Goulash Soup ~ A Taste of Hungary

Hungarian Goulash (Gulyás) is easy to make! A few simple ingredients are transformed into an incredibly flavored soup.
The word Gulyás means Herdsman or COWBOY. Simmering soup over the camp fire became a standard herdsman’s dinner in Hungary.
This authentic recipe is from my Hungarian neighbor. It was handed down to her from her grandmother.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 lbs stewing beef, cut into bite size 1 inch cubes
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large cooking onions chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic cut in half – remove inside stem
  • 2 table spoons of caraway seed (dissolves in the soup)
  • 2 big ripe Roma tomatoes halved
  • 2 red bell peppers quartered
  • 1.5 inch tomato paste from tube, OR 1 teaspoon of canned tomatoes paste
  • 2 tsp. Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chilli pepper flakes
  • optional 6 carrots: 2 yellow, 2 orange 2 purple. Cut into cubes.
Red carrots contain lycopene (another form of carotene), a pigment also found in tomatoes and watermelon.
INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a cast iron pot brown onion ‘half way’ in the oil (lightly limp). Then add 4 garlic halves. Brown until golden colored.
  • Add caraway seeds (a must have!) and stir.
  • Add beef cubes. Stir until beef is brown and caraway seeds are nicely distributed.
  • Add 2 cups of water
  • Add: tomatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes paste, Hungarian paprika, salt, black pepper, and or chilli pepper.
  • Add water so that it covers the beef by 2 inches. Cover the pot and cook at medium heat (barely boiling) for 2 hours. (Note: You can place the dutch oven directly in the oven at low heat: 325°F, 160°C.)
  • Check after 1 hour and stir. Cook until beef is tender. Approx. 1 more hour.
  • Add water if the level of the liquid falls an inch.
  • Put in carrots and cook for 20 mins. 2.5 hours cooking time in total.
Tri-Coloured Carrots (The Yellow Carrots Look Like Potatoes)
Grass Fed Veal Makes A Difference In Flavour

Food Tips

Alternative cooking methods:
(1) Pressure cooker: Time: 1 hour 10 min.
(2) Slow cooker: Cook Time: 8 hours.
Storage: Frig. : 5 days, Freezer: 3 months.
OPTIONS: Serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, rice or spatzle.

Hungarian herdsmen enjoying their gulyás soup (left side). Added to the soup were wild onions and caraway that grew on the fields. Paprika was added in the 1800’s.
This makes a very large pot of soup!
If you’d like to freeze some of it,
do it before adding the carrots (vegetables)!

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Rutabaga Mash

Rutabaga Mash: Holiday Trending

Buttered Rutabagas were a staple on our Thanksgiving / Christmas table when I was growing up and I’m revisiting them today ~ these delicious pale orange rutabaga are misunderstood and probably the most overlooked veggie.

User comments

TIRED OF MASHED POTATOES?

Some people have never had rutabaga in their entire life.  It is a standard holiday dish in Finland known as lanttulaatikko . Last year at a Scandinavian dinner, my friend had mashed rutabaga for the first time. She loved it! So healthy and easy to make.

Some people mix RUTABAGA with turnips. Turnips are generally smaller and not as sweet as rutabaga. You may also find ‘all white’ turnips at your supermarket. Rutabagas have a pale orange bottom half compared to the white bottom half of a turnip.

Root Vegetables

SIDE DISH: I start cooking my rutabaga first, before preparing my main meal. This veggie is cooked on top of the stove 25-35 minutes before it is popped into the oven. OVEN TIME: 1 hour.  If I have a big bird in the oven, I will center the bird in the oven and leave the rack below it for the rutabaga casserole which can be added in the last hour of cooking the bird.

INGREDIENTS
6 cups of rutabaga (in Finnish, lanttu), peeled, washed and diced in large chunks
1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream or milk
3 tablespoons butter

INSTRUCTIONS:
(Preheat the oven to 350F)
1. PEEL, CUBE AND BOIL RUTABAGA in salted boiling water- until tender-drain and mash.
2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the cream and add nutmeg and beaten eggs. combine with the mashed rutabagas. Add mixture to a buttered 2 1/2 quart baking dish ( or individual dishes ). Bake for about 60 minutes or until golden brown.

TOPPINGS: Top with bread crumbs and butter nobs ( optional ) before the casserole goes into the oven. Before serving: Decorate with chives or chopped parsley.

Secret Ingredient: I always add garlic ~ not in the original recipe.

The traditional recipe from Finland adds heavy cream and dark syrup before the baking process. Add nutmeg ‘to taste’. It’s the most important ingredient.

Food Tip for rutabaga mashed casserole.

FOOD TIP

To speed up the cooking time before mashing the rutabaga, use a microwave ( covered on high, add 1 cup of water 15-20 min. ) or pressure cooker ( 9 minutes) . Use several small baking dishes for freezer appeal. Add apple or carrots for sweetness. You can optionally add a crushed garlic and/or 2 cardamom pods in the boiling water. FOR ADDED ZIP, add spices: ginger, cinnamon or turmeric to taste.

