Not Your Typical ~Veal Paprikash

A CLASSIC HUNGARIAN dish that combines tender chunks of veal in a rich,  complex and aromatic paprika-cream sauce

Hungarian Paprika

Hungarian Paprika

A perfect winter dish! It multiplies well for entertaining and is always a winner! Hungarian Veal paprikas is a stew. Do not mix it up with Hungarian goulash ( gulyás ). Which is a soup.  You will sometimes see Porkolt written, which is the proper Hungarian word for paprikas.
Veal Paprikash is another great dish you will want to add to your comfort food list. This recipe comes from my glamorous and clever neighbour, whose birthplace is Hungary.  This ‘RECIPE’  hails from a ‘no recipe’ blend…. like many talented chefs! The ingredients are exactly the way that her mother made it back home in Hungary.  Larger quantities are easy to make, when hosting a dinner party. Always a big hit with friends and family. The flavour satisfies many gourmands. My Hungarian neighbor is quite adamant about all the ingredients and the method.  A traditional recipe at home in Hungary. A very popular ‘Heart Healthy’ dish!
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RECIPE
papprika--image2INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons or more olive oil
2 cups diced onions
2 1/2 pounds veal shoulder cut into about one inch or bite sized pieces
2 large tomatoes, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
1 cup white wine
1 large or 2 small red peppers, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a heavy cast iron pot place onions and olive oil. Add more olive oil if necessary so that the onions are covered. Cook over medium heat until the onions are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the veal and cook for another 5 minutes. IMG_1567
3. Add the other ingredients; tomatoes, paprika, caraway seeds, garlic,white wine and red pepper. Cover and simmer for one hour checking occasionally to make sure it is not boiling. If it is too watery, simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
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Aromatic “Health Smart” Sauce that is incredibly smooth.

Comfort Food #1

Simply Splendid Comfort Food

FREEZER_freidnly33Serves 8-10. Leftovers are stored in the fridge or freezer or given to friends. A tasty treat to take home!
didyouknow2PAPRIKA comes loaded with vitamin A and carotenoids along with vitamin E, iron and lutein. Vitamin A aids in night vision. Carotenoids gives paprika its deep red color plus preventing harmful light rays from damaging the eye tissues. Paprika pairs well with humus (chick peas), carrots, butternut squash and pumpkin soup. Caraway, also known as meridian fennel, or Persian cumin is common in European cooking  for breads, cakes and added to pork roast (Germany, Austria and Hungary)  and in Moroccan dishes.  The  flavor is nutty and bittersweet.

HAT2 FOOD TIP: Use paprika like salt.  You can add paprika on “HOT” roasted potatoes and vegetables, right out of the oven.  FUN STORY:  I got this idea from a seaside shanty.  Hot, curly fries with salt and paprika came out of the kitchen! The  “chef” added it for you.  (without me asking for paprika)   Actually, they were amazing! (If you let the fries cool, even a little bit and add the paprika later ~ it was not the same taste).  Oven veggies: add the paprika the last 5 minutes of baking, before you take them out of the oven to heighten the flavour.  Do the same with roast chicken, scallops and more. CARAWAY seed comes from the parsley family. Grind it up and add it to your  family  coleslaw or potato salad and falafel (add very little ~ to taste).  Caraway spice is a storehouse of minerals attacking free radicals in you body.

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Recipes from Tomatoland

Good Morning,  It’s quiet in Toronto this week. The traffic is thinner than usual.  There are more seats on the subway.   But by golly, there are a ton of tomatoes.  Tomatoes are so bountiful at this time of the year as well as beautifully ripe and flavourful. They are at the market.  They are growing on the backyard or even balcony vines(such as mine)!  We can take advantage of this and make dishes such as soups to enjoy now and freeze to enjoy throughout the winter. This is also a great time to make oven dried tomatoes and freeze the in those tiny mason jars. The flavours are amazing on your salads, sandwiches , pastas and pizzas throughout the winter. So delicious! And the health benefits are off the charts as well.

didyouknow     If you cook tomatoes more lycopene is released by the tomatoes. Lycopene is reported to protect against heart disease, prostate  and cervical cancer.  In addition, if you ingest tomatoes with oil then the lycopene is made more bio-available.  Your body will absorb four times as much of the lycopene.  This is another reason to avoid “fat-free” salad dressings.  Tomatoes are an excellent source of Vitamins A, C, and K as well as many other nutrients. One cup of tomatoes has only 27 calories.  Food chemists at the university of California found that organically grown tomatoes have significantly higher amounts of vitamin C than conventional tomatoes so it is worthwhile to buy them organic or grow your own.  This is not true for all vegetables for example organic bell peppers. Tomato paste and ketchup are two of the richest sources of lycopene in our North American diets.

We can enjoy the health benefits of  cooked tomatoes by utilizing  the following tomato soup recipe.  Please see my earlier tips on freezing soup. I experimented and developed this by trial and error over a 10 year period of time.  Next week I will post a recipe for broccoli soup and I like to combine this with the tomato soup to give a yin/yang appearance with contrasting colour and flavour.  Stay tuned…..

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup Recipe

A lovely fresh, sweet tomato and red pepper soup. Red pepper and onion and lots of garlic cloves add immensely to the flavour.  Enjoy the fresh taste of tomato soup in the dead of winter with this freezer friendly Garden Fresh Tomato Soup Recipe.

