Szeged goulash is a typical Czech meal, although its name is derived from the Hungarian town of Szeged where I suppose they make something similar 😀 Of course the original goulash recipe calls for meat, but here we use tempeh instead, which pairs so beautifully with sauerkraut!!
This is another recipe inspired by Dagmar Lužná and her macro cookbook, but I did make quite some adjustments.
First sautee a large onion cut into thin half moons in about two tablespoons of oil. Add a pinch of salt and a good amount of caraway seeds and sautee until onion is shiny. Then add about 200 g of sauerkraut and an equal amount of finely shredded white cabbage. Sprinkle with paprika powder to your liking, I like quite a lot of it so that the sauce gets slightly red/brown. Cook for about 20 minutes on a low flame under a lid, the cabbage has to get very soft. Add in cubed fried tempeh (I buy ready fried tempeh from the shop, made by our lovely Czech macro company). Season with 2 tbsp of shoyu soy sauce and 2 tbsp of rice vinegar. At the end mix in approximately 2 teaspoons of corn starch (or kuzu) diluted in a bit of cold water, and let boil for a few more minutes, so that the sauce thickens a bit.
I served the goulash with store-bought polenta dumplings brushed with oil and baked in the oven until crispy. But you can easily make your own “dumplings” by pouring hot cooked polenta into a shallow dish and letting it firm up in the fridge, just the shape will be different 😀
This recipe comes from one of my favourite Czech macro cookbooks from Dagmar Lužná (Makrobiotické nedělní vaření, for those who read Czech :-D). It´s superyummy!! Just make sure that your polenta is not too thin, otherwise it will be a mess (mine kinda was :-D).
First boil polenta (cornmeal) flour with water in a 1:2,5 ratio. When I make it, I pour the polenta flour into cold water with a pinch of salt and then bring it slowly to boil and cook for at least half an hour, on a very low flame and under a heavy lid, no stirring. When the polenta is cooked, pour it into a large shallow baking dish and let cool, preferably in the fridge, once it´s not too hot amymore. The polenta must be stiff.
In the cookbook the next step is cutting up the polenta into cubes and frying them in some oil until crispy. I didn´t want to use too much fat in the salad, so I just made the cubes, brushed them lightly with oil and baked them in the oven on a tray until they got a bit of a crust. Baking the polenta cubes might make them soft again though, so I think next time I will just omit this step altogether – this needs still some experimenting! :-p
I used a bit different veggies than in the original recipe: I had celery root, parsley root, carrot and broccoli stem, which I steamed whole, until half-soft (they must not get mushy!) and then cut them into smaller cubes. I also diced an onion and boiled it for a couple of minutes in a mixture of 1 1/2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, 1 1/2 tbsp of rice malt, a pinch of salt and enough water to cover the onion. Then I strained the liquid and added the onions into a big bowl where I placed the cut up polenta and vegetables. I mixed everything well with tofu mayo (add as much as you like, I like quite a good amount in “potato salad”!). The dish can be eaten chilled or room temperature depending on your liking and digestive system 😀
I served the salad with water-sauteed cabbage, broccoli and leek.
Polenta is a very light summer-style dish if you prepare it just by cooking cornmeal in water on the stove. But you can also make polenta more winter-style if you bake it in a casserole dish. You can really play around with this versatile grain dish.
I first prepared standard polenta by cooking 1 cup cornmeal (or special polenta flour, but don´t use the instant one) with 3 cups of water and a pinch of salt. There are different ways to cook polenta, but I personally soak the flour and water overnight and the next day I just bring it slowly to boil and simmer on a low flame under a lid for about half an hour to 45 minutes, without any stirring or other interfering. Then I let it rest with a flame off for 5-10 minutes, it also helps to unstick from the bottom of the pot.
While your polenta cooks, you can sautee veggies on some oil – I used sliced onion and leek, finely cut curly cabbage and finely diced carrot, with a pinch of salt of course to draw out the juices of the vegetables. I also added some arame seaweed which I soaked beforehand for about half an hour, discarding the soaking water. Season with more salt (the veggies will get mixed with polenta, so you need a stronger flavour), fresh or dried rosemary and some pressed garlic cloves.
When the polenta is cooked, stir in the vegetable/arame sautee and transfer content of the pot into a casserole dish and allow to cool.
Now – you can either pop the polenta into the oven to brown the surface a bit and make the polenta more warming (otherwise it has a more cooling overall effect) or you can just slice it up and eat as is (room temperature, might be nice on hot days), or you can even make slices and pan-fry them with some oil. That´s up to you! 😀
The crispy deliciousness of polenta fries will make you quickly forget about your potato French fries of the past, seriously!! And they´re so easy to make, no deep-frying necessary either!
Just cook up about one and a half cup of polenta flour in three times the amount of water (for 2-3 people), adding a generous pinch of salt or more. There are different ways to make polenta – you can first bring water to boil and then slowly add the cornmeal while constantly stirring OR – what I do – leave the cornmeal soaking overnight in the designated amount of water, next day add salt, cover and bring to boil on a medium flame, then cook for at least half an hour on the lowest flame and on a flame tamer. I don´t even stir my polenta and it comes out quite perfect (I think). Anyway…when your polenta is cooked and it has the right (quite thick yet still creamy!) consistency, stir in fresh or dried rosemary and fresh or dried sage, both finely chopped. Also stir in 2 or 3 tbsp of oil of your choice. Spread in an even layer about 1,5-2 cm thick onto a baking tray or similar pan. Allow to cool down and leave it for a few hours either in the fridge or in a cool spot so it can become more stiff. Then you can cut the mass into “fries”, using a sharp knife. Transfer the fries into a baking tray (I found it unnecessary to be oiling the tray, the polenta was oily enough) and bake them for 45 minutes on 220°C, flipping them halfway so they get crispy and golden brown on both sides. Enjoy with a fresh salad!