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Monday, January 2, 2017

National Buffet Day

One of my favorite restaurants is a buffet. In my opinion there are not enough in our area. A buffet is the only restaurant that will please every member of our family. With the vast assortment of items no matter what you want to eat you will more than likely find it there. But there are those that do not like buffets as well. Which are you thumbs up or thumbs down on buffets?? 

 A smorgasbord is a type of "meal" that guests gather for a pre dinner drink and small talk. History shares that men and women shared a smorgasbord meal in different rooms. The 1939 New York World's fair exhibition served up a smorgasbord of the best  Swedish cuisine. This type of meal there after was known as a buffet. 

If you travel much you will more than likely find that there are more buffet's in some areas than in others. Nevada has some of the best buffet's in Las Vegas. Just another temptation in the great city. The carnival world buffet offers more than 300 dishes. Not to mention the variety of pies, cakes, and pastries. If you love seafood then you will find a buffet for you as well. Caesars Palace is yet another great buffet that features enormous quantities of dishes that feature fresh dishes and many made to order specialties. So if a trip to Vegas is in the plans be sure to visit the many buffet style places.

New Years eve we created our own buffet with cheeses, meats, snacks, and sweets. You can create your own by sharing your favorite dishes. This great recipe for beef stroganoff can often be found on a buffet so why not make up some and share it with your family tonight

Ground Beef Stroganoff 

1 lb ground beef
Salt and pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms (can substitutebutton mushrooms), sliced
1/3 cup of dry sherry, dry white wine, or water
1/2 cup chopped parsley, loosely packed
1 1/4 cups sour cream (room temperature)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika or more to taste
8 ounces egg noodles (or other pasta)

Put a large pot of salted water (1 teaspoon salt for every quart of water) on to heat, for the pasta.
Heat a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in the pan and swirl it around. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan generously with salt. Working in batches as not to crowd the meat (crowding it will make it hard to brown), break up the ground beef and add it to the pan. Sprinkle the meat with salt. Do not stir the meat, as stirring will prevent browning. Once the meat is well browned on one side (a couple minutes, depending on how hot the pan), use tongs or a fork or a metal spatula to flip to the other side. Once that side is browned as well, use a slotted spoon to remove from the pan and set aside. Continue to brown the meat in batches, adding a teaspoon of butter to the pan with each batch if needed, and salting the pan and the meat, until it is all browned. Remove meat from pan.
Drain excess fat from pan. Lower the heat to medium. Add the onions to the pan. If you are working with very lean meat, you may not have any residual fat in the pan. If this is the case, you'll want to add in a tablespoon of olive oil or butter to the pan. Cook the onions, scraping up the meat drippings, until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove onions from the pan (add to the meat).
Depending on the cooking times of your particular brand of pasta, this is likely a good time to add the pasta to the (should be now) boiling, salted water. While the pasta is cooking, add a tablespoon of butter to the pan, increase the heat to medium high. Add the sliced mushrooms. Sauté until nicely browned (about 4 minutes). Add the sherry (or dry white wine or water) to the pan to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits. Let the sherry reduce by at least a half, then lower the heat to low. Remove the pan from the heat.
Mix in the sour cream and paprika until smooth. Return the pan to very low heat, and not let the sour cream boil (or it may curdle). You may add a few tablespoons of water to the mixture to thin it out a bit at any time. Stir in the lemon juice, and about 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt (taste). Stir in the meat and onions. Stir in the chopped parsley. Add more salt, pepper, and/or paprika to taste. Keep the stroganoff on warm heat until the noodles are done cooking. When the noodles are ready (al dente) drain. Serve the stroganoff on top of egg noodles.

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waste not wednesday

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