Goulash per­fect hot stew for a cold win­ter day

Ottawa Citizen - - Life -

Goulash is a great win­ter stew, a meal of­ten made in one pot with veg­eta­bles and al­ways flavoured with unique Hun­gar­ian pa­prika. It’s the pop­u­lar choice at the Lin­den­hof Restau­rant, 365 For­est St. near Lin­coln Fields Mall.

Served along side the stew are braised red cab­bage and spat­zle, a small boiled dumpling sautéed briefly in but­ter (for recipes see page

F3). “Goulash and red cab­bage are a com­fort food at this time of year be­cause it warms you up, al­though I also have cus­tomers who or­der this year round be­cause it’s their favourite,” says Lin­den­hof owner Ali­son Gee­han.

The stew has a long, slow sim­mer­ing — the se­cret to its full flavour. The deep red colour of Hun­gar­ian pa­prika is stronger and richer than Span­ish pa­prika and has a stronger flavour. It’s made from a red elon­gated chili pep­per.

Goulash re­quires lit­tle at­ten­tion once ev­ery­thing is in the pot. To cook it most ef­fec­tively, use a heavy stew pot, casse­role or Dutch oven with a low, tight- fit­ting lid. Many peo­ple pre­fer to cook stews in the oven, where the pot is sur­rounded by even heat at all times, as top-ofthe-stove cook­ing tends to make for a wa­tery gravy.

Stews can be pre­pared sev­eral days in ad­vance and frozen for fu­ture use. If you do freeze a one-pot meal, elim­i­nate pota­toes and rice and cook them when you are re­heat­ing the stew. Starchy in­gre­di­ents tend to de­com­pose when frozen and then re­heated, and will make the gravy thick and pasty.

Spat­zles are small dumplings made with flour, wa­ter and egg and dropped into boil­ing wa­ter to cook, then drained and briefly sautéed in but­ter. The braised red cab­bage brings colour to the meal.

To con­tact Lin­den­hof, phone 613-725-3481. The web­site is www.the­lin­den­hof.com.

IN THE RESTAU­RANTS

• Co­conut La­goon,

835 St. Lau­rent Blvd.: Join mem­bers of Slow Food for a South In­dian brunch, Satur­day, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Brunch in­cludes dosas, vadas, gin­ger soup, pap­pad­ums, sal­mon and/or king­fish, chicken, lamb, veg­eta­bles, eggs with bas­mati rice, sal­ads, sauces and chut­neys, parathas bread and two dessert choices. Chef/owner Joe Thottungal will ex­plain the cui­sine dur­ing the meal. $20 for Slow Food mem­bers, $25 for oth­ers. Re­serve at 613-821-4426.

A reader asked how to set gelatin. To speed up the process, place the dry gelatin in the right amount of wa­ter in a small metal bowl. Set the bowl in an­other bowl on top of ice cubes and cold wa­ter. Stir of­ten, as the gelatin will set quickly. Don’t use the re­frig­er­a­tor; the con­stant open­ing of the door to stir the bowl wastes elec­tric­ity.

Learn more at www.co­conut­la­goon.ca.

• Mambo Restau­rant, 77 Clarence St.: Take a wine­and food-tast­ing tour of Old Ar­gentina hosted by Savvy Com­pany (for­merly The Savvy Grapes), Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. Mambo chef Pablo Robaina will serve hors d’oeu­vres, in­clud­ing crab and shrimp cake tem­pura with corn­meal, jalepeño, roasted red pep­per, and green onion served with chipo­tle aioli. A rep from the Ar­gen­tine em­bassy will be on hand. $75 (in­cludes wine, gra­tu­ity and taxes). Ad­vance tick­ets only; call 613-278-8926 or on­line at www.savvy­company.ca. • Thyme to be Savvy:

The first in a se­ries of three som­me­lier-and chef-led din­ners with a twist will be held Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. in Thyme & Again’s Lo­cal Bar & Café in the Irv­ing Green­berg The­atre Cen­tre (GCTC), 1233 Welling­ton St. W. Guests will sam­ple a tast­ing menu and red and white wines from around the world, then judge the best wine for each dish. $80 (in­cludes gra­tu­ity and taxes) for the first event, or $230 for all three. To pur­chase, go on­line at www.savvy­company.ca or call 613-7288926.

HOW TO SET GELATIN

BRUNO SCH­LUM­BERGER, THE OTTAWA CI­TI­ZEN

Ali­son Gee­han, owner of Lin­den­hof Restau­rant, says goulash and red cab­bage served with spat­zle are great com­fort foods.

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