Thursday, February 7, 2013

Potato Goulash with Hungarian Paprika

This dish, which is Hungarian in origin, came to my mind recently when, tired of preparing all kinds of noodles, I was thinking about some new dishes that would incorporate more vegetables to my kids' diet. This potato dish, a vegetarian variety of the traditional goulash, was often prepared in my home years ago when not many vegetables were available during long Polish winters. In better times some kind of sausage or even bacon was added to enhance the taste. But I always liked the most simple, vegetarian version of it, served with delicate green lettuce.

A Hungarian friend I met In Switzerland told me that in her house this goulash was served with sour cream. Ever since I tried it I also add a spoon of sour cream on top. It complements nicely the strong, almost smokey, as my son noticed, "barbecued" taste of the potatoes coming from the paprika and tomato paste. Also, simple Boston lettuce salad, served plain, without any dressing just with a drop of lemon, makes a nice finish to this easy and aromatic winter dish.

Potato Goulash
(Serves four)

2 lb of white potatoes (about 6-8 medium potatoes), peeled off and cut into small cubes,
1 large onion, chopped,
2 tbsp tomato paste,
2 cups vegetable broth (or water),
1-2 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika,
1 tsp caraway seeds,
1 tsp salt,
freshly ground pepper,
6 tbsp sour cream,
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley,
3-4 tbsp vegetable oil.

1. In a medium heavy-duty pot heat oil until hot. Add onion and fry on medium heat until transparent, about 3-5 minutes.
2. Add potato cubes to the onion, mix and cook, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes.
3. Fold in tomato paste, paprika, caraway seeds, salt, black pepper, and mix until potatoes are well coated.

4. Pour in the vegetable broth or water, enough to cover the dish. Let it simmer for about 30-40 minutes, depending on the type of potatoes. You may add extra liquid if potatoes are still hard. At the end. most of the liquid should evaporate and turn into a thick sauce. Potatoes should be soft but not mushy.
5. Divide the goulash between plates and serve with a tbsp of sour cream and chopped parsley on top.