Sometimes I run out of ideas for dinner… I’m sure it happens to some of you too! Most days I start thinking about dinner at about 4pm! The goal is that I know what to buy from the supermarket when I finish at 5! But some days my imagination is completely gone… So thank God for the old good classics like this creamy chicken stroganoff over rice and peas… you cannot go wrong with a foolproof recipe. The thing is that, when I actually decide on a recipe, the imagination comes flying back and I have to change something. Let’s face it, the original recipe is for beef stroganoff with noodles. But I love chicken, so let’s just use what I like the most. The original recipe is made with sour cream, I already have cream at home, no need to go to waste. Noodles, hummm, I prefer rice and I have a killer recipe for rice with peas so that’s it: creamy chicken stroganoff over rice and peas for dinner…
History of stroganoff
So how did this simple stew of beef and mushrooms become so popular?
Well, during World War II, beef was highly rationed so this dish was considered an extravagance! That’s why it became a dish that was only served for very special occasions, even long after the war had ended.
The original recipe for Beef Stroganoff dates back to Russia in the late 1800s. It was created by Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov’s chef who named it after his employer. The Count was considered a celebrity and a true connoisseur of food. But legend has it that he didn’t have any teeth. So his chef created this special dish so the Count could eat it without any effort. The original dish contained beef, mushrooms, and sour cream, just like today’s. But many Russians argue that mushrooms were not part of the traditional recipe, and that the current recipe is an Americanized version of the original. No matter what’s been said, Beef Stroganoff was found on the menu of the famous Russian Tea Room in New York City in the 1930s, and in hundreds of other famous restaurants throughout the years.
Nowadays, Beef Stroganoff lost its extravagance status. In the end, it’s just a beef and mushroom stew served over wide egg noodles or rice, right? But when you put all these simple ingredients together the correct way, it’s a luscious meal, perfect for any occasion.