Goulash is traditionally a soup. However, these days, there are two variations, mainly the stew that is thicker and the soup variation which is the true original.
The goulash consists of the following key ingredients: Beef cubes, diced onions, vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, spices bay leaf, thyme and ground caraway seeds, seasonings. And the most important spice: the chilli powder (paprika powder).
Goulash is sometimes confused with the pörkölt. Pörkölt is a stew which means the texture is thicker and Hungarian paprika (the vegetable form which is sweet and thin-skinned) is added along with tomatoes to create the gravy.
Very frequently, people who fell in love with this dish asked 'what is the secret?'
It lies in the treatment of the paprika powder! How you handle the paprika is absolutely the key to a good pot of goulash.
First, you must fry diced onions (vöröshagyma) in szalonna which is what we called the 'lard'. Once the onion turns light golden colour, lift up the pan off the fire and quickly add paprika powder. Do not underestimate these steps because paprika powder turns bitter if you directly heat it over the fire instead of the 'hot fat'. See the difference?
A good quality base of this mixture is prepared to coat the beef chunks from fresh and well-exercised slab of beef that has muscles rich in collagen in them. Making this dish fantastic when it is converted to gelatin during the cooking process. Coat the beef chunks well and return the pan to the fire.
The second secret is adding of tomatoes to this mixture. The Hungarian tomatoes are sweet and these natural juices from the vegetable makes it really delicious.
Mostly, I cook it with veal (calves' meat). Very rarely from pork or lamb though some people do.
The best accompaniment is the Cucumber Salad (uborkasaláta). This salad is made by marinating thinly sliced cucumber and one small clove of garlic in a dash of vinegar. Soaking it in a water mixture with a small teaspoon of sugar. Refrigerate it for about one hour. Finally, topped it with sour cream before serving.
Other than Hungary, in Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, The Netherlands and Italy, you can easily find goulash as one of their menu items. In the North American and Slavic cuisines, goulash are also enjoyed.
I went to Renee's Kitchen and asked what she thought was the best tasting recipe for brownies. She gave me this one that she got from the Internet, insisting it was really good. As a brownie lover, I had to try this for myself. The result was one of the best tasting brownies I've ever had. This recipe for the Best-Ever Brownies was adapted slightly from Baking with Julia.
While I'm not sure where the source of this recipe is from, I love the description that came with it: These dark, deeply chocolatey, oozy things aren't your typical specimens: they're what brownies on sad party tables everywhere aspire to be... Enough said. Now go bake! Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 sticks / 8 ounces / 225g unsalted butter
4 ounces / 115g of your best quality unsweetened chocolates, coarsely chopped
2 ounces / 55g of your best quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs Recipe 1) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt, then set aside (1). 2) Melt the butter and chocolates together on top of a double boiler over (but not touching) simmering water (alternatively you can use a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water) (2) Stir frequently. 3) Once melted and smooth, add 1 cup of the sugar to the bowl and stir for about 30 seconds. Remove mixture from heat and stir in vanilla extract (4). Pour this mixture into a larger bowl. 4) Put remaining 1 cup of sufar and the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk together by hand (5). 5) Little by little, pour half the sugar and egg mixture to the chocolate mixture (6). Stir constant to prevent eggs from scrambling from the heat. 6) With a mixer, beat the remaining sugar and eggs on medium speed until they are thick, pale and doubled in volume (about 3 minutes) (7). 7) Gently fold the whipped eggs and sugar into the chocolate mixture (8). 8) When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, gently fold in the dry ingredients (9) and mix thoroughly (10). 9) Pour this batter into an 8" square pan (11). 10) Bake in center rack in oven at 350F for about 25-29 minutes. After about 23 minutes, test the brownie by sticking a toothpick into the center. They should be just barely set but not too raw. Mine took about 29 minutes for the desired consistency. 11) Cool brownies in the pan on a rack. Once completely cooled, take out of pan and cut into squares. (12) Makes 16 generous portions or 32 bite sized heavenly bits Note: These brownies can keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. You can put them in the freezer but they will never freeze solid making them a great snack to eat straight out of the freezer too. The final result should look a little something like this.
Paprika Recipe Manager: A Great App for Home Cooks
The thing about recipe collections is that they grow. The chances are your list of recipes has quadrupled since you started cooking. And for home cooks that like to keep everything in order, they know only too well how hard it is to keep everything organized.
Thankfully, there are apps now that help home cooks manage their recipes better such as Paprika Recipe Manager. Paprika is an app that helps home cooks organize everything from writing recipes, making meal plans to even compiling grocery lists. In addition, the app's built-in browser allows users to save recipes from anywhere on the web.
When cooking, the Paprika App can act like a sous chef. It has a timer for cooking, and a calculator that helps users measure ingredients according to serving sizes. What's great about this is users can search for ingredients based on what they currently have on hand so if you have, say, apples, all you have to do is type apples in the search box and you'll see thousands of recipes that use apples, from soups to desserts.
If you want to share recipes with friends, the app has a social media sharing feature that can send notes in an instant.
Thanks to apps such as the Paprika Recipe Manager, home cooks are now seeing an abundance of useful food-related apps appear in Google Play and the App Store. And it’s this surge of apps and mobile behavior, that leading game developer Gaming Realms suggests has changed consumers habits. The bulk of people looking for information now tend to use their smartphones instead of accessing information through their PCs. The company, which has launched some food-themed slot games on its platform PocketFruity including Windsum Dumsum, Fruit Factory and Sugar Train also revealed that its regular user base is now made up on 70% mobile gamers.
The rise of mobile gaming and app downloads has been the main reason why so much money is now being invested in the mobile industry. Which has only benefited home cooks, too as the amount of wonderful apps from celebrity chefs, popular restaurants and amateur cooks has seen a rise in the amount of people trying to learn how to be the best possible cooks they can be in their chosen field.
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Mapo Tofu 麻婆豆腐 @ S$8.80 (small) / S$16.80 (large)Beancurd in Spicy Minced Meat SauceCredit: Lao Si Chuan Restaurant
Mapo Tofu is not Chef Tang’s specialty so whilst it was tasty, there was not much Ma 麻, or tongue-numbing quality in this dish. This is a pity because the dish typically triggers a tingling sensation on the tongue. This is a tasty complement to some steamed rice and suitable for those who are just starting to eat Sichuan food and are afraid of the tongue-numbing sensation.
(optional) 1 tablespoon green part of chopped green onion for garnish
(optional) steamed rice to serve with
Combine ground pork, cooking wine, soy sauce, and ginger in a bowl. Mix well.
Combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Cut and prep tofu and herbs.
Prepare 1 cup hot water.
Heat vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet. When oil is hot, add ground meat and Doubanjiang. Stir-fry over medium heat with a spatula, until pork is evenly coated with Doubanjiang. Add green onion and stir fry for another minute.
Spread tofu evenly on top of ground pork (*See footnote 2). Add chili oil, five-spice powder, and sugar. Pour on hot water. Simmer, covered, over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until tofu becomes tender and the sauce has reduced to half the original amount. Taste the tofu with some broth (be careful, it will be very hot!). Adjust seasoning by adding salt. If the dish is too spicy, add another teaspoon of sugar. Gently mix well with spatula.
Mix cornstarch water again until fully dissolved and swirl it into the skillet. Gently stir a few times with a spatula, until sauce thickens. Turn off heat and transfer everything to a bowl.
Garnish with green onion (if using). Serve warm over steamed rice or by itself as main.