Czech Goulash with Dumplings version 1

>> Thursday, November 19, 2009

Czech beef goulash

Goulash is a stew usually with beef, peppers and paprika and it originally comes from Hungary. This is also very popular outside of Hungary in countries like Czech Republic, Austria,Germany, Poland and many Slavic countries. It is also popular in Canada and the USA because of the immigrants from these countries. Doing a quick search I found that all these countries have different varieties of Goulash and are served with all sorts of pastas,rice, and vegetables. I also found that Goulash is eaten in Italy, though I have never seen or tried an Italian Goulash. But today I am going to be concentrating on one version of Czech Gouláš (Goulash).

A typical Czech Goulash found in many homes and restaurants is cooked with beef, paprika and served with bread dumplings called Knedliky. Goulash seems to be one of those dishes that has many varieties and one where every family has a unique recipe they like and use. One day I had two Czech friends giving me recipes and disagreeing on what spices to us in their Goulash. I can tell you from personal experience that just going to different restaurants in Prague serving traditional Czech cuisine, you will be served and taste different versions of Goulash. I have had Goulash cooked with peppers, served with potato pancakes, some spicy versions, some using caraway, some with potatoes, some with beans, some with cabbage, some with beer added to the stew..... well you get the point.

This first version of Czech Gouláš (Goulash) I'm sharing is the first one I learned to cook and it incorporates some typical Czech spices. In the coming months I will post other versions of Goulash to share with you, and who knows maybe it will be come one of your favorites too. Traditionally lard is used but I don't like to use it and I replace it with vegetable oil. In the next post I will show you how to make the Knedliky ( bread dumplings) .

czech goulash ingredients
Goulash Ingredients: serves 4
600 grams (1.33 lbs) stewing beef
10 grams (2 TBS) tomato paste

15 ml (1 TBS) vegetable oil
1 beef bouillon cube
3 small bell peppers (red,yellow and green ) sliced thinly
3 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, chopped
30 ml ( 2 TBS) ground sweet paprika
15 ml ( 1 TBS) ground caraway seed
5 ml ( 1 tsp) salt
5 ml ( 1 tsp) marjoram
28 grams ( 2TBS) flour

1. (The first thing I like to do is boil the beef for about an hour to get it really tender. This is a good tip specially if the beef is a bit tough or fatty. If you do this reserve the stock to use later.) Slice the peppers and prepare the garlic and onion, set aside. Cut the raw beef into small chunks, add the oil to a hot pot and brown until it cooks throughly. If the beef starts to stick add a little bit of water to prevent it from burning. Under medium heat stir in the chopped onion and minced garlic , cook until the onion is soft. ( If you boiled the beef you can add it to the onion and garlic after the onion has browned. )Next add all the spices except the bouillon cube and flour, mix all the ingredients and combine throughly. Only stir for a minute or two and make sure the heat is not to hot because you don't want the paprika to burn and develop a bitter taste.
2. Add the bell peppers and stir for a minute, if you don't want the peppers too soft or mushy you can hold off and add them later on. Next add 1 cup or 250 ml of water and the beef bouillon, stir and combine well with other ingredients. You can add more or less water to your liking, depending on how much sauce you want,and remember the flour will be used to thicken the sauce. I like to add about 2 cups or 500 ml of water because I like to cook or stew my Goulash for a long time( 1 hour) to make the beef very tender and to have all the spices and flavors combine well. The longer the sauce stews the better the taste. But if you're in a hurry let it cook for at least 30 minutes.

3. The last step is to thicken the stew, you'll need a bowl, a ladle or large spoon and a whish. Put the flour in a bowl and scoop a ladle full of the sauce, try not to scoop out the beef or peppers, or you can use tap water instead. Little by little add some of the sauce/water and whisk briskly to prevent lumps, keep whisking and add as much sauce/water as you need to make a roux.

4. Pour the roux into the Goulash, and slowly stir to combine. Stew for another 8-10 minutes making sure the ingredients are well combined. Taste the Goulash and if needed add more salt. I usually end up adding a pinch more of caraway and majoram, and paprika I end up adding another spoonful. But this is up to you and your taste.

Goulash with dumplings
Serve with sliced bread dumplings ( Knedliky) and you also can garnish with raw sliced onions. Czech Goulash goes great with a large cold lager beer like, Pilsner Urquell or my favorite beer Budějovický Budvar the real "Budweiser" beer.

Czech Goulash with dumplings and beer


20 Questions ~ my first foodie interview

>> Monday, November 16, 2009

20questions interview

Hi everyone! A few days ago I told you about one of my favorite new foodie sites, Refrigerator Soup, and today I would like to invite you to visit them again. I have been fortunate to have been asked to be featured on this amazing site for their 20 questions with our favorite food bloggers Q&A . Please stop by to read our Q&A and come back to leave me your thoughts. You can find it here

Again I would like to thank Kristy from Refrigerator Soup for giving me the opportunity and for being so kind.

