Dione Lucas was among the first to teach cooking from a television studio in 1947. She held private classes were attended by such individuals as Salvador Deli, Helen Hayes and Paula Wolfert, who took 6 classes and immediately dropped out of college for a career in food
Dione Lucas’ books led to the growth of French cooking in America, though she never rose to the fame of Julia Child. Many people swear by Lucas' omelet recipe, others wax poetic on her more complicated dishes. Her squab was another favorite, not so much for the recipe but because she states that it was a favorite dish eaten by Adolph Hitler, which debunks the theory of his vegetarianism.
Her Gourmet Cooking School Cookbook gives this detailed but excellent recipe for beef with sour cream.
(Fillet of Beef with Sour Cream)
2 pounds fillet of beef (center cut)
1/2 ounce (1 package) dried mushrooms
1 1/2 cups heavy commercial sour cream
meat, trimmed and cut into pieces
dried mushrooms, soaked, drained and chopped
mushroom stock, strained
fresh dill, chopped
1. Remove any skin, fat and sinew from the mat, and cut it into thin fingers 2 1/2 inches long, 1 inch wide.
2. Heat in a heavy pan: 4 tablespoons (2 ounces -- 1/2 stick) of salt butter. Stir it until it is golden and sizzling.
3. Now, put in your beef, a few slices at a time, being careful that the pieces do not touch. This is the trick to browning meat quickly and evenly without allowing any juice or steam to form, thereby stewing instead of sautéing your meat. Remove browned pieces with a slotted spoon or tongs-- never stab with a fork!-- and set aside until all the beef has been cooked.
4. When all the meat is brown, put it back in the pan and flame it with: 1/4 cup of brandy
5. Remove the meat from the pan again and stir into the juices: 2 tablespoons (1 ounce-- 1/4 stick) of salt butter
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add: 2 teaspoons of finely chopped garlic. (Chop garlic in a little salt with a sharp knife.) 1/2 ounce of chopped dried mushrooms (These give a completely different flavor from our fresh mushrooms, and the two are not interchangeable. Put the 1/2 ounce of dried mushrooms to soak in 1/2 cup of warm water for at least 1/2 hour. Drain the mushrooms, saving the liquid, chop them very fine and add them to the garlic sauce.)
7. Stir slowly over heat for 2 minutes, but don't brown the garlic.
8. Stir in, off the fire: 1 level teaspoon of meat glaze, 1 level teaspoon of tomato paste, 3 tablespoons of plain flour, the strained mushroom stock
9. Stir over the fire until it thickens, but don't let it boil.
10. Beat in, a dab at a time: 1 1/2 cups of heavy sour cream, using a wire whisk.
11. Mix in: 2 good tablespoons of freshly chopped dill
12. Heat the sauce, but keep it below the boiling point or the sour cream will curdle. It should just be steaming. Then put your meat in, but do not keep it in the sauce over a flame or it will continue to cook. It can stay warm indefinitely over hot water, with a cover on, or on an electric hot tray.
If you want to be a thoroughly unruffled hostess, you can brown your beef and make your sauce in the morning, refrigerating them in separate bowls until about an hour before you serve. At the last minute, you can heat the sauce gradually, stirring it to keep it smooth and watching that it doesn't boil. Then add the meat, which will be room temperature by this time, and add your fresh dill to the sauce now, heat the two together, and there's your perfect Stroganoff, prepared in advance, yet served precisely au point.
It seems terribly drawn out, but read through the recipe and give it a try.