Monthly Archives: January 2014

Goulash of Pork Tenderloin with Sauerkraut, Dill and Sour Cream (Székely Gulyás)

Szeleky_Goulash1 (1 of 1)This version of goulash comes from the ethnic Hungarians who live in a region (Székely Land) which is now part of Romania. Székely goulash is characterized by its use of sauerkraut and sour cream, and it is delicious! Like many Hungarian recipes, goulash tends to call for lots of fat (lard, etc.). I’ve tried to slim down this goulash without compromising its great flavor by using a lean cut of pork, a small amount good quality, smoked bacon, omitting oil and using reduced-fat sour cream (one recipe I saw called for a slab of bacon and 1/4 cup of oil to brown it in! Yuck!). Anyway, this is a good, hearty dish for a cold winter’s evening. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think!

1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 slices good quality, smoked bacon (about 2 oz), finely diced
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced lengthwise into thin strips, then strips sliced in half
2 cloves garlic, finely grated or minced
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp crushed caraway seeds
3 tsp salt
3 cups beef or vegetable stock
4 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp sweet paprika
1 lb sauerkraut, rinsed, drained and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
1/4 cup dry red wine
2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
Additional salt and 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped dill
1 Hungarian wax pepper, sliced crosswise into thin rings, seeds removed

Heat bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook until brown and fat is rendered, about 4 minutes. Add the pork and saute until browned, about 4 more minutes.

Lower heat to medium. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, thyme, caraway and salt to the pork Szeleky_Goulash2 (1 of 1)mixture. Saute until vegetables have softened, about 7 minutes. Add 4 Tbsp of the stock, together with tomato paste and sweet paprika. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in sauerkraut, potatoes and apples, and cook for another 5 minutes.

Pour rest of the stock into the pork mixture. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 1/4 hours, stirring after 30 minutes.

Stir in wine, sour cream and paprika. Increase heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Season with additional salt to taste (I added another 2 tsp salt), ground black pepper and hot paprika. Serve over hot spätzle. Garnish with pepper rings and dill.

Serves 6.

Chicken Simmered in a Creamy Mushroom-Thyme Sauce

Chicken_with_Mushrooms1 (1 of 1)There’s nothing that makes me happier than meat done with sour cream (some recipes call for heavy cream, but in something like this, I like to use reduced-fat sour cream). This dish is a perfect example of that — all the right ingredients; chicken, butter, olive oil, mushrooms, red wine, sherry and thyme (just to name a few!). This is a great dish — please try it!

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 oz sliced white button mushrooms
1/4 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin, 3-inch segments
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 3 large), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
2 Tbsp sherry
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 spring onions, finely chopped (white and green parts)
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
8 oz dried egg pasta (wide noodles), cooked to package instructions and tossed with 1 tsp butter and 1/4 tsp salt

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and red bell pepper. Cook for about 4 minutes, until soft. Remove mushroom and peppers with a slotted spoon;  set aside.

Combine flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 ground black pepper, turmeric.

Combine chicken stock, red wine, sherry, thyme and 1 tsp salt

Decrease heat to medium and add chicken. Stir for about 3 minutes, until browned. Add flour mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add wine mixture; bring to a boil and deglaze pan. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Whisk in sour cream and spring onions, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the mushroom, redChicken_with_Mushrooms2 (1 of 1) bell pepper mixture and the chopped parsley. Season to taste with additional salt and ground black pepper. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve over pasta and garnish with additional chopped parsley.

Serves 4.

German Meatloaf with Roasted Tomato and Onion Gravy (Falscher Hase)

German_Meatloaf1 (1 of 1)I think I may have mentioned this in previous posts, but I love a good meatloaf, especially on a snowy, cold night like tonight. This wonderful dish, called falscher Hase (fake rabbit), originates in Germany’s eastern regions that were formerly part of the DDR (East Germany). Adopted from my favorite German cookbook, Nadia Hassani’s Spoonfuls of Germany, this meatloaf is homey, but deliciously elegant with the roasted tomato and onion gravy. I like to serve this with steamed new red potatoes tossed in some butter, salt, ground black pepper and chopped parsley. Give this dish a try — I think you’ll like it!

