Friday, August 16, 2019

American Goulash – Just Like the Non-Hungarian Lunch Lady Used to Make

One of my all-time favorite comfort food meals growing up was the beef goulash served in my school cafeteria, which came with a slice of buttered white bread, and an ice-cold carton of milk. Little did I know that it wasn’t really goulash, but an Americanized version, invented, I’m guessing, to stretch a small amount of beef into enough food for a not so small family.

Real goulash is like a beef stew, and I’m pretty proud of this version we posted a while back, but while it’s a wonderful recipe in its own right, it just doesn’t hold the same place in my heart as this version. So, you can imagine my disappointment the first time I ordered beef goulash, and actually got beef goulash. Anyway, live and learn.

Not much can go wrong here, as long as you don’t under-cook, or horribly over-cook the macaroni. So, set your timer for 10 minutes, and start checking. We want the pasta very tender, but not falling apart. By the way, this goes by many names, including American Chop Suey, Chili Mac, Johnny Marzetti, and my personal favorite, Slumgullion. No matter what you call this, I really do hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 pounds ground beef
4 cloves garlic minced
2 generous teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
cayenne to taste
2 tablespoons paprika
2 teaspoons dried Italian herbs (blend of oregano, thyme, rosemary, sage, parley, basil)
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 quart chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (24-ounce) jar prepared marinara sauce, rinsed with 1 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 rounded cups elbow macaroni
1 packed cup shredded white cheddar cheese
Freshly chopped Italian parsley
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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Cherry Tomato & Cheese Galette – Perfect for First Time Growers

When people grow cherry tomatoes for the first time, they often make the mistake of planting more than one or two bushes, which a few short months later usually means a ridiculously large harvest, as in more cherry tomatoes than you can possibly use. Well, this cherry tomato and cheese galette might help, a little.

While “galette” sounds a little fancy, they’re actually one of the easier type of pies to make, and above and beyond the simple technique, they are incredibly adaptable to whatever is in season. Whether that’s sweet fruit, or savory vegetables, there are very few things you can’t galette.

Just be sure to bake them long enough, since the bottom needs to brown, as well as you want whatever filling you’re using to dry out a bit. Your oven time will vary depending on the exact size and shape of your galette, so once you take it out, peak underneath to make sure it’s browned. Basically, you should bake this as long as you possibly can, without it burning, so be brave.

This will also work with larger, sliced tomatoes, but just be careful you let them drain on some towels first. Other than that, there’s not much else to worry about, except what to do with those other 5 pints of cherry tomatoes. Even if you have to go to the store to buy yours, I think this is well worth the trip, and I really do hope you give this cherry tomato galette a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for one 12-inch pizza pan sized galette:
For the dough:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn meal
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed, frozen
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
8 ounces soft goat cheese or other fresh cheese
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
14/ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons sliced basil
For the rest:
3 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon
sea salt to sprinkle over the top once cooled, optional

- Bake at 425 F. for 30-35 minutes or until well browned. To be safe, place a foil-lined pan on rack under galette to catch any possible drips.
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Friday, August 9, 2019

Easy Chicken Enchiladas – Flatter Wasn’t Faster, But Still Fabulous

I’ve wanted to do a homemade red enchilada sauce video for a while now, and not just one. Eventually, I need to film a proper Mexican-style enchilada sauce, but first, may I present the faster, easier, but still very delicious, Tex-Mex version. Speaking of faster, I thought by stacking these, they’d be a little quicker to make, but they took the same time as rolled ones. That means they’re both fast and easy.

Since we are taking the shortcut of using dried chili powder, be sure to at least get a nice one. I used ground Ancho, which is very nice, but what isn’t nice is that old bottle of chili powder you’ve had in the pantry since the 90’s. If you live in some remote location, go on the Internet and order something fresh. Besides using it in this, your next pot of chili will also be grateful.

If you’re making the sauce ahead of time, it’s a good idea to heat it up first before assembling your enchiladas, so they are warm going in the oven. Otherwise, you’ll need to give them some extra time in the oven, so they get completely heated through. I love chicken enchiladas more than someone probably should, but this same preparation done with shredded, stewed beef, is not to be missed. Either way, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy! 


Ingredients for 2 1/2 cup Red Enchilada Sauce:
(enough for 4 to 6 Portions)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, depending on how thick you like it
2 tablespoons ground chili powder, like ancho
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
cayenne to taste
small pinch cinnamon
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 1/2 cups chicken broth

Fillings for each enchilada:
3 small corn tortillas
2/3 cup shredded cooked chicken
2/3 cup shredded pepper or regular Monterey Jack cheese, plus more as needed
chopped cilantro and green onion, as needed
sour cream, and guacamole to garnish
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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Confetti Rice Salad – Celebrating Your Improved Knife Skills

If you don’t do a lot of cooking, this confetti rice salad recipe might be the kind of thing you disregard, since it probably appears to require lots of slicing and dicing, which is true, but that’s a bad reason to not make it. That would be like not using real confetti for your celebration because it’s hard to clean up.

The truth of the matter is, with very little practice, all the veggies for this salad can probably be prepped in less than 15 minutes. In fact, this would be a great recipe to set your benchmark, and then see how you improve over time. Or, just use a food processor to chop everything. Either way, it’s worth the effort.

Obviously, you can adapt this recipe a thousand different ways, and I’m not just talking about which vegetables you toss in. If you want something creamier, you can add some mayo, or sour cream, or any combination of both. If you do, I’d cut back on the oil and vinegar a bit, but either way, make sure you hold back some of whatever you’re dressing this with.

Any dressing you add before it goes in the fridge will be full absorbed, and I think the texture is much nicer if we moisten the salad with more before service. That’s up to you also, but we don’t want our confetti rice as dry as the real stuff. Other than that, not much can go wrong, and I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 12 portions:
2 cups white long grain rice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups boiling water
- Place in 9 x 12 baking dish, cover, and cook rice for 35 minutes, then let rest 10 minutes, before fluffing.
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup sliced blanched green beans
1/2 cup finely diced blanched carrots
2 large red bell pepper, finely diced
1 large orange bell pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup red onions
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
cayenne to taste
3/4 cup sherry and/or rice vinegar (add 1/2 cup before fridge, and 1/4 cup after)
3/4 cup olive oil (add 1/2 cup before fridge, and 1/4 cup after)
1/4 cup freshly chopped dill
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
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