Veal Paprikash ~ A Taste of Hungary!

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 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!

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 large or 2 small red peppers, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to tast

OPTIONAL: A splash of wine.  ( WIne tenderizes the meat. )

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, and red pepper.  Add salt and pepper to taste. 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.IMG_1576
Aromatic “Health Smart” Sauce that is incredibly smooth.

OPTIONAL cooking method : Use an enamelled cast iron pot ( with lid on ) in the oven for large quantities. Mix all the ingredients ln top of the stove. Then place in the oven. Set oven temperature to 350F  Check after 1/2 hour. Cook for another 1/2 hour. Ready to plate.  Hint: All ovens are different. Adjust accordingly.

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  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 as a salt substitute .  You can add paprika  to  “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.


Pumpkin Risotto ~ Thanksgiving Vegetarian Style!

This is a vegetarian dish! But, if you eliminate the cheese, this would make an excellent vegan dish.

It started a few years ago….


While having dinner with my serious foodie friends. I scrunched my nose when one friend ordered pumpkin risotto for their main course

We would all have a taste of everyone’s main on our bread plates before we started.
 The Pumpkin Risotto was the winning dish!


Include Fresh ‘Pie’ Pumpkin

Pumpkin Risotto

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
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2Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups carnaroli rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup apple cider
4 cups vegetable stock
3 cups diced fresh ‘pie’ pumpkin
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup walnut pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
1. Heat 4 cups of vegetable stock. Keep warm.
2. In a large heavy bottomed pan with high sides, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, about 1/8 teaspoon as the onions become sweet tasting. This helps to layer the flavours.
3. Add carnaroli rice and cook a few minutes longer to coat all rice kernels in oil but not browning.
4. Add wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.
5. Add apple cider and ladle in hot stock one cup at a time.
6. Add ‘pie’ pumpkin, sage and thyme and cook until all liquid is absorbed. About 18 minutes. (Mix, but do not keep stiring)
7. Before serving add walnuts, salt and pepper (to taste), olive oil and grated parmigiano.

Every fall Pumpkin Risotto is on the menu. The flavour is stunning!  You would swear that there is butter and cream in this risotto but it is completely absent.
Carnaroli Rice: This is partially due to the cooking method as well as the substitution of the classic arborio rice with CARNAROLI Rice.

Most chefs will argue the cooking time should be only 18 minutes. A chef’s school instructor told me that the famous chef who’s pumpkin risotto I fell in love with lets his risotto sit and cook without stirring. At the end he just gives the risotto a toss. So far, I have been reluctant to try this method as I have put so many good ingredients in it. One day? 

Make sure that you buy edible pumpkins and not the ones that are meant for carving.  Pumpkins belong to the winter squash family along with butternut, acorn and spaghetti squash.  Pumpkins grown for eating  ( not carving )  are  called: sugar pumpkins, sweet pumpkins, cheese pumpkins, pie pumpkin & some heirloom varieties.

TASTE TEST Results You Need To Know: I baked fresh pumpkin in the oven for 60 minutes at 350F.  After it was baked and cooled, I opened a tin of pumpkin puree and tasted both of them.  What a difference!  The tinned pumpkin had a muddy taste while the ‘pie’ pumpkin tasted divine!  I vow to never buy tinned pumpkin again!

Pumpkin has many health benefits. They are a great source of carotene which is one of our major antioxidants that helps to protect us against certain kinds of cancer (particularly lung cancer) and heart disease. Pumpkin aids in blood sugar metabolism and the health of the pancreas. Along with the vitamins and minerals, pumpkin is helpful in the relief of bronchial asthma, and promotes healthy lungs and throat. European folk medicine acknowledges pumpkin as a remedy for respiratory and digestive ailments.

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