Hungarian goulash is not goulash without the paprika.
“I read the three recipes in your column Sept. 28, and only one had the key ingredient — paprika,” wrote Mary Beth Greenleaf of Bradenton, Florida. “Quoting Irma Rombauer in my 1964 edition of ‘Joy of Cooking,’ ‘This Hungarian specialty is cooked in many ways, but its most distinguishing seasoning is usually sweet paprika.’”
Greenleaf’s copy of the Time Life series cookbook, “Cooking of Vienna’s Empire” has three versions of goulash, all of which have from two to four tablespoons of sweet paprika. One also includes sweet pickles, one includes sauerkraut and two include caraway seeds.
Hungarian goulash is neither a soup nor stew; it is somewhere in between. Originally cooked with beef, this dish has many variations. One of today’s recipes uses pork shoulder, the other beef.
“I haven’t used these recipes for years, but I must have at one time because two of the pages are very stained,” Greenleaf writes. “I’m no longer cooking for a hungry family of four.”
She is making the Transylvanian goulash, the one with the sauerkraut, within the next couple of weeks when she has houseguests who will be her taste-testers.
Ann Smith of Ocean Springs also has a favorite goulash recipe that contains paprika.
“This is a recipe I have used over the years taken from a 1963 copyrighted copy of ‘The Good Housekeeping Cookbook.’ I didn’t find it printed in a newer edition,” Smith said. “With cooler weather promised, it is time to add this to a Sunday menu. Thanks to Georgia Nagorka jogging my memory, I am looking forward to this entrée soon.”
Low-sugar banana bread
“All it took was pulling out my Splenda box and there was not only a recipe for banana bread but a simple conversion chart,” Smith said. “Quoting from the side of the box, ‘Splenda measures and sweetens cup for cup and spoon for spoon like sugar and can be used to replace sugar in most of your favorite recipes.’”
The box also has a recipe for blueberry muffins and coffee cake with a variation for banana nut cake.
Smith sent the recipe for Brenda Roberts who asked for cakes made with Splenda. She said the Splenda box also had recipes for blueberry muffins and a coffee cake with a variation for banana nut cake.
Good eating from casino chefs
Dora Harrison sent two recipes that she received from casino chefs several years ago. She thought readers and I would enjoy them.
Harrison is a great cook and recipe collector.
“One recipe I got from a chef at Island View Buffet, who took the time to cut it down in size for me,” Harrison said. “It is so good.”
What could be bad about crawfish cornbread dressing?
The second recipe is for blackened shrimp and chicken from chef Nikki Swanier, who several years ago was chef d’cuisine at Overland Café at Boomtown Casino in Biloxi.
Wanted: good-tasting paleo, gluten-free bread machine recipes
Greenleaf also is thinking of dusting off her old bread machine.
“I’d be interested in bread machine recipes for tasty gluten-free or Paleo bread if your readers have any,” Greenleaf said. “The key word here is ‘tasty.’ I’ve been a lifelong fan of hearty, whole grain, homemade bread, but it’s time for some changes.”
Readers, do you have some good bread machine recipes for gluten-free or Paleo diets? If so, please send them to me to share with Greenleaf and fellow readers.
1 pound sauerkraut, fresh, canned or packages
2 tablespoons lard
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/4 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
3 cups chicken stock or water
2 pounds boneless shoulder of pork, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour
Wash the sauerkraut thoroughly under cold running water, and then soak in cold water for 10 to 20 minutes to reduce its sourness.
Melt the lard in a 5-quart casserole (can use Dutch oven) and add the onions. Cook them over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are lightly colored, then add the garlic and cook 1 or 2 minutes longer. Off the heat, stir in the paprika, continuing to stir until the onions are well coated. Pour in ½ cup of the stock or water and bring it to a boil, then add the pork cubes.
Now spread the sauerkraut over the pork and sprinkle it with the caraway seeds. In a small bowl, combine the tomato puree and the rest of the stock or water, and pour the mixture over the sauerkraut. Bring the liquid to a boil once more, then reduce the heat to its lower point, cover the casserole tightly and simmer for 1 hour. Check every now and then to make sure the liquid has not cooked away. Add a little stock or water if it has; the sauerkraut should be moist.
When the pork is tender, combine the sour cream and heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Beat the flour into the cream with a wire whisk, the carefully stir this mixture into the casserole. Simmer for 10 minutes longer. Taste for seasoning. Serve Transylvanian goulash in deep individual plates, accompanied by a bowl of sour cream.
— From Time-Life’s ‘Cooking of Vienna’s Empire’
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups thinly sliced onions
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean round, chuck or rump steak cut into 1-inch cubes
4 1/2 teaspoons paprika
About 3 cups water
Melt butter in a Dutch oven or deep heavy skillet then sauté onions with the salt until golden. Stir in well 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika and meat and simmer covered 1 hour. Add 4 1/2 teaspoons paprika and enough water to just cover meat. Simmer covered 1 hour or until meat is fork tender, adding more water toward the end of cooking time if you want extra gravy. Serve over boiled noodles, mashed potatoes or hot fluffy rice.
— Submitted by Ann Smith
BANANA NUT BREAD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) light margarine softened
1 cup Splenda Granular No Calorie Sweetener
1/4 cup honey
2 whole large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup skim milk
2 medium mashed ripe bananas
2/3 cup toasted chopped pecans
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Beat together margarine, Splenda and honey with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Alternately, stir in flour mixture and milk beginning with and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in mashed bananas and chopped pecans. Spoon batter into the prepared dish and bake until golden brown about 55 - 60 minutes. — Submitted by Ann Smith
CRAWFISH CORNBREAD DRESSING
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup minced onion
1/2 cup green bell pepper, minced
1 toe garlic, smashed and minced
1/4 cup minced celery
1 quart chicken stock
1 tablespoon thyme
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
8 ounces chopped crawfish tails
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
3 whole eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 quarts crumbled corn bread
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup minced parsley
2 cups Cheddar cheese
1 cup cream-style corn
Sauté onion, pepper, garlic and celery in oil until vegetables are soft and cooked. Add stock, thyme, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and crawfish tails; simmer briefly.
Remove from heat and fold in eggs, cornbread, salt and pepper, parsley, corn and cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees in oiled pan for about 25 minutes. Serves 4.
— Submitted by Dora Harrison from Island View Buffet
BLACKENED CHICKEN & SHRIMP
4 chicken breasts
1 pound crawfish tails
1 pound tail-on Shrimp (26/30 count)
2 quarts heavy cream
1/4 cup Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Seasoning
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons butter
Cooked penne noodles
Sauce: Add heavy cream to saucepan, over medium heat; add redfish seasoning, crawfish and garlic, until it comes to a soft boil; turn down heat and reduce mixture by 1/2 or until thickened. Set aside.
Season chicken breast with redfish seasoning, grill until cooked thoroughly. Set aside.
In heated sauté pan, add 2 tablespoons whole butter, 1 tablespoon garlic, shrimp and redfish seasoning to taste. Cook until done. To serve, place chicken and shrimp on platter and top with the cream sauce. Mix all with noodles and serve. Serves 4.
Note: If you are unable to find the specified redfish seasoning, any Cajun blackened spice will do.
— Submitted by Dora Harrison from Chef Nikki Swanier