Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Seasonal Plate

Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.

Yevgrny Yevtushenko (1993-  )

Yevgeni Yevtushenko  is a Russian poet, writer, actor, and film director 

who is best known for his poem 'Babi Yar' and the eponymous symphony

made in collaboration with composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

This week's submission for The Seasonal Plate; Seasonal Inspired Food Pairings

Cinnamon Spiced Beef Stroganoff, Parmesan Knots (recipe posted   January 24, 2014) and Southern Buttermilk Red Velvet Cake (recipe published February 2013)  Winter Salad is not featured in the photo.
Cinnamon Spiced Beef Stroganoff

Cook’s notes: Beef Stroganoff is a Russian dish of sautéed pieces of beef served in a sour cream sauce. From its origins in mid-19th-century Russia, it has become popular around the world, with considerable variation from the original recipe. The recipe did not appear in English cookbooks until 1932, and it was not until the 1950s, after World War II, that beef stroganoff became popular for elegant dinner parties in America.

This recipe is a twist on an old classic and serves 4. It was adapted from Midwest Living February 2013
Suggested wine pairings include a medium bodied red, The Seven Deadly Zins or a Pinot Noir, BearBoat
· 1 lb. beef sirloin cut into small chunks
· 1 TB. butter
· ½ tsp. salt
· ¾ tsp. cinnamon
· 1/8 tsp. ground coriander
· 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
· Dash ground cloves
· 1 small onion chopped
· 2 garlic cloves minced
· 2 cups sliced mushrooms, rinsed, patted dry
· 2 cups beef broth less sodium (I tested with Swansons)
· 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
· ¾ cup lite sour cream
· ½ cup heavy cream or half and half
· 3 TB. flour
· ½ tsp. crushed dried thyme
· ½ tsp. crushed dried rosemary
· 1 tsp. parsley flakes
· 1/4 cup dry white wine, dry vermouth, sherry or dry red wine
· Place in a bowl: salt, cinnamon, pepper, coriander, cloves with 1 TB. flour, toss beef cubes in mixture and let sit 10 minutes
  Brown meat on high heat 1 minute per side in a nonstick skillet, stirring constantly
· Place browned beef cubes on paper towel, set aside
· Wipe skillet clean and melt 1 TB. butter
· Saute onions, mushrooms and garlic for 8 minutes
· In a bowl combine mustard, beef broth, cream, sour cream, thyme, rosemary, parsley with 3 TB. flour- whisk to blend well
· Add broth mixture to the onion /mushrooms and garlic mixture, cook on low heat till thickened about 20    minutes
· Add in beef cubes, cook on low heat 10 minutes longer
· Add in wine, blend well and cook 2 minutes more
· Serve beef tips and sauce over wide egg noodles

Southern Buttermilk Red Velvet Cake
Cook's notes: Traditionally the Red Velvet Cake is baked in two layers with a cream cheese frosting filling, frosted on top and sides of the cake, then sprinkled with toasted pecans. Other options include baking in a 13 x 9 pan instead or making cupcakes.Crushed walnuts can be substituted for the pecans sprinkled over the cream cheese frosting. Buttermilk is the magical ingredient that makes the cake very moist. I used two tablespoons of food coloring to give the cake a rich red color.
recipe adapted from

· 2 -1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
· 1-1/4 cups sugar
· 1 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/2 tsp. salt
· 4 heaping teaspoons unsweetened baking cocoa powder
· 1-1/4 cups vegetable oil
· 1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
· 2 large eggs, at room temperature
· 2 TB. red food coloring
· 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
· 1 tsp. vanilla extract 

· Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil and flour 2 round cake pans or a 13 x 9 pan.
· In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder
. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla
· Using a mixer combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined and a smooth batter is formed.
· Divide the cake batter evenly among the prepared cake pans. Place the pan/pans in the oven evenly spaced apart. Bake about 22 minutes or until the cake pulls away from the side and the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick
· Remove the cakes from the oven and run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pans. Cool 5 minutes
· Invert the cakes onto plates lined with wax paper and then re-invert them onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Cook's notes: Double the ingredients if making a two layer cake
· 3 cups powdered sugar
· 3 oz. package softened cream cheese
· 1 TB. softened butter
· 1 tsp. vanilla
· 1/4 cup milk (start with 1/4 cup adding milk by the tablespoons to obtain the correct consistency)
crushed pecans or walnuts
· Beat until smooth and frost

Winter Fruit Salad-serves 6
· baby kale and mixed greens or Romaine mixed with baby spinach
· 1 apple and 1 pear sliced
· 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 1/3 cup cashews
· red onion slices and prepared poppyseed dressing

Mix all ingredients and drizzle with poppyseed dressing
optional adding grated Swiss cheese or crumbled Feta on top of salad

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