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Saturday, October 18, 2014

Slow Cooker Beef Goulash/Stew

My Aunt Jenny really likes goulash and beef stew. Since she's not familiar with making Western foods, she asked if I can make it for her. I don't really have the patience to wait hours for my food to be cooked so this is the first time I made something like this. I figured it should be pretty similar to a pot roast. I looked through tons of recipes and came up the this recipe. This is not an authentic Hungarian goulash, more like a cross between goulash and regular beef stew. 

Beef Goulash (using a 6 quart pot)

Step 1
  • 2 1/2 lb beef shank, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 1/2 cups onions, cut into quarters
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil or light olive oil
Step 2
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato puree
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbs ketchup
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tbs flour
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoke paprika
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt
Step 3 (optional)
  • 2  cups of carrots, cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 2  cups of russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3 inch chunks 
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms 
Step 1:Heat a large skillet then add in 2 tbs of oil. Add beef and onion, cook until meat is slightly brown. 

Step 2: Add all the ingredients from step 2 into the slow cooker. Stir and mix well. Add the browned beef and onion into the pot. 

Step 3: Cook on high for 5 hours (add the carrots,potatoes, mushrooms one hour before it's done). Or if you cook on low, takes 8-10 hours (add the carrots,potatoes, mushrooms 2 hours before it's done). 


Homemade Chashu Pork for Ramen

Last weekend we went to Craft Butchery in Westport and came home with $45 worth of organic pork belly. Since I love the frozen ramen from Daido (Japanese market in White Plains, NY), I thought it would be fun to see if I can make homemade Chashu Pork to go with the ramen.

I came across a great recipe from Serious Eats but instead of baking it in a very low temperature oven, I just cooked the pork belly over the stove on low heat (bring it up to a boil then reduce the heat). I cooked it for almost 3 hours. There is definitely a little adjustment I have to make but overall it tasted pretty good!




Black Forest Cupcakes

Thursday was a bittersweet day at work. It was Kelly's last day. She has been a joy to work with since I first started at my current company. She is such a sweet person and always there to offer help when I needed.  She got a better position that is closer to her new home so even though I didn't want her to leave, I am very exited and happy for her new adventure!

For her last day, I made the crowd favorite- Twinkies Cupcakes and also Black Forest Cupcakes. These were inspired by the $2.99/lb cherries I saw at Stop and Shop earlier this week.

I posted the Twinkies Cupcakes before so this post will be about these Black Forest Cupcakes.

Black Forest Cupcakes
makes 36 cup

Cherry Filling: I made it from scratch but if you can use cherry pie filling

  • 16 oz of defrosted pitted sweet cherries with the juice
  • 1 tbs sugar 
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs cornstarch with 2 tbs of the cherry juice

Combined cherries/juice, sugar, honey, lemon zest, lemon juice ingredients into a small pot. Bring it to a boil. Add the corn starch/cherry juice mixture. Bring the mixture up to boil and reduce heat to let it bubble and thickened. Let the filling cool.



Cake:
I used the trusted Ina Garten recipe for the chocolate cake- Beattys chocolate cake.

Once the cupcakes are baked. Hollow out the center and then brush with Kirsch.

Frosting:

  • 3 cups of heavy whipping cream- keep it very cold
  • 3 tbs powdered sugar-add more if you like it sweeter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Make sure everything is very cold. From whisk to bowl to the cream. I always put the bowl and the whisk in the freezer for at least 15 minutes and only take out the cream right before mixing.
Mix the cream in a large bowl on medium speed until soft peak. Then add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat on hight speed until stiff peak forms. Do not over beat. 

Assembly:
Filled the hollowed out cake with the cherry filling. Then pipe the whipped cream on top. Top with fresh cherries or leave it as is.