Truth be told? My mom is the reason that I cook the way that I do and she also influences some of the departures that I make in cooking. Case in point - my mother would probably cheerfully die rather than eat a smidgen of cream of mushroom soup. Her hatred of that particular atrocity causes her to call my favorite green bean casserole "those slimy green beans." So when you hear a nuclear explosion somewhere in northeast Iowa, it is because I have taken one of her signature dishes and have made it my own - complete with ground turkey and cream of mushroom soup instead of ground beef and cream of chicken soup.
There is nothing sexy or difficult about this dish, but for me - when I eat my mom's beef stroganoff or even my own bastardized version of it, I am instantly transported to my mom's kitchen and can picture the perfect roasting pan full of this casserole on Sundays when she was diverting from the Sunday roast routine. This is one of those dishes that I've probably altered for my own purposes because I will never get it to taste as good as it did when I was a kid and mom would serve this with a side of garlic bread (leftover hamburger buns slathered with buttered and damn near dredged in garlic salt) and salad.
I'm not sexy, but I put the "comfort" in comfort food
Mama's Beef Stroganoff - the ShelleyBakes version
by Mama Sharon and ShelleyBakes
1/2 bag wide egg noodles, cooked per directions
1 lb. ground turkey or beef, browned and drained
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cans cream of mushroom (or chicken) soup
1 c. sour cream
Make the noodles and drain. While noodles are cooking, brown the meat together with the chopped onion. If you're going to bake it, it can be a little pink, but if you think you'll eat it straight from the pan like my husband and I do? Brown it till it is no longer clucking or mooing. After the noodles and the meat are done, throw in a big bowl and add the soup and the sour cream. You can get by with just one can of soup, but adding the extra makes it damn near velvety.
This step truly makes it better, although you do not have to follow it ... if you decide you want to bake this casserole - have your oven preheated to 350 degrees. Dump the contents of the bowl into a large casserole dish or a roasting pan (if your my mom and have doubled this recipe because you are feeding a herd of hungry folks) and bake until the top is slightly golden. (Probably about 45 minutes?)
If you are like me and do not have the patience - you can eat it now, but only if you browned the hamburger properly.
A couple of notes - this recipe is a cinch to double and it freezes incredibly well. In fact, this is something I make on a relatively frequent basis when I know I'll be working extra shifts and I keep quart freezer bags of stroganoff in our freezer. You can thaw and serve after nuking it for awhile or you can go that martyr's extra mile and bake it after it thaws.
On a personal note - I love you Mom! I promise I won't ever make stroganoff when you come over!.