Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Adventures with Paprika and a Veggie Treat

Goulash with Cous Cous and Baby Marrow Fritters

I've been trying to play with my schedule to get in some good cooking time. It looks like Tuesdays are working the best right now, and this last Tuesday, as Ralph was working late, I thought I would take on a proper Goulash, and try to make a healthy and delicious side.

I found a good looking Goulash here- now, I know MANY cooks really don't like allrecipes. But I've always taken care to read the comments and take them into account, and I haven't had a flop yet.

As for the baby marrow fritters, I've fallen in love with Smitten Kitchen (again) thanks to a colleague mentioning it recently. These fitters were lovely- not too veggie-like, just naughty enough to pass for healthy while still tasting doughy and scrumptious.

If you read this blog- you'll have noticed that I use the word 'home' quite often. I can't emphasise enough how much that means to me. Especially now. I'm SO in love with our house. It's happy, and beautiful, and it gets better every day. This weekend I planted some flowers in the garden, and I can't wait to see how they turn out once they're nice and settled. 

Part of really making this house a home for me is baking and cooking just as much as possible. I feel like every meal makes this house a home. This one was more special than some. It was this typical home-style lovely spicy stew, which the cous cous soaked up, and the baby marrow refreshed to keep from being overbearing.

Ralph and I both LOVED this, and I shared some with a colleague of mine, who also just loved it- he was biased though- I have found that supper leftovers are an easy winner for people away from home on business trips. It's a definite dish I'm going to make in winter!

One small note though- they dish calls for Hungarian paprika, which I happened to have. However, mine wasn't sweet, and so the final dish was quite spicy. It worked out great for us- we love spicy food. But it might be a problem for others, so either use less paprika, or make sure you have the sweet variety.

Hungarian Goulash

30 ml olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1/2 tblsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tblsp salt
pinch black pepper
500 g goulash meat
70/80 g tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 clove garlic

1) In a medium saucepan, fry onions in oil until translucent.
2) Combine paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl, and toss the beef in it. Add the beef to the pot, and brown on all sides.
3) Add remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir, put the heat on low, and simmer for about 2 hours, or until beef is tender. Add salt to taste.

Baby Marrow Fritters

500 g baby marrow
1 tsp salt
1 extra-large free-range egg
black pepper
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Olive oil for frying

1) Preheat oven to 180 C
2) Grate baby marrow into the thinnest strips your grater allows. Mix with salt, and set aside for about 10 minutes. Now, squeeze out as much juice as you can.
3) Now, put the marrow in a bowl, add a little bit of salt. Add the pepper and the egg and mix in.
4) Mix the flour and the baking powder in a separate bowl and mix together. Then mix into marrow mixture.
5) Fry small lumps of mixture on medium heat, flattening with a fork when you put them on. Fry until golden on both sides.

6) Finally, when they're done, put them on a kitchen towel to dry, then put them on an oven try and into the oven for about 10 minutes. They will finish cooking and get nice and crispy.

It was all worth it when Ralph said "This is a proper home-cooked meal" - I mean, there simply isn't another reason why I do this. Now, onto my next project...

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