Apparently we are now in spring. Foodwise this normally means that we begin to head away from proper winter comfort food and start cooking and eating lighter, more seasonal meals. We all have our favourite spring time meals. Ones that we associate with the longer evenings and the blooming of flowers, but as I look outside today I see absolutely no indication of this season change whatsoever. If anything it feels like we are reverting back to autumn. With grey skies, rain and naked trees it just seems wrong for me to start making a spring roast chicken or a pasta primavera. Instead, like the weather, I too have decided to stay in the past by continuing to cook warming comfort food until the weather decides to cooperate.
I have often found that some of my best ever recipes have come from using random leftovers from my cupboards and fridge. A few weeks ago I was in a very lazy mood and with the weather being terrible outside I just couldn’t bring myself to go out. The problem was that I really wanted chilli con carne, but had no mincemeat. In fact, I had no meat defrosted at all. Despite the nearest supermarket being not even 50 yards away, leaving my nice warm flat to get some beef mince was just not an option. Instead, I found myself holding a random butternut squash that I had just happened to find sitting in the back of my fridge.
Anyone who knows me well will know that I have a slight obsession with all things to do with South East Asia. Yes I admit it, I am one of those people who will quite often talk about my travels even when not particularly relevant to the conversation. As a matter of fact, I think it is quite a talent to be able to turn literally any conversation in the world into something Asia related, even if I am the only person who thinks so.
Spinach has to be one of my favourite ingredients. Look, I know I say this about EVERY ingredient I use, but with so many amazing tastes and flavours out there surely it’s only right to have multiple favourites? I mean, how are you meant to just say one answer when someone asks what your favourite food or meal is? After listing several hundred ingredients and meals I just love, the real answer always emerges and that is, I just can’t decide. A sufficient answer I say! Anyway I digress, back to the matter in hand, my love for spinach.
I’ve made and tried a lot of different variations of Stroganoff over the years. Low fat versions, ones with double cream instead of soured cream, mushroom-free versions, no paprika, etc etc. All have tasted okay, but okay is just not good enough when it comes to food. Stroganoff is a dish that I really love and I wanted to do it justice. I think this recipe does that.