Donal Skehan

Hungarian Goulash

I’m not sure how authentically Hungarian this goulash is but it’s the recipe we always cooked from and it always goes down well in my house! It’s another great recipe to make ahead and pop in the freezer for a quick and easy dinner.

Serves 4
700g of steak pieces
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 generous tablespoon of flour
1 generous tablespoon of Hungarian paprika
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A good pinch of sea salt and black pepper
A little sour cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 140oC/Gas Mark 1.

Heat the oil in a large casserole pot and brown the beef on all sides.  Make sure not to put too much beef in all at once as it won’t brown. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic to the pot and fry until soft and golden. Return the beef to the pot and stir in the paprika and flour to coat. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a steady simmer. Place the lid on the casserole pot and transfer to the oven to cook for about 2 hours.

Just before serving stir through a little sour cream to create a wonderful marbled effect! Serve with some freshly cooked brown rice and some steamed veggies.

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Mom’s Coq Au Vin Blanc!

CoqAuVinBlanc

Coq au Vin Blanc was a regular winter dish in my house when we were growing up. I have distinct memories of it steaming up the kitchen windows while we did our homework on the kitchen table. It’s a wonderfully warming meal, perfect for cold evenings. Chicken joints such as thighs and legs are often far cheaper to buy than chicken breasts, and meat cooked on the bone always seems to have more flavour.

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken legs
15g (oz) butter
150g (5oz) bacon or pancetta pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
200g (7oz) mushrooms (about 10–15 mushrooms), sliced into quarters
2 fresh thyme sprigs
450ml (16fl oz) white wine (about 2 glasses)
250ml (9fl oz) single cream
Good handful of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Place a large cooking pot over a high heat and add the olive oil. Put the chicken legs in the pot and brown on all sides until they are a golden colour. Remove and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat slightly and add the butter. When it begins to foam, add the bacon and fry until just crisp. Add the garlic and onion and fry for 3–4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot along with the thyme and pour in the white wine. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 45–50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Turn the legs halfway through the cooking time and remove any fat or scum that rises to the top.
When the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and set aside. Stir the cream into the juices, add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the sauce is has become a little thicker.
Place the chicken back in the pot to allow it to warm through and stir through the chopped parsley. Make sure the food is hot when you serve it at the table.

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Visit To A Swedish Bakery!

swedishbakery11

During my visit to Sweden a few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to visit a Swedish bakery! As it so happened it turned out to be the same bakery which supplied the desserts for the restaurant I used to work at when I lived in Sweden.

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Chicken Thigh Supper

This is a super dish for a big group of people, served with a tasty salad; it’s perfect for weekday entertaining. If you can’t get a hold of chicken thighs, you can use any other cuts as long as they’re on the bone. This gives the meat a really great flavour.

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Crispy Hasselback Potatoes

I came across the recipe for Hasselback potatoes when I was younger and they are so visually appealing that I had to make them. The traditional recipe, originally from Stockholm, calls for breadcrumbs and cheese, but I have tried to make it as simple as possible for this recipe. The potatoes go nicely alongside most dishes. If your potato slices don’t separate while cooking, increase your heat and you should get better results.

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Chocolate, pumpkin and pecan brownies

These pumpkin brownies are so delicious, you just have to try them. I didn’t manage to get my hands on pumpkin puree so I made my own. I slowly roasted the pumpkin until it was soft, scraped out the flesh, then I puréed the mixture and passed it through a sieve.

Makes about 20 squares
For the pumpkin mixture:
25g butter
75g cream cheese
100g caster sugar
1 egg
100ml pumpkin purée
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2tsp ground ginger
75g plain flour

For the chocolate mixture:
200g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, chopped
3 large eggs
300g granulated sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
125g plain flour
Pinch of salt
100g pecans, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Grease and line a rectangular baking tin, approximately 20cm x 30cm (8-12in) and 3-4cm (1 1/4-1 1/2in) deep, with greaseproof or parchment paper.

To make the pumpkin mixture, beat all the ingredients together until smooth. Keep to one side. For the chocolate mixture, melt the butter and chocolate together, either in a bowl over a pan of simmering water or gently in the microwave.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract with an electric hand whisk until thick and creamy. Mix in the melted chocolate and butter. Finally, stir in the flour, salt and pecans. Pour the chocolate mixture into the lined baking tin and level off the surface. Using a tablespoon, drop dollops of the pumpkin mixture all over the top, and then, using the back of a table knife, loosely swirl it into the chocolate mixture. Place in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes, until the top is cracking and the centre is just set.

Leave to cool in the tin for 40-45 minutes before cutting into bite-sized squares.

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