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Archive for February 27th, 2011

Bread Dumplings

The Hungarian Vadas Hus works very well with these hearty dumplings — make sure you have plenty of sauce for them! Note, I usually eyeball these, so my proportions may be a bit off, but it is a very forgiving recipe that may be corrected with additional water or flour.

Ingredients (makes 4 largish dumplings):
You’ll want to double or triple this recipe if you are making with the eye of round, expect each person to eat 2.

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1  cup of croutons (I used Marcy’s Whole Wheat Low Sodium but you may use your own – it’s what I had on hand)
  • Dash of water
  • 2 tbsp butter for flavour
  • 2 tbsp grape seed oil (very high flash point, so you can get it very hot without burning).

Directions:

  1. Break egg and a dash of water into a medium sized bowl, and whisk well with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add both flours and mix to a thick but wet consistency adding water if necessary. Fold in the croutons and allow to sit for about 30 minutes This will allow the croutons to soften a bit. If the dough is still too wet, add a bit more flour (you want this about the consistency of shaggy bread dough, not firm bread dough).
  3. Heat a large pot of water until it boils, season with salt.
  4. Using a large ice cream scoop, scoop the dough one by one into the boiling water. The dumplings will float first, then sink and then float to the top when they are done. Remove from boiling water and set aside to drain.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the butter and grape seed oil. Fry the dumplings turning when the sides are golden brown. The best dumplings are crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. The croutons should not be dry any longer, they will just add a delicious bread texture to the dumplings.
  6. Serve with the Vadas Hus (Hungarian Hunter Stew).

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This is a piquant sauce, made from carrots, parsnips and celery root. Original recipe from this link. All of the recipes on-line indicate that if you are cooking with beef, to begin this recipe a couple of days in advance so that the beef has time to tenderize in the marinade. I did this batch with turkey scallopini, so I marinated for a few hours.  Also, for poultry, I would strongly suggest that you allow the marinade to cool to at least room temperature before you immerse the poultry in it. Also, the original recipe called for a roux to thicken the sauce, I omitted this as I felt the sauce was thick enough with the cooked vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 trimmed whole beef tenderloin, 5-6 lbs (my mom used to make this with eye of round — tenderloin is way too expensive, plus, it has 2-3 days to marinate, and soften up).
  • 1/4 cup pancetta, cut in to little strips
  • 1 cup grated celery root
  • 1 cup grated parsnips
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • grated rind of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup minced sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I did add this but strongly recommend not to, it was too sweet; the carrots make this sauce sweet enough)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt

Directions:

  1. Start this recipe 2 or 3 days before you plan to serve it.
  2. Combine 1  1/2 cups water and the vinegars in a dutch oven (not aluminum), add the vegetables and bring to a boil. This step is simply to blend the flavours, not cook the vegetables. If making this dish with poultry, allow this mix to cool completely before the next step. I also transferred this mix into a glass container with a lid, large enough to hold the liquid and the meat.
  3. Add the beef, grated lemon rind and bay leaves so that the mixture covers the meat. Marinate for 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  4. When you are ready to cook, pre-heat the oven at 350°F.
  5. In a large dutch oven (large enough to hold the vegetables and the meat) over  heat wilt the onion in 1 teaspoon EVOO; do not allow the onions brown.
  6. Remove beef from marinade and place it on top of onions. Cook meat for 2 or 3 minutes on each side.
  7. Pour marinade over meat and place into pre-heated oven, covered until meat is almost cooked, for 2 hours.
  8. Remove the meat and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices, set aside.
  9. Remove bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend vegetables until very smooth (you may wish to press this through a fine sieve to get the creamiest texture, as I did).
  10. I omitted this step: Brown the sugar in a small frying pan until caramelized. Add 3 tablespoons cold water and cook for a few minutes till sugar melts. Whip in the mustard. Pour the caramel and mustard into the puréed sauce.
  11. Instead, I whipped the mustard into the smooth sauce. Return the sauce to the dutch oven.
  12. Add sliced meat; keeping the slices whole. Cook at a slow simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes to allow sauce to permeate the meat (this can be done on the stove).
  13. Just before serving, combine the lemon juice and sour cream and whisk into the sauce. Serve with bread dumplings.

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