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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Simple stroganoff a jiffy winner

Thursday, April 01, 1999


Mary Burton of Mt. Lebanon likes to get creative with cooking. Today she shares one of her successful recipes with Countdown to Dinner fans.

"I'm a pastor, so it's hard to find time to cook," she says, then laughs, "even for church suppers."

Burton cooks for herself and husband John, now that their three children are grown and gone. Nancy lives in Tampa, Susan in Denver and Bill in Vancouver, Wash.

"We enjoy restaurants, and enjoy eating out, but in my meals at home, I try to avoid the routine or mundane, which isn't easy with two people," she says.

"I like cooking, and I enjoy experimenting with different ways to get a meal on the table in a hurry."

Lactose-intolerant, she says that provides another challenge. In her recipe for Quick Stroganoff she uses Yoder's onion dip, which is made with a sour cream substitute, a nondairy product that is made from soy.

She says she has learned to read the labels, but "the recipe will work with any onion dip."

Sometimes she uses ground beef (that's what we used), but she says leftover roast beef works well, too. "This is a good recipe when you're in a hurry," she says.

In Countdown land, that's high praise. In our recipe test, the dish came in 3 minutes 33 seconds under the requisite half-hour - and that counted picking out the woody parts of the salad mix and slicing the artisan bread.

And it's delicious. Take note of Burton's warning, though: high heat can curdle sour cream, so as the recipe says, warm it - don't boil.

- Tested by Suzanne Martinson

Quick Stroganoff

8 ounces noodles
1 pound lean ground beef or ground round
1 16-ounce carton French onion dip (she uses Yoder's for reduced fat and calories)
8 ounces pre-sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine (optional)

Cook noodles according to directions. Sauté beef; add mushrooms and cook until done.

Gently stir in onion dip and wine. Do not boil - just heat through.

Drain noodles and top with beef mixture.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer(not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@Post-Gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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