Sunday, November 20, 2016

Secret Recipe Club: Beef and Apple Goulash with Czech Bread Dumplings

It is the end of an era folks. Today is the last reveal day for group C during Secret Recipe Club. I've been blogging with the group for a little over two years and it has really made me step up my blogging game. It has made me keep up with posting recipes and keep track of things I do. Usually, it's somewhere along the lines of "hey, that banana bread recipe was really great but I can't really remember which of 10 banana bread recipes it was or how I changed it..."

This has been a wonderful group and I will miss it so much. If anyone knows of any other similarly fun blogging challenges that you're part of, please let me know. I'll have some time to fill.

For my last secret recipe club post, I'm so happy I was able to explore Where's My Spoon by Adina. She lives in Germany and has a really fabulous selection of recipes. I was super interested in her black bean brownies (which I made tonight and which were delicious, but didn't seem special enough for a final post since lots of people have been posting black bean brownies recently). I was also interested in her Arab Almond Cake and German Cheesecake, which I will absolutely make in the near future.

I opted to make her Beef and Apple Goulash, which was delicious and complex. It had just the right amount of sweet and tart flavors from the apples and it went perfectly with another recipe for Czech Bread Dumplings. I made these with fried cabbage, which was so delicious I wish I had recorded what I put in it. Next time, I suppose

Thanks Adina. This recipe was perfect and I know I'll make it again.


  • 2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed of larger pieces of fat and cut into bite sized pieces
  • vegetable oil
  • flour
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 12 oz carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup yogurt or sour cream
  • honey as needed
  • salt and pepper
  1. Dust beef with flour and cook in oil in a dutch oven until well browned on all sides. Do this in batches and remove beef from pan
  2. Add onion, celery and garlic to pan, scraping up the fond. Add thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and beef stock after vegetables are tender.
  3. Add beef. Cover and cook for 1 hour
  4. Add carrots and cook for 15 minutes. Then add diced apple and cook another 15 minutes
  5. Add dairy and stir in until well incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper
  6. Serve immediately over noodles, bread dumplings etc with fresh parsley and cabbage

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Stuffing Bread (Perfect for Sandwiches!)

These rolls were are from the always amazing Cheeseboard Bakery Recipe Book. This particular bread was something they only served in their bakery once a year.  They called it "Stuffing Bread" because it had all the flavors of Thanksgiving and could be dried and used to make stuffing, or be used to make turkey sandwiches with your delicious Thanksgiving leftovers.

I made it recently as a trial run before Thanksgiving. I made rolls as well as a loaf and decided that this was not what I wanted to serve with my meal this year. I did, however, have it with a roast chicken for dinner and it absolutely makes the best sandwich.


  • 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 1/2 - 5 cups bread flour
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced sage
  • 1/2 cup buttermik
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk of celery, minced
  1. Mix yeast and 1/4 cup of water to dissolve.
  2. Mix 4 1/2 cups flour, salt and sage in a large bowl. Add yeast mix, water, butter and buttermilk and mix in a stand mixer until everything is well combined, soft and only a little sticky (10 minutes or so)
  3. Add onion and celery and more flour as necessary, kneading until dough is soft and shiny.
  4. Form dough into a ball and let rise about an hour until doubled in size. Divide into two pieces, form into loaves and place in loaf pans. Let rise another hour until bread rises just above the loaf pan.
  5. Bake loaves for a total of 50 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool completely before slicing.
One year ago: Masala Chai Tea
Two years ago: Peach Sorbet
Five years ago: English Muffins

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Sous Vide Asparagus

Asparagus is one of my all time favorite vegetables. It goes with just about everything and is very easy to do, so long as you don't get distracted by other things. It is super easy to overcook normal steamed asparagus, but this sous vide asparagus recipe from Anova is foolproof. It takes a long time for the circulator to heat your water as high as it needs to go (185 degrees) so if you're pressed for time, I would still stick with steaming.

I made asparagus this way because I hadn't put away my anova yet after making my amazing sous vide maple rosemary pork loin for dinner with friends.They loved it and we had plenty of leftovers, so we got to love us some leftover pork with cornbread stuffing and asparagus (and really, waffled stuffing is he best way to reheat stuffing)

Give it a try sometime. It's not necessary, but fun, and the butter poached asparagus is really delicious.


  • 1 bunch of asparagus, woody stalks trimmed
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • large pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • fresh herbs (I used tarragon because that is what I had, but mint is what is called for, and would also be delicious)
  • touch of lemon zest
  1. Heat a water bath to 185 degrees with your Immersion Circulator. Meanwhile, trim asparagus bottoms.
  2. Place asparagus in a single row in a vacuum seal bag with butter, cut into small pieces, salt and pepper. Seal bag on dry setting and set aside
  3. When water is hot, place bag in the water. It may have a large air bubble due to the high heat, but try and find a way to weigh it down. Let cook for about 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness
  4. Remove asparagus from bag onto plates. Spoon a little of the butter from the bag over the asparagus and garnish with herbs and lemon.

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