One last note I have recently added my "Follow" button due to all the requests, so there you have it :)


Ginger Lemon and Honey Tea

>> Friday, November 13, 2009

ginger tea ingredients
Ginger Tea with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dollop of honey. The cold almost winter weather that is upon many of us is the perfect time to warm up with a big cup of tea. Ginger tea is also a great drink during the flu and cold season because of it's benefits to the immune system. But first let's break down the individual ingredients and the benefits they each bring to this warming and health boosting tea. In Asian cultures ginger has long been used for it's healing benefits and it has caught the attention of many people in regions all over the world. Ginger is believed to help clear up the upper respiratory tract and so many people believe that this helps with the symptom of colds and flu. Ginger has also been used to treat nausea, circulation, inflammation, upset stomach, indigestion, arthritic pains, sore throats, the list of ginger benefits is quite long and I think it probably requires it's on post. The next ingredient is lemon juice, lemons are loaded with Vitamin C which helps your immune system fight off infections. Lemons like ginger are used to treat upset stomachs and nausea. Lemons also have antiseptic properties that are both good for your skin and body. The last ingredient is honey, it doesn't only taste good on it's own or as a cooking ingredient, it's also very good for you. Honey has long been used in homeopathy for the antibacterial and antiseptic properties it has. If you have ever tried honey or honey and a little lemon juice when you have a sore throat you can instantly feel it coating your throat and start to feel better. Honey is also used to help heal wounds, in many skin and cosmetic products. It has also been used in experiments for treating allergies and for it's benefits with Diabetes patients. As you can see each ingredient in this healing tea brings a lot of health benefits making this a delicious and healthy drink to enjoy.

recipe ginger tea

Your ingredients:
Ginger root, 6 slices un-peeled
500 ml or 2 cups of water
Lemon juice

1. Slice the ginger root and don't peel, only cut away any bruised areas. Add the water and the ginger to a pot and over medium heat bring to a boil. Boil until the water has turned a light brown color, this will take about 15-20 minutes. Next squeeze the lemon and add the juice to the tea. (* The amount of juice is up to you, or how lemony you want it to taste. I usually add the juice of 1 medium lemon. )* Mix the juice and tea and let it boil for another 3 minutes.
2. The honey can either be added to the tea in the pot or you can add it to a tea cup and pour in the ginger tea. The amount again is up to you and how sweet you want it. (I usually add a small dollop to my tea cup.) You can also strain the tea before you serve.

An optional small serving suggestion is to add a thinly slice piece of lemon and ginger, or just serve warm and enjoy.
ginger lemon honey tea, hot
Ginger tea for me is a comfort drink that I enjoy all year round, it makes me feel physically better and it enhances my senses and calms me all at the same time. I hope you try this tea and that you enjoy it as much as I do.

*update* I also forgot to mention that this tea is great for women suffering from menstrual cramps. The tea helps relax the muscles and lessens cramping. But remember consult your Dr. before or make sure that you are not allergic to any of these ingredients.


Refrigerator Soup a new favorite

>> Friday, November 6, 2009

Have you heard of Refrigerator Soup yet? In case you haven't I'm going to tell you a little about them. is a new foodie site that features amazing food photography and food bloggers cooking and baking all types of scrumptious foods. The name comes from one of the administrator's Mom making soup out of a refrigerator left overs, adding some spices and simmering until it turns into an amazing soup,( you can read more inside story on their faq). Several weeks ago I was invited to visit this new site and submit some of my photographs, and on my first visit the site quickly grabbed my attention. Why? The site is well designed and very easy to navigate. I also love how the photos are the center piece of the site. Each day 40 new photos from different foodie sites are added. There are some amazing photos that will leave your mouth watering and spending a lot of time clicking through all the ones that happen to catch your eye. Each photo directs you to the recipe and site belonging to that foodie. Another feature that I really like is their 20 questions with our favorite food bloogers ,pretty self explanatory. Being that Refrigerator soup is a fairly new site, there are only a few "interviews" so far, but I'm sure more to come. I think this is a great way to meet and get to know our fellow food blogging peers. I have had the pleasure of being asked to do a 20 questions , and will soon be featured.

I am also introducing you to this wonderful site because of the hard work and passion behind Refrigerator Soup. The staff is very friendly and helpful. You can tell that a lot of time and effort have gone and go into making this site truly unique and wonderful. The site doesn't seem to be run by a big company but instead a small group of food lovers.( Remember the "little guy" or small business is the one that needs our help. ) So help me support this site by paying them a visit. Look around, possibly submit some of your photos, add a link on your site, and visit some of the contributors. I also ask you to help spread the word by inviting your readers, friends and family to visit Refrigerator Soup.

As Refrigerator Soup says, life is short. let's eat!

*( I am in no way affiliated with , nor have I been paid to write this. I am just helping spread the word on one of my favorite new sites. ) *


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