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Don't Forget Your Goulash

November 19, 2000|Abby Mandel

Here's a meal that can be made ahead and refrigerated--a timesaver given the hustle of the holidays. Just pop it in the oven for a quick reheating, and dinner is served.

The Simmered Beef Goulash also freezes well. While it's warming up, serve some easy appetizers such as cracker bread with hummus, a sliced baguette with a special wedge of cheese or olives. Chilled beer is good with this meal but a light red wine, chilled for about 10 minutes, would go well too.

Maple Butterscotch Pudding With Chopped Pecans provides a smooth, sweet finish. Serve simple butter cookies on the side.

Maple Butterscotch Pudding With Chopped Pecans

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes plus 6 hours chilling

3 1/2 cups milk

4 egg yolks

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup cornstarch, sifted

Salt

2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped with 2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans

* Place 3 cups milk in large heavy saucepan. Bring to boil.

* Place remaining milk, yolks, brown sugar, syrup, cornstarch and dash salt in large bowl. Whisk until well mixed. Then, while whisking, slowly add hot milk. Transfer pudding mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick and first bubbles break surface, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla. Ladle into 8 (6-ounce) souffle cups or small dishes. Cool on counter, then refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours or overnight.

* To serve, top each with dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with pecans, dividing both evenly. Serve immediately.

8 servings. Each serving: 336 calories; 129 mg sodium; 149 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 41 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams protein; 0.36 gram fiber.

Simmered Beef Goulash With Mushrooms

Active Work Time: 25 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 2 1/2 hours

Serve this with Buttered Noodles With Garlicky Bread Crumbs.

1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms

3/4 cup hot water

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons oil

5 onions, thinly sliced lengthwise

2 to 3 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 pound white mushrooms

3 1/2 pounds well-trimmed chuck stewing beef

1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup beef stock or broth

* Soak porcini mushrooms in water 30 minutes.

* Heat butter and oil in large (14-cup capacity) nonaluminum pot or casserole over medium-high heat. When hot, add onions; stir well to coat. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Cook 2 minutes.

* Drain porcini mushrooms through strainer lined with triple thickness of paper towels, reserving liquid. Chop on board or in mini-processor. Stem and halve white mushrooms (cut into quarters if large). Cut beef into 1 1/3-inch cubes. Add porcini and white mushrooms and meat to pot. Cook until heated through, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Puree tomatoes with liquid and add to pot with bell pepper, stock and reserved mushroom liquid. Stir well.

* Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours. At this point, if there is too much liquid, simmer, uncovered, to cook down this liquid, stirring often to avoid any scorching, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Add a little beef stock or broth if goulash is too thick. Meat should be very tender. Remove from heat. Taste; adjust seasoning. (To store, cool on counter, then refrigerate at least overnight or up to 3 days. Can also be frozen up to 1 month. To serve, reheat, covered, in 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Stir; taste and adjust seasoning.) Serve hot over hot Buttered Noodles With Garlicky Bread Crumbs.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 724 calories; 685 mg sodium; 99 mg cholesterol; 30 grams fat; 79 grams carbohydrates; 41 grams protein; 7.04 grams fiber.

Buttered Noodles With Garlicky Bread Crumbs

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes

3/4 pound egg noodles

Salt

6 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/3 cup finely minced parsley

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

* Cook noodles in salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Drain. Add just a little reserved liquid to moisten but not enough to really wet them. (Can be made ahead and reheated in microwave oven, adding more liquid if noodles are dry.)

* Heat butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When melted, add bread crumbs and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley, scant 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. (Can be made a day ahead, refrigerated and gently reheated stovetop when ready to serve.) To serve, toss hot noodles with warm crumb mixture. Serve immediately.

6 to 8 servings. Each of 8 servings: 265 calories; 330 mg sodium; 64 mg cholesterol; 11 grams fat; 35 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 1.27 grams fiber.

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