...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Gulyas Recipe

This is for Wichita Chris; (and for anyone who likes good food)... this is how my family back in Hungary makes gulyas, or as close as you can go in the US.

1. Melt LARD (about 2 tablespoonful) in large soup pot over medium heat. Yes, lard. I tried with olive oil too. Close, close, but something is missing.
2. Cube 1 large onion. Small cubes, from thin slices.
3. Cube about 2. 5 pounds of beef (pot roast type would do perfect; chuck or shoulder roast). Cubes should be larger than for chili but smaller than American beef stew.
4. Mince 2 garlic cloves.
5. When lard is hot and almost smoking, toss in onions and stir. Fry for about 2 mins on medium-high heat; add garlic. Stir; fry until golden.
6. Pull off heat; stir in about 2 tablespoon of Hungarian paprika, preferably the half-sharp variety. Go the extra mile and buy the real stuff; the Californian or the Spanish is just not the same for this dish. I tried. Trust me. You need to pull it off the heat so that the paprika does not go bitter.
7. At this point, put it back to the heat and add the meat when it starts sizzling again. Stir it up vigorously so the onion-paprika mix does not burn at bottom of pan. Continue to stir until beef cubes are brown.
8. Stir in about 1 teaspoonful of caraway seeds.
9. Here the meat should start give out some juices. Good. Theoretically, at this point, contrary to whyat bad cookbooks tell you, you DO NOT/SHOULD NOT need to add any water yet. Keep stirring.
10. When you have enough liquid, leave the pot for long enough to chop up 1 large tomato and 1 banana pepper. Don't use California bell pepper, please. I have nothing against them in stir fries, salads and other dishes, but this just requires something else.
11. After adding the tomato/pepper, COVER the pot, and simmer, on medium-low, for about an hour. You may want to check first time periodically if there's enough liquid in the pot--if not, add some water, or beef stock. No bouillon cubes, please. Again, tried...
12. While it's simmering, chop up about 3-4 medium red potatoes and 3-4 medium/small size carrots. Potatoes should be cubed to about the size of the meat cubes or larger, carrots should be in chunks of about 1-2 inches long. Add these to simmering gulyas, and AT THIS POINT, you can add the extra about 6 cups of water/beef stock it needs to get enough liquid for a longer-than-stew, shorter-than-soup consistency.
13. Continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt (I am partial to sea salt or kosher salt) ad some ground black pepper; paprika can be added as well to adjust color and hotness.
14. Simmer until vegetables and meat are both tender.
15. There--you have authentic Hungarian gulyas. Serve with a full-bodied red wine if you are a wine drinker (I recommend a Cab Sauvignon or a Hungarian Bull's Blood) and, this is important! crusty bread so you can mop up the stew.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Why Scientists Don't Write Recipes...

From a friend at work, at the end of a really heavy day:

Chocolate Chip Cookies:


1. 532.35 cm3 gluten
2. 4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
3. 4.9 cm3 refined halite
4. 236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride 5. 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11 6. 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11 7. 4.9 cm3
methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde 8. Two calcium
carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein 9. 473.2 cm3
theobroma cacao 10. 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall
heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation. In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogenous. To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogenous mixture in reactor #1. Additionally, add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.

Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture
piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm). Heat in a 460K oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank & Johnston's first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Brief recap

Big hiatus, I know. Life interferes all the time.
Well, I'd been to San Francisco and back last week on a business trip which gave me a thinly veiled excuse to see my brother-in-law and his fiancee there; and what a great time we had...As a side benefit, I escaped three 100plus degree days from DFW...yayness. Then over the weekend we traveled down to Austin with husband and the Lizard Queen plus her hubby to see a friend who's gotten a teaching gig in South Korea: bon voyage and bonne chance, Andy! It is always fun to get out a little bit, but I must confess that this week kicked my behind pretty hard.

And Friday August the 6th was out 4th wedding anniversary, too--we went out for a fine, fine Italian dinner. If you are in the area and want something special, don't miss Cafe Cipriani in Las Colinas. Not only the food is good, but the service is excellent and the atmosphere is really intimate for those special dinners-for-two. As an anniversary present, my sweetie got me a set of Cutco knives, the crazy man...I am SO thrilled. Those of you who have culinary interests can understand why...I had so much fun chopping stuff yesterday I had to run into the room hubby was sorting through and tell him just how much I appreciated those knives. 'Sharp' is an understatement. I am back down memory lane in my cooking school days when I really had to concentrate on where my knuckles were, but I was able to reduce food preparation time drastically because the knives were so sharp it took that much less time to chop anything.
Speaking about food, I made venison lasagna yesterday; great success. Recipe will soon follow.