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tomato-soup_ingredientsINGREDIENTS
2 pounds ( 1kg) ripe tomatoes
7 oz (200gm) cherry tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 cups water
1 cup red lentils
3 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Garnish: pumpkin seeds/purple basil /avocado
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DIRECTIONS
1)  Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C)
2)  Place the olive oil in a baking dish or a large enameled cast iron soup pot on top of the stove and heat on high.
3)  Slice the tomatoes in 1/2 and place cut side down in container to sear the tomatoes.
4)  Cut the onions in quarters and place in dish.
5)  Quarter and de-seed the red pepper and place in the dish along with the garlic cloves and cherry tomatoes.
6)  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar.
7)  Place in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes until juices run from the tomatoes.
8)  Remove the dish from the oven and transfer to a soup pot if it is not already in one.
9)  Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, basil  and simmer for 30 minutes.
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10) Blend the soup in a food processor or blender or with a stick blender. My friends and I like a chunky texture to the soup. I puree part of the soup and combine the rest.  After I taste the soup I may add a teaspoon of salt. This will vary each time you make this soup. It depends on the flavour of your ingredients that day.
11)  Reheat your finished soup in the pot and serve.
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You can serve this soup cold on a hot day like a gazpacho in southern Spain.  I encourage you to enjoy this versatile freezer friendly soup hot on a cold winter’s day!

HAT2FOOD TIP:  No need to sieve the soup. It’s a waste. Tomato canneries do not take the seeds out, why should you. Use a drizzle of chilli-infused oil at the roasting stage ( Step #7 above).  Add a couple of cayenne chillis from your garden, or if you have them on hand. Before freezing your soup, you need to chill the soup.  Never put hot food directly into the freezer. To store your soup, I use freezer friendly mason jars. For good Freezer Tips, please click here. If you are taking this soup out from the freezer, you can use it as a base and add additional vegetables, beans or rice – in a pinch, if you are having a lot of guests that day – more than you expected!

Oven-dried Tomatos

These are so easy to make and freeze to enjoy throughout the year.  Great on salads, sandwiched, pasta. pizza.  The flavour is concentrated.

Recipe                                                                                                                                                                                      6 to 8                        tomatoes, slices about 1/2 inch thick                                                                                    1/2 teaspoon        salt                                                                                                                                                      1/2 teaspoon        freshly ground pepper                                                                                                                   1 tablespoon        fresh thyme, fresh oregano, fresh basil, whatever you have.                                          1 tablespoon        olive oil                                                                                                                                                Directions                                                                                                                                                                               1.  Preheat oven to 250 F or 120 C                                                                                                                                 2.  Place sliced tomatoes on a baking sheet  on a piece of parchment or silpat sheet.

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

Sliced fresh tomatoes with salt, pepper, herbs, olive oil

3.  Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt pepper and fresh herbs.                                                                4.  Bake for one to two hours checking every half hour until pieces have shrunk slightly, edges are shriveled and juices no longer run.  They are not completely dried but are still juicy.

tomatoes that have been backed and out of the oven

tomatoes that have been baked and out of the oven

5.  Cool slightly and put into glass jars covered by olive oil.  Leave about 1/2 inch of head room and freeze if you will not use them up in the next week or two.  Yummy!

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

Oven-dried tomatoes in glass jar with olive oil and thyme

Baked Tomato Sauce Recipe

My Baked Tomato Sauce is so EASY to make! The magic is in the fresh ingredients. No more stirring and simmering over a hot stove.
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INGREDIENTS
2 lbs or 1 kg tomatoes
1 small tin anchovies (drained and diced)
3 cloves garlic sliced
1/2 tsp.(2ml)  freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp.(2ml)  hot red chili flakes (optional)
1/4 tsp. (1ml) salt (optional)
1/4 cup (50 ml.) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup (50ml.)   chopped fresh basil or parsley
add 6 thyme sprigs (optional / recommended) and/or sliced onions before baking.

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DIRECTIONS
1)  Preheat oven to 350F(160C)
2)  Slice tomatoes into 1/2″ (1 cm.) slices and layer in a casserole dish with the chili flakes, anchovies, garlic and pepper.  Optionally add salt as well.  Pour olive oil on top.
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3)  Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until the tomatoes are soft and caramelized.
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4)  Keep warm and cook your pasta.
5)  Toss pasta with sauce and sprinkle with the basil or parsley.

in-depthIN DEPTH:
Read more….
Interesting back story
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The CLASSIC PASTA DISH (Home made)

The CLASSIC PASTA DISH (Home made)

didyouknowDID YOU KNOW? HEIRLOOM Tomatoes are increasing in popularity by the organic veggie consumers because they are a more natural and flavourful fruit. TOMATOES are armed with healthy Lycopene fighting free radical and the UV tomato skin battles cancer cells – every time you eat a tomato. The amount of bioavailable lycopene increases by cooking the tomato compared to eating them raw.  When you add a bit of healthy fat like olive oil, your body absorbs the lycopene more readily – four times more in fact. That’s how you maximize the body readiness of carotenoids from a tomato.This popular nightshade fruit is more powerful than an apple. Like carrots, the tomato is also good for your eyes.