I love Alton Brown! Or at least I think I do; I certainly love his recipes, and the one I made last week for company was no exception! Once again I (apologetically) refer to my favorite Food Network show The Best Thing I Ever Made. This time in the episode “Updated Classics” Brown made a mushroom stroganoff with goat cheese, that I knew I had to try! I love mushrooms, and this sounded way too good to wait for winter, and I’m so glad I didn’t.
Last week we were having dinner company a friend of mine, and her daughter, a friend of my daughter’s. Neither of the girls eats meat, and when I checked to make sure they were mushroom eaters— I’m amazed at how many people will not eat mushrooms— I had my menu planned. We’d start with my white bean and artichoke dip, and have the stroganoff and a salad. I bought cupcakes for dessert, but I’m saving those details for another post.
The set up for the stroganoff was quite simple, as was the preparation. I made a few slight modifications to the recipe (unless I am baking I find this almost impossible to refrain from doing…) and like every other Alton Brown recipe I’ve ever tried, it was delicious! Everyone loved it, and I am pretty happy that I had enough leftovers for another dinner. I love trying new recipes, so something has to be really good for me to wonder as I’m eating it, ‘when can I make this again?’.
Like beef stroganoff, this is a company dish. It is a little bit fancy, and looks gorgeous coming to the table. I served it in a bowl, which does a good job of keeping it warm, but i think it would look quite elegant on a platter. I would not save it for vegetarians, it is spectacular, and needs no meat to make it a meal. You could certainly tart it up by adding a variety of mushrooms, which I will also try. I think shiitakes would make an excellent addition.
The next time I make it I am going to substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream, and see how that works, and I’m sure reduced fat sour cream would work (if you are so inclined). For my noodles I used Italian tagliatelle, because I like long noodles, but you could use any extra wide egg noodle. I think it was the goat cheese that really made this dish so good, and gave it that updated, modern flavor.
I like Alton Brown because he really thinks about food, and flavors, and why things work or don’t. I admire, and identify with his mix of scientific approach paired with a passion for “Good Eats”. If you are also a fan of Alton Brown, I recommend Shirley Corriher’s book CookWise, as well as Harold McGee’s On Food and Cooking. Understanding the science of food can help you make good decisions in adapting recipes, and avoiding failure.
Do you have a go-to resource or reference for food science? Do you wonder about why food acts the way it does? Are you an Alton Brown in your own kitchen laboratory? If so, please share some of your discoveries.