Cauldron Cooking - Transylvanian Ghoul-ash

From the Kitchens of Cheesecake Farms

Garlic is an important part of Halloween cooking.

It keeps the vampires away. 

They just can't stand the taste or smell.

Which makes me wonder if Italy was once over run by vampires. 

Italians certainly use a lot of garlic in cooking and, as far as I know, do not have a vampire problem - which they could have had in the past and, by adding lots of garlic to their cooking, drove them away to, oh - say, Transylvania which is known for the lack of garlic in its cooking and the preponderance of vampires..... Just a thought.

Transylvanian Ghoul-ash 

(with meat or vegetarian)

A tummy warming dinner for all your little goblins and ghoul-friends. Guaranteed to keep away the vampires.

To make this a vegetartian ghoul-ash, substitute 4 (12-16 oz.) packages portabello mushrooms sliced 1/4 inch thick for the meat.

Serves 6-8

1/4 cup vegetable oil or 1/2 stick butter
2 medium onions (chopped - about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic (smashed - or more to taste - see Karla's Tip #1 below)
2 pounds very lean ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes in juice (undrained)
2 teaspoons Hungarian paprika (or Old Bay Seasoning)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (14-16 oz.) package wide egg noodles
1 cup regular sour cream (low fat or fat free not recommended - see Karla's Tip #2 below)
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped - leaves only, no stems)

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook over low heat until transparent - about 10 minutes. Do not brown. 

Add beef. Cook, stirring occassionally, until meat is no longer pink. 
(For vegetarian, add mushrooms and cook until they're are soft - about 5 minutes.) 

Add tomatoes and paprika (or Old Bay).  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Simmer on low, uncovered, until liquid is almost evaporated - about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain. 

When ready to serve, stir sour cream into meat mixture and heat briefly to warm through. Do not boil or mixture may separate.

Serve over cooked noodles and garnish with parsley.

Karla's Tip #1 - Garlic

Two cloves of garlic is pretty mild but just enough to keep vampires away.  

Add more garlic if you like it (you can never have too much) or if vampires routinely visit your area.

Karla's Tip #2 - Sour Cream

Sour cream is sour cream.  Use the real stuff.  It's rich, creamy, yummy and melts into a gossamer sauce- all the reasons why it's used.  
Check the ingredient label when buying sour cream.  Good sour cream has nothing in it except cream and enzymes or cultures (to make it thick) and maybe a little salt.

If it has gums, fillers, stabilizers or a list of other ingredients, it's not good sour cream - regardless of the price. Put it back.

There are dozens of companies that make WONDERFUL sour cream.  Good sour cream is not hard to find.  It's available every where - just read the labels.

Yogurt is NOT sour cream.  Yogurt is yogurt.

Low fat and fat free sour creams are NOT sour cream - just read their labels. Sour cream substitutes are poor stand - ins for the real thing and they usually cost more.

Your cooking will improve 100% simply by using real ingredients.


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