Veal Goulash with Egg Noodles

One of my clients that I personal chef for requested I make this dish. I made this healthy version using non-fat sour cream, no salt, canola oil spray instead of butter and No Yokes Noodles.  It got rave reviews.  Eric wants me to make this for us soon.  I know most people are horrified about using veal, if so, use beef instead.


Veal Goulash with Egg Noodles

Serves 8

4 Tbs unsalted butter
2 lbs veal, cut into 1½ inch cubes
1½ cups onion, sliced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs caraway seed, crushed in a mortar with pestle
3 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped
12 oz flat egg noodles, cooked and tossed with 1 Tbs butter

Heat butter in a large sauté pan on medium high heat. Pat dry the cubed veal. Sprinkle with salt and add to pan. Working in batches, sauté the meat until the meat is just beginning to brown.

Add the onions to the pan with the veal, cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add a teaspoon of salt, a half teaspoon of black pepper, and the tomatoes. Add enough water to just barely cover the meat, about 2 cups or so, depending on the size and shape of your pan.

Increase the heat to bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain a low simmer, uncovered. Cook until the meat is almost cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the veal from the pan to a bowl to temporarily set aside. Increase the heat to high and let the liquid boil until it is reduced by half. Lower the heat to medium. Add the meat back to the pan.

Add the sour cream, paprika, and crushed caraway seeds, and simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes. Stir in parsley.

Serve over egg noodles.


Beef Stew

Yesterday was my Dad’s birthday. I made him beef stew. This recipe is slightly different than most because, you add the vegetables after you’ve cooked the beef for an hour.  Instead of regular sized Yukon Gold potatoes, I used mini potatoes (unpeeled) and cut them in half, which was a lot faster to prepare.

I actually made this in a crockpot, which also worked. Serve it with a baguette to soak up all the juices. Delicious.




Beef Stew

Seves 6 – 8

1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 (3 lb) boneless chuck roast
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, large dice
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
4 cups (1 qt) low-sodium beef broth
2 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs
3 medium carrots, cut in bite size pieces
3 medium celery stalks, cut large dice
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs), cut into bite size pieces
1 cup frozen peas

Place 1/4 cup of the flour and the measured salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk to combine; set aside. Trim the roast of excess fat and sinew and cut it into 1- to 1-1/2-inch cubes. Place the meat in the flour mixture and toss to coat; set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Shake off the excess flour from about one-third of the meat and add it to the pot. Cook, stirring rarely, until browned all over, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. Repeat with the remaining meat in 2 more batches; set aside.

Add the onion to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to coat the onion, and cook until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Sprinkle in the remaining tablespoon of flour and cook, stirring occasionally, until the raw flavor has cooked off, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, and cook until the mixture has thickened, about 3 minutes.

Return the meat and any accumulated juices in the bowl to the pot. Add the broth, bay leaves, and thyme and stir to combine. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.

Cut the carrots, celery, and potatoes into large dice and add them to the pot (peel the carrots and potatoes first, if desired). Stir to combine, cover with a tight fitting lid, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables and meat are knife tender, about 1 hour more.

Remove and discard the bay leaves and thyme stems. Stir in the peas and simmer uncovered until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant, Tomatoes & Almonds

Back to work….
Last night, I catered a party for a friend of mine who throws dinner parties followed by a movie that he shows in his screening room. It was Raiders of the Lost Ark. He had the executive producer come and open the film. Anyway, I made this Moroccan chicken and Tunisian Almond & Orange Cake to tie in to the North African theme.


Moroccan Chicken with Eggplant, Tomatoes & Almonds

Serves 8

This version of a tagine, the classic Moroccan stew, calls for dark meat because it stays moist when braised. If you prefer white meat, reduce the cooking time by 15 minutes.

6 Tbs olive oil, divided
3 cups onions, sliced
6 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs Hungarian sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cups drained canned diced tomatoes (from 28 oz can)
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup water
3 Tbs (or more) fresh lemon juice
8 chicken thighs with bones, skinned
8 chicken drumsticks, skinned
1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup whole blanched almonds or slivered almonds, toasted
Chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large wide pot over medium heat.

Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add paprika, salt, turmeric, coriander, fennel, pepper, cumin, and ginger; stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, 1 cup water, and 3 tablespoons lemon juice; bring to boil. Arrange all chicken in single layer in pot; spoon some sauce over. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn chicken over, cover, and simmer until chicken is tender, about 20 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place eggplant and remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in large bowl; toss to coat. Spread eggplant out on prepared baking sheet and bake until soft and brown, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. (Chicken and eggplant can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate separately until cold, then cover and keep refrigerated.)

Stir eggplant into chicken. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes to heat through and blend flavors. Season stew to taste with more lemon juice, if desired, and salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to large shallow bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and cilantro.

Badem Joon

My friend Chris made this Persian eggplant stew called Badem Joon. You can make it with lamb or beef. He served it with basmati rice. It’s really delicious!



Badem Joon

Serves 4

1 lb stew meat
¼ cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1 large eggplant
1 tomato, chopped
1 Tbs tomato paste
¼ cup lemon juice
1/4-1/2 cup water
½ cup peas

Cut meat into 1” pieces. Heat ½ the oil in a Dutch oven. Add meat and sear. Add onion, cook 5 min.. Add garlic, salt & pepper. Turn down heat and simmer 1-2 hours.

Cut eggplant lengthwise into ¾ inch slices. Place on baking sheet and salt both sides. Place in colander and drain for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Dry eggplant slices with paper towels. Brush both sides with remaining olive oil and place on foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

When meat is ready, add tomato, tomato paste, lemon juice and water. Mix. Layer eggplant on top of meat and cook for ½ hour.

If using dry peas, add when meat is cooking (last 45 min.). If using fresh or frozen peas, add last 5 minutes.

Serve with rice.

Radical Tzimmes



Guest blogger Jessica (Denver, CO) from Beauty Marks again.

Tzimmes is a traditional Ashkenazi Jewish sweet stew typically made from carrots and dried fruits such as prunes or raisins, often combined with other root vegetables.  The name may come from the Yiddish words tzim (for) and esn (eating). “To make a big tzimmes over something” is a Yinglish expression that means to make a big fuss.

Why is this tzimmes radical when others aren’t? (I’m getting into the Passover spirit here.) Two reasons: First, I’m making it in the slow cooker. Why? Sheer laziness. I have other things to do today and don’t want to sit around watching to make sure it doesn’t scorch. Second, I’m going to freeze it and defrost it for the Seder. I’ve never done either of these before, but I’m placing my trust in the people on the Internet who say both work. Hey, it’s just sweet potatoes and carrots, what could go wrong?

Radical Tzimmes

3 large yams or sweet potatoes (I used garnet yams), cut in chunks
6-8 carrots, cut in chunks
About a cup of prunes*
About a cup of dried apricots
1 1/2″ piece of peeled ginger
About a cup of orange juice
½ cup brown sugar
Healthy splash of olive oil or ¼ cup butter
I put in a splash of orange liqueur because I’m wild that way.
Drizzle of honey

Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 to 6 hours. Add salt and pepper to balance sweetness.  Take out the piece of ginger before serving.

Red Beans and Rice Stew

This classic Cajun dish is done in a crockpot. You throw the rice and green peppers in at the end. It’s great to serve it with a baguette or corn bread to sop up the spicy juices!

Red Beans and Rice Stew

Serves 6

2 onions, minced
1 celery rib, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 tsp minced fresh thyme (or 1⁄2 tsp dried)
2 tsp sweet paprika
1⁄4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus extra as needed
3 cups water
1 lb dried red kidney beans (21⁄2 cups), picked over, salt-soaked, and rinsed
1 lb andouille sausage. sliced 1⁄2 inch thick
2 bay leaves
2 green bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and chopped medium
1 cup long-grain white rice
salt and pepper
red wine vinegar
3 scallions, sliced thin

Microwave onions, celery, garlic, oil, thyme, paprika, and cayenne in bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

Stir broth, water, beans, sausage, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

Let stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves.

