Monday, September 25, 2006

Dreams of German Food....

I had visions of a nice beef and mushroom hunter sauce over linguine noodles.

Instead, the results were less than stellar. I made a few mistakes, and the sauce ended up a grayish color, like a bad-weather day in the land o' bland.

Components:

onions
mushrooms
spoon full of minced garlic
oil
salt
pepper
wine
pre-cooked ground beef
dried herbs from my friend's garden
flour for thickening
water

What I did:

sautee onions, add in mushrooms, beef, garlic, salt, pepper, herbs, cook until hot and onions tender, taste, be dismayed, add more salt and pepper, add some wine, watch onions turn grayish purple color, decide it needs more liquid so add some water that had flour whisked into it, watch it turn into grayish elmer-glue-like concoction with onion and beef.

Oh, disaster. I remembered something from a cooking show I accidentally watched in a motel room one time (we are on the road trip cable plan) that said fat brings out flavor, so I added a few pats of butter to the meaty glue mixture. More salt. That helped render it at least servable. The butter really did bring out the flavor...somewhat.

At table I added parmesan cheese and more salt and it was decent. Not like I had to worry about the kids eating it, anyways. Green beans on the side.

What I SHOULD HAVE DONE:

Use a bit more oil and actually let the onions caramelize before going on the the next step. Add garlic and let it cook with the caramelizing onions. I was too hasty.
Use fresh mushrooms, AFTER the onions are brown and sweet.
The herbs were good, etc.

The beef I used had been cooked and drained and rinsed so it was fairly tasteless and very low in fat. But that was the point, I guess (at least the reduced calories gained by rinsing.) How to rinse without getting rid of flavor?????

Skip the wine and use boullion instead, to perk up the flavor...

Ah, forget it! Next time I'll just go buy some Knorr or Maggi hunter sauce mix and be done with it...

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