Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Homestyle Goulash

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I can remember having this dish growing up. I’m not sure if HomeStyle Goulash is what my mom called it but, it was an easy dish for her to pull together after putting in a full day’s work. Being a single parent who worked full-time, making a good home cooked meal was very important to her. I’ve updated her version by making a few significant changes. This is my version of a Hungarian Home-Style Goulash.

Olive Oil

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 1 (6-quart) stockpot, colander, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
2 pounds of (90% lean) ground sirloin
1 pound (16-ounce) box of Barilla Cavatappi
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
1tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Poblano peppers, seeded and diced
1-pint Cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon Kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 cup of beef broth, unsalted
1 (10.5-ounce) can beef consommé
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 (14.5-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
In a Dutch oven on medium-high heat add olive oil, ground cinnamon, Hungarian paprika, tomato paste, and dried oregano. Let the spices *bloom and release their oils and flavors.

Next, add diced onion, minced garlic, diced poblano peppers, and crimini mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes allowing the vegetables to soften and release their water. Once the mushrooms have browned add the Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, stir to combine. Add the beef consommé and beef stock, using a wooden spoon, scrape the bits of the bottom of the pot, that’s flavor!

Continue cooking allowing the beef consomme and stock to reduce by half, 7 to 10 minutes, then add the ground sirloin breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon.

Once the ground sirloin is broken up add garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Continue cooking, allowing the meat to release its liquid and start to brown, for another 15 minutes.

Moving forward add a can of diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and brown sugar. Turn the heat down to medium and stir to combine. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.

In a large stockpot of boiling salted water add the Cavatappi (a short cork-screw shaped pasta). Cook pasta for 10 to 12 minutes until al dente, drain well.  Add the pasta to the meat sauce, stir to combine. Turn the heat to off.

The last step is to add the cheese. Add the Mozzarella cheese, again, stir to combine. Garnish with chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley and you have a delicious Home-Style Goulash. Serve hot.

*Bloom: To become more apparent, as in flavor or aroma. Good oil is a base from which delectable flavors bloom.

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French Vanilla Cupcakes

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I can’t say this enough, your local grocery store offers so many varieties of box cake mix to choose from and they’re all really good. The brand of cake mix I’m partial to is the Duncan Hines French Vanilla. All you have to do is to add a few of your own secret ingredients and Voila!

If you’re looking for an easy dessert to make, my French Vanilla Cupcakes will work in a pinch!

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 16 to 19 minutes
Decorating Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 49 minutes
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Equipment: 2 (12 ct.) non-stick muffin tin pans, 2 large mixing bowls, whisk, 2 small bowls, hand-held electric mixer, 1 (1-quart) saucepan

Ingredients:
2 (16.5-ounce) boxes of Duncan Hines French Vanilla cake mix
Pinch of Kosher salt
6 large eggs, room temperature, divided
2/3 cup of vegetable oil, divided
2 cups of water, divided
1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, room temperature, divided
2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract, divided

Topping:
2 sticks (1/2 pound) of butter, unsalted and melted
1 cup of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.
Start by spraying the muffin tin pans, liberally, with a non-stick cooking spray. Lightly flour each of the muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, Kosher salt, water, vegetable oil, pure vanilla extract, and ricotta cheese, mix to combine. Slowly add the cake mix into the wet ingredients whisking together until moistened, about 30 seconds.

Switch to a hand-held mixer. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Pour cake batter into the first muffin tin pan.

Repeat the process to make the second box of cake mix.

Bake in the center rack of the oven for 16 to 19 minutes. Note: Add 3 to 5 minutes to bake time for dark or coated pans. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool cupcakes in the pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes before removing.

Topping:
Melt 2 sticks of unsalted butter in a small saucepan. Transfer the melted butter to a small mixing bowl. In another bowl mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, whisk to combine.

Take a cupcake and dip the top into the warm melted butter and then into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, place back onto the cooling rack. I promise you won’t be able to eat just one of my French Vanilla Cupcakes because they are so darn good.

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