Stir bell peppers and rice into stew, cover, and cook on high until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. (Adjust stew consistency with additional hot broth as needed.) Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar to taste. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Stew in a Pumpkin

Serve a beef stew in a hallowed out pumpkin for your Halloween party.

Stew in a Pumpkin

Serves 8-10

2½ Tbs oil, divided use
2 lbs rump or chuck roast, trimmed well, cubed
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
21 oz beef broth
1 dozen pitted dried plums (prunes)
6 oz dried apricots, snipped in half
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
2 new potatoes, cubed
10 oz frozen corn kernels
1 large pumpkin, interior seeds and strings removed

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Sauté meat until brown. Do this in batches if necessary.

Separately, in remaining oil heated in a large heavy pot, sauté onion, garlic and red pepper until tender. Add all other ingredients except corn and cook one hour. Add corn.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

If necessary to make it sit flat, trim the bottom of the pumpkin slightly. You will also want to make the opening at the top large enough to transfer the mixture into the pumpkin, and to serve it out with a ladle and/or scoop.

Place the pumpkin on a heavy baking sheet,and transfer the stew mixture to the interior. Cover with pumpkin top or foil and bake for 1½ hours, until the interior flesh of the pumpkin seems tender when tested with a fork.

Carefully remove pumpkin from the oven (this may require two people) as the shell will have softened. Serve the stew in the pumpkin, scooping out some of the pumpkin inside with each serving.

Do not store leftovers in the pumpkin.

Beef and Mushroom Stew

Last night I made this stew.  It’s kind of unusual because the only vegetables in it are mushrooms.  I love using cremini mushrooms, which are baby portobello mushrooms.   They have a have a deeper, earthier flavor than whites.

You can serve this stew over a bed of noodles or mashed potatoes.  I chose mashed potatoes.

Beef and Mushroom Stew

Serves 8

2 lbs beef stew meat (sirloin cut Into cubes)
2 Tbs flour
4 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
2 whole shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz, weight cremini or white button mushrooms, cut in half
½ cup red wine
½ can beef consommé
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pasta – cooked and drained
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 Tbs flour

Sprinkle flour over meat. Toss to coat.

Melt butter with olive oil in heavy pot. Sear meat over high heat in batches; remove to a plate when brown.

Add shallots and garlic to pan; sauté for 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and consommé (and add an extra half can of water at this time as well.) Then add salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Bring to a boil, then add back into the mix the browned meat. Reduce heat to low. Add thyme sprigs to pot.

Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. After that time, mix 2 tablespoons flour with a little water and pour into the stew. Allow to cook and thicken for ten more minutes. Turn off heat and allow stew to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Irish Beef and Stout Stew

Here is a wonderful stew for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration using Irish stout. Irish stew is a celebrated Irish dish, yet its composition is a matter of dispute. Purists maintain that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water. Other would add such items as carrots, turnips, and pearl barley; but the purists maintain they spoil the true flavor of the dish.  We’re not using mutton or kid in this dish!

Irish Beef and Stout Stew

Serves 10

4 lb beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds new potatoes, scrubbed
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cans (14½ oz each) reduced-sodium beef broth
1 can (14.9 oz) Irish stout beer
10 garlic cloves, sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 boxes (10 oz each) frozen baby peas, thawed

Preheat oven to 350˚. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, toss beef with flour; stir in tomato paste. Add potatoes, onions, broth, beer, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Transfer pot to oven, and cook, covered, until meat is fork-tender, 2½ to 3 hours. Stir in peas, and season with salt and pepper.

Cook’s Note
To freeze, divide stew among airtight plastic containers. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in refrigerator (or place containers under cold running water to release stew) before reheating.

Crawfish (or Shrimp) Etoufée


Étouffée or etouffee (pronounced: ay-TOO-fay) is a dish found in both Cajun and Creole cuisine typically served with shellfish over rice. It is most popular in New Orleans and in the bayou country of the southernmost half of Louisiana.
In French, the word “étouffée” (borrowed into English as “stuffed” or “stifled”) means, literally, “smothered” or “suffocated”, from the verb “étouffer”. In Louisiana, to “smother” food means to simmer it in a small amount of liquid (usually with lots of seasonings and spices added) to create a gravy or sauce that is served over rice. The usual staple of an étouffée is seafood such as crawfish, shrimp, or crabmeat.