1 slice bread, soaked in 1/4 cup milk for 5 minutes, then excess milk squeezed out
1 slice good quality smoked bacon
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
2 medium onions, peeled and and quartered
10 oz lean ground beef
10 oz lean ground pork
2 eggs
3 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground caraway seeds
1/8 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp ground marjoram
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 14-oz can diced tomatoes
14 1/2 oz beef stock
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp flour
Additional chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Dice bacon and saute over medium heat until crisp. Add the diced onion and saute for about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from heat and spread mixture on paper towels and let cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, combine bread that you soaked in milk, bacon and onion mixture, meat, eggs, German_Meatloaf2 (1 of 1)parsley, mustard, paprika, caraway, oregano, nutmeg, cayenne, marjoram, thyme, coriander, salt and black pepper. Mix very well with your hands (add some breadcrumbs if  it seems too moist). Shape into a loaf and place in an ovenproof, lidded casserole. Pour tomato around loaf. Break up the onion quarters and sprinkle around loaf. Pour 1/4 cup stock over it.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Bake until meatloaf is brown, and the vegetables are nicely roasted, gradually adding another 1/2 cup stock.

Remove loaf from casserole and deglaze with the remaining stock. Pour mixture into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and strain well, discarding solids. Add gravy back to sauce pan.

Whisk together the sour cream and flour, then whisk this into the gravy. Simmer for a few minutes until gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice meatloaf into 1/2-inch slices. Pour some gravy over each serving and garnish with chopped parsley.

Serves 6.

Thai Stir-Fry of Mushrooms and Tofu

Mushrooms_and_Tofu1 (1 of 1)I’ve been posting a lot of meat dishes lately, writing about meat, even declaring my love of meat in my last post. That said, I’m taking a break from meat. This is simple and delicious vegetarian dish (if you use vegetable stock), and served with steamed rice, is a meal in and of itself. It’s not too spicy (depending on the chili garnish you use), give it a try tonight!

14 oz extra firm tofu
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp plus 2 Tbsp soy sauce, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp peeled and finely grated or chopped ginger
5 Tbsp vegetable or chicken stock
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and very finely grated or chopped
8 oz oyster mushrooms, tough bases removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced into 1-inch chunks
2 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 hot red pepper (about 3 inches long), seeded and cut into very fine julienne slices

Drain tofu block and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes in between paper towels and let drain further for about 15 minutes.

Place tofu in a shallow dish. Whisk together sesame oil, 2 tsp soy sauce, ground black pepper and ginger in a small bowl. Add to tofu and toss until tofu is well-coated. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Whisk together stock, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, cornstarch and sugar in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry for 4 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and tofu, and gently mix for 1 to 2 minutes. Season with a couple  additional sprinkles of soy sauce, if desired. Remove from heat and place on a serving platter. Garnish with the sliced green onions and red pepper (add more red pepper, if desired). Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as part of a Thai meal with other dishes.

Pan-Fried Pepper Steak with Red Wine-Mushroom Sauce

Pepper_Steak1 (1 of 1)In case readers haven’t noticed, I’m a big fan of meat — I’m about as far from vegetarian as a carnivore can be, although I do enjoy vegetarian dishes (especially spicy ones!). I try to limit my intake of red meat for health reasons, but I occasionally love to prepare steak dishes, such as this one. These steaks are delicious, especially with the wine-mushroom sauce! Oh, and one last thing, butter and steak were meant for each other. Give it a try tonight!

4 5-oz top sirloin steaks, each about 1 inch thick
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp butter
2 large shallots, peeled and sliced
1 1/2 lbs button mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 Tbsp flour
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup ruby Port
1/2 chicken stock
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Place each steak between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Sprinkle both sides of the steaks evenly with the black pepper and salt. Cover and set aside.

Melt 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots andPepper_Steak2 (1 of 1) saute 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and saute mixture until mushrooms are browned (about 10 minutes). Add flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the wine, port and stock. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes). Season to taste with additional salt and ground black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt remaining 1 Tbsp butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook until done (about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare). Transfer steaks to a cutting board. I like to thinly slice the steaks prior to plating, but they can also be left whole. To serve, spoon sauce over each steak; garnish with parsley.

Serves 4.