While the rest of the blog world is eulogizing about the big 'V' day I have decided that I'm not dedicating this post to people treating the one they love to extra special stuff like fancy-schmancy dinners out, candy packaged in big red hearts, the token bouquet of roses and $7 cards waxing philosophical. I guess it's mainly because I'm not all about commercializing love, nor am I a fan of red roses. Those are for funerals. Besides, everyone knows love is about the small things like making sure the toilet paper hangs the right way, the seat is put down, the laundry is a co-ed sport and the girl gets the television remote every-now-and-then.
As passionate as I am about my dear husband I don't need the holiday police telling me when to celebrate my undying love for him. Because I am an awesome wife and prove daily just how much love I hold in my heart for him, I'm going to dedicate today's post to another passion of mine. Cooking.
I love, love, love to cook. Unfortunately, 2010 was a rather sucktackular year in my state of happiness and it took a toll on my creative ability in the kitchen. However, you will be glad to know that when 2011 rolled around I put the previous year behind me, made a vow to focus on the two passions I have (cooking and photography) and I haven't looked back. New Year's Day started out by making homemade tortillas, which then became chicken enchiladas smothered in green chile sauce and I've been cooking like crazy ever since(and running on the eliptical like a mad woman).
Yesterday I spent a great deal of time in the kitchen making Hungarian goulash, the way I'm sure my great grandma would've made. As I was cooking, I imagined that she chopped and browned the onions with the chunks of beef and used a heavy hand with the paprika like I did. As the goulash simmered for several hours, her house probably smelled as aromatic as mine. And, as I dropped the dumplings in the pot, I'm sure I waited in anticipation for them to rise to top just like grandma used to. I like to believe that grandma cooked with as much passion as I do and I think she'd be proud of me. I'm sure she would take my face in her hands and plant multiple kisses on my cheek. Just like she used to do.
2-3 lbs. beef chuck (cut into 1" cubes)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1-1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp good paprika (I actually use about 4 Tbsp. The more the better.)
3 Bay leaves
In a large bowl, mix together beef and salt. In a large pot, sautee' the onion in olive oil until onions are soft and nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add beef and cook until browned. Stir in paprika and 1 cup water. Add bay leaves, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2-3 hrs until the meat is very tender. Add 2-3 cups of water, enough to cover the meat. Cover and continue simmering while you prepare the dumplings.
In a bowl, add two eggs, 3/4 c flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix until combined and let sit for 1/2 hour. Drop by teaspoon fulls into beef mixture. When the dumplings rise to the top, cover and simmer for 5 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through.
I cooked some red potatoes, smashed them up with a little butter and served the goulash over that. You can also serve atop egg noodles. Serves 6-8.