week Ron comes home and Christmas Eve is upon us. In our home, Christmas Eve is just as important as the Christmas Day celebrations. I usually host the dinner and we will be 10 at the dinner table this year. My menu is already planned, Lobster Bisque,Shrimp and Pea Risotto, Herb Crusted Salmon,Tarragon Yellow and Green beans, Salad with Mache and for dessert, Chocolate Pots de Creme. After dinner, our custom has been to play a game,in the past we've played Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit, Charades, Uno, Brainiac, etc. etc. Someone always comes with the latest game that is out there ,we enjoy them all. Eventually we find ourselves in the family room catching a nostalgic favorite Christmas movie, and on many an occasion weather permitting we go to Christmas midnight mass. We also always open our gifts afterwards,and when all the OOHS and AHHS are done and the last goodnight has been said we fall into bed blissfully happy and tired. Funny, at this stage of our life we have toyed with the idea of going away for Christmas, but once again we opt for tho comfort of our home and the time spent with family and friends. Maybe next year, we'll go away. Talking about comfort food "GOULASH"' has been served in my family for as long as I can remember. I think every household makes some version of this Hungarian Goulash, but this is my version, and believe me I also never make it the same way. Goulash is traditionally made with beef, but the one that I made was with pork stewing meat. The Spatzles, which I have made on many an occasion from scratch, were , this time made from a package and simply boiled. I will provide the recipe for these lovely egg dumpling or noodle, but you will need a spatzle machine to prepare them. You can also just drop the dough into boiling water, but you would definitely want to see how to do it this way. Anyways, Goulash is just as good served with potatoes, or any other type of pasta.
2 lbs. stewing beef
2 cooking onions
salt/pepper/sweet Hungarian paprika
flour for dredging
oil for frying
2 bay leaves
Dredge meat in flour, and in small batches brown your meat. When all the meat has been browned saute your onions and return the meat to your casserole dish. Season with the salt, pepper, paprika, bay leaves. ( some people add tomatoes or tomato paste at this stage, but I usually do not. Reduce heat , cover and simmer the meat. The meat will produce it's own juices but I also like to add some beef broth just enough to cover the meat, and at this stage put the pot in the oven and slowly let it all simmer and get tender. ( about 11/2 hr). We like a lot of gravy so I always check the dish and add a little more beef broth. At the very end I like to include a good splash of wine when I thicken the sauce to make a gravy. But the wine is optional.
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
about 2 quarts of water for boiling the dough.
Combine the flour, egg, salt and 3/4 cup of water. Working in small batches using a Spatzle machine, fill the cavity and drop dough into salted boiling water. When the Spatzles float to the top remove and continue with process.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah. Take the time to be good to yourself and to others. May you find peace and joy in all things.
I hope to take pictures of the Christmas menu, but I can't promise that I'll get a chance to do it. Sometimes it's just about the food and the company and NOT about the picture and the blog. As this is my first Christmas blogging I don't know how I will juggle it all or even if I want to. So... Merry Christmas To All and To All a Good-night.