Why are rutabagas (neeps, swedes) half purple? —They are a mix of wild cabbage and turnips. A portion of the plant grows above ground and changes colour from the sun.
(P.S. You can eat the green tops too – tastes a bit like spinach).

News Flash Rutabaga Low in Calories

RUTABAGA has less than half the calories of white potatoes & sweet potatoes!

(1/3 the carbs.)

Ketogenic-friendly!

Here’s the picture from Michael (see comment below) of his rutabaga mash using ramekins. I would enjoy seeing pictures you have from your rutabaga dish and will add them to the post. Please email them to me: info@simplysplendidfood.com

Mashed Rutabaga, Hot From The Oven

Pizza with Spinach and Sun Dried Tomatoes

THIN CRUST SPINACH & SUN DRIED TOMATOES PIZZA has become a staple in our home. Guilt-free pizza with only 1 g of carbs per slice. Lots of protein and full of flavor!
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INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 large clove of Garlic (Minced)
1 Prepared Thin Pizza Crust (12 Inch )
5 ounces of Spinach (Fresh and organic)
1/4 cup of Sun Dried Tomatoes (Re-hydrated ), cut in thin strips
4 ounces crumbled Feta Cheese
Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees and place pizza pan pan or stone in the oven to heat.  Use the middle rack. Steam sun dried tomatoes to hydrate. They should be ready after you have built the rest of the pizza.
  2. Heat Oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on low for 1 minute (do not brown)
  3. Add spinach and season with pepper. Cover and cook stirring once – just until spinach is wilted.
  4. Top pizza crust with spinach and pan juices. Sprinkle on sun dried tomatoes and cheese
  5. Make a circle from your parchment and place the pizza and parchment on your hot pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in  preheated oven ( 450 Degrees oven )  for 8-10 minutes



SUN DRIED TOMATOES
Trending sun dried tomatoes! How do I sun dry my own tomatoes – in the oven? please click here. My home made sun dried tomatoes not only have a dollar savings but it does not include any preservatives and is only handled by myself. Note: You do not need to add herbs when drying your tomatoes.

This is part of our theme on PLANT BASED DIETS. Lots of flavour and healthy goodness. I hope you enjoy our pizza.
BON APPETITE!
Some kids don’t like garlic. This can be omitted as you know.

Bread Pudding Soufflé

Bread pudding has been around since the 11th century. The first time I had Bread Pudding Soufflé  was at the famous Commanders Palace in New Orleans.

Bread Making With Fire Ovens During the sequestered days, people were busy baking bread; myself included.  When I found a loaf of bread hiding in the bar frig, bread pudding came to mind.  Re-purpose stale egg bread like brioche, challah or Finnish pulla,  Italian, French or sour dough bread work well. I would file this under COMFORT FOOD!

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INGREDIENTS
Unsalted butter, for pan and ramekins
1/4  cup of sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
3 large free range whole eggs
1 cup  whole milk ( 3% – 15% )
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. of salt
5 cups day-old white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
Meringue: 6-9 large egg whites, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar
Whiskey – Custard Sauce, (recipe below)

INSTRUCTIONS
STEP 1 Bread Pudding
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Beat in whole eggs until smooth; whisk in milk and vanilla extract. Add bread cubes; stir, allowing bread to soak in well. Add more milk if needed. Bake for 25-30 minutes until pudding is golden and firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. It should be moist, not runny or dry. Cool to room temperature.
You now have made “bread pudding.”
You can stop here and not make the meringue for the soufflé portion. I suggest you still making the custard sauce. The sauce makes the bread pudding.
STEP 2 Meringue
Butter six 6-ounce ceramic ramekins; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk 6-9 egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Slowly add 1/4 cup sugar. Continue whisking until shiny and thick.  If whites stand up, like shaving cream, the  meringue is ready. Watch this video for tips.

STEP 3 Meringue and Sauce
In a large bowl, separate out the bread pudding into  chunks. Gently fold in a quarter of the meringue, being careful not to lose the air in the whites. Divide this mixture among the ramekins. Top the rest of the meringue on each ramekin, piling it as high as you can. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
TOPPING: Cut a slit on top of each soufflé and pour  the  custard sauce into each individual ramekin. Serve immediately.

WHISKEY  CUSTARD SAUCE
INGREDIENTS
1/2 cups (600 ml.) whole milk
4 large free-range egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 vanilla pod ( or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract )
1/4 cup bourbon -whiskey (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
1. Pour milk and vanilla extract into a pot and bring just to the boil.
2. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and flour until pale.
Gradually add the warm milk to the egg mixture. Whisk well to prevent clumping.
Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook gently on a low heat for about 20 minutes -or- until thick. Add the whiskey. Adjust to taste. Whisk continuously.
Taste to make sure the sauce is sufficiently sweet.  Pour into the center opening of each soufflé.

Bread Pudding Soufflé Scored in the middle for the sauce to blend well.

Whiskey Sauce poured over the Bread Pudding Soufflé

VARIATIONS

When I attended the Cookin Cajun Cooking School at Riverwalk in New Orleans, the chef said, “You could add anything to your bread pudding soufflé :  raisins, currents, even smarties.”

