Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Beef and Wild Rice Stroganoff Soup

I had all of the ingredients to make Beef Stroganoff except the egg noodles, so I thought—why not soup?! This recipe is easy and though I made it in the crock pot, you could easily simmer on the stove as well. And another Budget Friendly Fix—the stew meat was on sale for $2.99/lb and the 8 oz mushroom package was $1.99! I hope you and your family enjoy this warm hearty soup on yet another snowy Minnesota day…

Beef and Wild Rice Stroganoff Soup
1 lb stew meat, cut into small chunks
½ cup uncooked wild rice
8 oz baby bella, crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, chopped fine
1 shallot, minced
½ cup carrot, chopped small
4 stalks celery, chopped small
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups beef or vegetable stock
¼ cup flour
Salt and pepper
Fresh thyme, rosemary, oregano
1 cup half and half, or heavy cream
Sour cream or yogurt to garnish, if desired

Place your chopped vegetables and mushrooms in the crock pot with 3 Tbsps of olive oil. Cover and cook on high while you prepare the other ingredients. Mince the garlic and shallots and add to the crock.

Place the wild rice in a bowl and cover with 2 cups of warm water. Stir and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Then drain and discard the water.

Cut your stew meat into small, finger tip sized chunks. Trim fat as desired. In a small bowl, toss the meat with the flour and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Continue to toss until all of meat is well coated with the flour.

Add the meat to the vegetable mixture by the handful, leaving any excess flour in the bowl to discard. Stir together and then pour in the vegetable or beef stock. Stir in the drained wild rice. Add a sprig of rosemary, and oregano and a small bunch of thyme, or a ½ tsp of each dried. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

Now you have a couple of serving options: Uncover and allow the soup to cool down for a while. (Pour into a big bowl for faster cooling.) Then add 1 cup of half and half and 1 cup of sour cream. OR you can finish this at the table as below:
Remove the cover and ladle into bowls. When the soup has cooled slightly, stir 2 Tbsps of half and half into each serving.  You may add more if you wish. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and serve with some crusty bread.

This soup will serve a family of 6 for dinner or 8 for lunch--and it makes great leftovers ;)
Thanks for reading—

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Budget Friendly Fixes: Cheesy Broccoli Rice Casserole

Welcome to the first post in my new segment: Budget Friendly Fixes.  I will be referring to these recipes as my BFFs! These are the kinds of recipes for those end of the day “Oh yea…dinner…” moments.  Using things you can find at the bottom of your refrigerator and back of your pantry, this recipe is quick, cheap, and tasty. These recipes are also very substitute-able. Let me know what you find to use in your fridge!

Cheesy Broccoli Rice Stove-top Casserole
Have extra cheese? Use it! Spinach instead of broccoli? Hooray! In my fridge, I found a turkey sausage link to use, but I think ham would be delicious! Enjoy!

1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups chicken stock
¾ cup skim milk
2/3 cup shredded cheese
¼ cup light sour cream
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cooked sausage link, cubed small
Pinch of garlic powder and black pepper

In a saucepan, bring rice and broth to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook following the package directions.  Set your timer for 3 minutes less than the rice’s instructed cooking time. In a microwave safe dish, steam chopped broccoli with 1 cup of water, covered for 2 minutes in the microwave. Drain the water and combine the cubed cooked meat, broccoli and chopped green onions.

When the timer goes off, quickly pour the broccoli meat mixture on top of the cooking rice. Recover and cook for the remaining 3 minutes.  No need to stir. When the rice has finished cooking the three minutes, it may be a bit firm, but that is fine. Pour in the milk. Increase the heat to medium high. Stir while the milk bubbles and continue to cook until it thickens—about 1-2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cheese.  Add the garlic powder and black pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the light sour cream.
Serve with fresh fruit and some crackers and you have a quick and kid friendly meal for four!

As always, thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Year Two!

Hello Readers!

This week was the second anniversary of The Finch’s Nest! Thank you so much for your support! I took a little break this fall, but of course, all the while I was cooking, eating and planning amazing fun recipes to post here. I can’t wait to share more recipes with you! These are some of the things to come:

Thanks again!