare you like it (if I am using frying steak, to get rid of the grizzle), then stir in the fromage frais / creme creche.
Serve with rice or tagliatelle (I’ve always gone for the former).
I took the opportunity of snapping my cooking, to show you some of my favourite Next homeware – salt and pepper grinders to make an Italian waiter’s eyes water and some awesome measuring spoons, yes please to a tablespoon of love.
If you are looking for some new cute but affordable kitchen (or house) accessories, you should definitely say YES to popping to your local next.
So, don’t forget to comment below if you give this a whirl. And email me if you have any tasty recipes that you want to share, we are always happy to share other people’s yeses and learn from them ourselves! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I borrowed this delicious recipe from the BBC Good Food magazine.