Get creative with this recipe. Use up ingredients hiding in your cupboards and in your frig.

Kids love smarties. They can help out in doctoring up  their own ramekin, before going in the oven.


TIP: If you don’t have enough stale bread, combine fruit or almonds with the cubed bread, before the final bake. Maybe add some cheese. Sweet or savory, it’s great for breakfast or dessert.

How about eggnog ‘bread puddingsoufflé? Sounds delicious for the holidays!

BREAD – the Staff of Life.  Along with your carbs you will get micro nutrients including thiamin, selenium, and folate from bread.

We really wanted to bring you a trending dessert that is gaining popularity. The cinnamon and nutmeg is fantastic!  I serve this warm dessert with whiskey custard along with a shot of whiskey on the side.

 

Memories of New Orleans! Bread Pudding Soufflé is still the number one asked for dessert at The Commander’s Palace.

How it was added to their menu? Commander’s Palace had so many egg whites left over from their Hollandaise Sauce that it  gave birth to their famous “Bread Pudding Soufflé“. Simply Splendid had the solution to the egg yolks by  making  a custard sauce topping.

bread pudding souffle

Comander’s Palace, New Orleans, Home of Bread Pudding Souffle

KID FRIENDLY with plain custard!  A great snack. Keeps well in the frig for 2-3 days.

Pasta! Pasta! Pasta!

TRENDING PASTA

Beer Pasta

Beet PASTA

Spelt pasta, chick pea, organic, spinach, kale, lentil and chocolate dessert  pasta. The new trend in pasta is part of the “NEW NORMAL”.  Healthy pasta with nutritious veggies have kicked up our pasta -another notch!  Now, that we are homebound, we may be more inventive with our meals and at the same time keep the cost down.

Last night, we had mushroom quinoa pasta. My sister said,  ” This pasta is  really good. What did you do? I explained how I prepared the pasta.  My sis also said, “You must share your pasta secret on your blog. 💖 And, I have selfish reasons. I need a copy to print out..for me!”

PERFECT PASTA

Heart Smart  PASTA

Perfectly cooked pasta is called “al dente” , which in Italian means “to the tooth.” Al dente pasta is cooked just enough to retain a firm texture while still pliable.
MY COOKING SECRET:  I cook my pasta to ‘AL DENTE’.  I start to check my pasta a few minutes before the recommended cooking time,  to ensure perfectly cooked pasta!🍝

INGREDIENTS

1 quart water  (approx.)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp of oil
3-4 cloves of garlic.
Pasta – of your choice

How To MEASURE Pasta For Your Dinner Guests?

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot boil 4 cups of water and 1 1/2 tsp  of salt,  for every 3 1/2 ounces of pasta. These are the proportions according to the classic and famous Silver Spoon cookbook.  Optionally, add a few cloves of garlic to the water. I’ve always done this when cooking my pasta.
When the water comes to a rolling boil add the pasta.    Boil for 8-10 minutes. In the meantime, heat oil,  garlic and butter in a fry pan. You may add mushrooms, basil, spinach and parsley. (or, your choosing).   Do not let garlic brown. Then, set aside until pasta is ready.
TESTING PASTA FOR DONENESS
After  8 minutes, take out one small segment of pasta.  You may notice that the outside of the pasta is cooked and the inside is still hard. This is your guide for the next test – 1 to 2 minutes later.

I sometimes test the pasta 3 or 4 times. I like my pasta as perfect as possible. Cook well and you will  keep the flavour of the pasta. If your pasta is cooked too long, you get  “pastey pasta”. And, frankly it tastes like paste.

Quinoa Pasta with Spinach, Mushrooms, Sun Dried Tomatoes, garlic,butter and oil.

PASTA PROVIDES ENERGY!
1. Pasta is one of best sources of good carbohydrates. Runners and rowers have pasta the night before a race.  Carbohydrates provide glucose to the body, which is an essential fuel for the muscles and the brain.
2. Pasta helps repair cells and tissue, rebuilds muscle and strengthens hair, nails and skin.
3. One serving of cooked pasta  ( about one cup ) has  210 calories, one gram of fat, 43 grams of carbs, three grams of fiber, and six grams of protein.
Make sure you have your favorite vegetables with your pasta. Mushrooms, broccoli, grilled asparagus or roasted peppers are so tasty with your pasta. It is not a main course. Keep your pasta serving down to about one cup.

MY FAVORITE PASTA MAKER – MOM
It started on a Sunday afternoon. After church, mom comes over for our  traditional  Sunday afternoon coffee.  The coffee maker is heating up. As I reach for the cups, I smile and say, ” Let’s make pasta for dinner tonight!” To this day, Mom and I still enjoy making fresh pasta on Sunday afternoons.  No Sunday goes by without fresh pasta on the dinner table. On hot, summer days, cold pasta salads are the main event.
My favorite pasta maker!

Lydia And Her Mom Making Pasta


KALE PASTA -STEP BY STEP:–(without a machine)–https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KT1KwuWBkvo
COLORED PASTA:–(with a machine)–> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJURekWWESo
ROOKIE PASTA MAKER (5 MISTAKES) —> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_fu5RaXMVk