The base of an étouffée is a dark roux which should be dark brown in color, but not burned; like liquid chocolate. As in many Louisiana dishes, onions, green peppers and celery (a combination often referred to as the holy trinity) are added to the roux.

In Cajun country, a roux takes approximately 30–45 minutes to make properly on a gas stove. Roux is typically made with equal portions of liquid lard, grease, or oil along with white flour (sometimes a 2 to 1 ratio oil to flour is used). Some Cajun cooks skip the flour and simply cook down onions in butter. According to Paul Prudhomme, a roux used to make étouffée requires the use of vegetable oil rather than butter. It is difficult to make such a dark roux without burning the butter, though it is possible with the use of clarified butter. Chef John Folse uses a blonde roux and notes that many people use only onions and butter as the base. Such is the variety of all types of Cajun food, and people of south Louisiana (Cajun and non-Cajun alike) can get into spirited debates over the issue of whether to use a roux in étouffée.

Crawfish (or Shrimp) Etoufée

Serves 4

Seasoning Mix
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme

Holy Trinity
¼ cup onions, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
¼ cup green bell pepper, chopped

7 Tbs vegetable oil
¾ cup flour
3 cups, in all, seafood stock (see recipe below)
1 stick unsalted butter, in all
2 lbs peeled crawfish tails or medium shrimp
1 cup green onions, very finely chopped
4 cups cooked rice

Thoroughly combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl combine the onions, celery and bell peppers.

In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast iron), heat the oil over high heat until it begins to smoke, about 4 minutes. With a long-handled metal whisk, gradually mix in the flour, stirring until smooth. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until roux is dark red-brown, about 3 to 5 minutes (be careful not to let it scorch in the pan or splash on your skin). Remove from heat and immediately stir in the vegetables and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix with a wooden spoon; continue stirring until cooled, about 5 minutes.

In a 2-quart saucepan bring 2 cups of the stock to a boil over high heat. Gradually add the roux and whisk until thoroughly dissolved. Reduce heat to low and cook until flour taste is gone, about 2 minutes, whisking almost constantly (if any of the mixture scorches, don’t continue to scrape that part of the pan bottom). Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat the serving plates in a 250°F oven.

In a 4-quart saucepan melt 1 stick of the butter over medium heat. Stir in the crawfish (or shrimp) and the green onions; sauté about 1 minute, stirring almost constantly. Add the remaining stick of butter, the stock mixture and the remaining 1 cup stock; cook until butter melts and is mixed into the sauce, about 4 to 6 minutes, constantly shaking the pan in a back-and-forth motion (versus stirring). Add the remaining seasoning mix; stir well and remove from heat (if sauce starts separating, add about 2 tablespoons more of stock or water and shake pan until it combines).

To serve, mound ½ cup rice on a heated plate.  Surround the rice with ¾ cup of the ettoufée.

Basic Seafood Stock

To make 1 quart of Basic Stock

About 2 quarts cold water
Vegetable trimmings from the recipe(s) you are serving,
1 medium onion, unpeeled and quartered
1 large clove garlic, unpeeled and quartered
1 rib celery
1½ to 2 lbs rinsed shrimp heads and/or shells, or crawfish heads and/or shells, or crab shells (2½ to 3 qts), or rinsed fish carcasses (heads and gills removed), or any combination of these.

Always start with cold water—enough to cover the other stock ingredients. Place all ingredients in a stock pot or a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then gently simmer at least 4 hours, preferably 8 (unless directed otherwise in a recipe), replenishing the water as needed to keep about 1 quart of liquid in the pan. The pot may be uncovered or set a lid on it askew. Strain, cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

(Note: Remember that if you are short on time, using a stock simmered 20 to 30 minutes is far better than using just water in any recipe.)