Goulash. It’s a great word and so fun to say. Gooooooo-laush! Sounds like galoshes. So, show of hands, is anyone here a fan of Goulash? Anyone?
I spent some time studying in Prague during college and the only things I ate there were hot dogs, Czech “salad” (which is just chopped up tomato and pepper in vinegar. There’s no lettuce in Prague for some reason), peanut butter (that is until I ran out of Jif and had to resort to Tesco brand. Gross!), bread, fake peach jelly, KFC, and goulash.
And beer. I drank beer.
But back to the Goulash. The Goulash that I had in Prauge was thick and red, bursting with paprika, and had little bread dumplings in it. There might have been some dairy in it. I was a fan of the Goulash.
To my dismay, #24 was nothing like Czech Goulash. Probably because #24 is Hungarian Goulash. I didn’t know how Hungarians make their version because I didn’t go over to Budapest, although I hear it’s lovely. I thought it would all be the same. I have to remind myself that no matter how many times they’ve flipped the borders in Eastern Europe, they are not all the same country. I am proud to be an ignorant American.
But come on, don’t tell me that you don’t get all of those former Soviet republics and everything that came out of Yugoslavia confused. You so do.
So even though this wasn’t what I was expecting in a Goulash, it did look promising. I like onions and beef and red wine and I am quickly becoming a big fan of the caraway seed.
Anyway, I followed the directions.
I began at 4pm with the sliced onions, vinegar, and spices. But let me point something out. #24 calls for only 2 TEASPOONS of Paprika? Really? Hungarians are all about the paprika! It’s where it comes from!!!
Dinner is Served! I gotta give you one of these:
Let’s get back to cooking!
By 4:35 I had the meat on to brown.
At 5:00 both onion and meat were combined and put on the stove top to simmer. It just simmered for a long while (in the meantime I put together the baked apples).
At 6:35 I put the water on for the noodles. I used those whole wheat noodles that take so much longer to cook than regular egg noodles. Still, it always seems as though they are undercooked no matter how long I cook them so I think I will just go back to regular egg noodles–fiber be damned!
6:40 I sauteed some Campari tomatoes in PAM olive oil spray and some salt and pepper.
7:00 Drained the pasta and tossed it with some I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spray. And went about plating.
7:10 DINNER IS SERVED!
It’s somewhat close to #24’s illustration. Although comparing it to the original I have to wonder how do they get the meat to be so glossy? It’s probably some sort of varnish they’ve shellacked on it.
I am going to be frank with you right now: I am so far behind on the writing portion of Dinner is Served! that I don’t even really remember eating the main course of #24. It was 3 weeks ago. I’ve deduced that must mean that Goulash was not remarkably good nor was it remarkably bad. But I am 100% sure that what I thought of Goulash is what Dinner is Served! interpreted as #81 Veal Paprika. That at least had a full tablespoon of Paprika (which I increased to about 3 tablespoons because I am a spice whore).
I do remember the dessert, however, and I took a moment to write down exactly how I made those.
Firstly I cored the apples using an old-timey potato peeler that was my Gramsy’s. I stuffed the centers with 1/2 tbsp margarine (each) and 1 tbsp raisins (each).
On the top I sprinkled 1 tbsp of cinnamon sugar, and capped it all with 2 tbsp of rum. This went into a 350 degree oven and I cooked the living daylights out of these apples. I cooked them in the only real Pyrex that I own a little sky blue one. You know, I never thought I’d see the day that my mum and Gramsy’s kitchen cast-offs would become such hot commodities.
The resulting baked apple dessert was akin to one of those cinnamon-flavored jars of applesauce you can get at the store. It was not what I intended (nor what #24 asked for–where the hell does one find canned baked apples?), but it was a serviceable dessert. Very autumnal. Now that I think of it, I’ve been using a lot of apples lately.
I also want to show you that this happened recently:
Your eyes are not fooling you. This happened.
Cleve was so happy to receive such snuggles and love from Brian he could hardly contain his glee. But here he’s playing it cool because we all know that guys hate it if you’re clingy or trying too hard.
Alas, this was the first and last time this happened. So I’m glad that there is photographic evidence. It is possible for Brian show some affection.
But it’s more likely this was Brian’s way of saying “bitch, get out of my chair.”