This week, I’m craving…

This week I’m craving hearty stodgy food to warm you up from the inside. Hotpots and stews to see you through the week, with some dainty truffles for afters.

My culinary inspiration for the week ahead:

Beef goulash soup (Gulyas leves)

Beef Goulash Soup
Image from BBC Food

What could be better than heaps of paprika and garlic with wholesome veg and slow cooked meat? This traditional and hearty Hungarian dish is one of my favourite meals ever. Sometimes you can find it served in a hollowed out crusty bread roll which makes it even better as the bread slowly soaks up the soupy juices – heaven. Try this Hairy Bikers’ recipe and make enough for leftovers that taste even better the next day or freeze… winter is coming.

Butternut squash and root veg hotpot

Butternut squash and root veg hotpot
Image from BBC Food

I love a good dumpling. Having been raised on them as a child (although my grandma always used a packet to make hers…), I feel it’s such a shame that you don’t often see this comfort food on the menu anymore. Dumplings come in so many shapes and sizes, and are really versatile. I’ve only tried my hand at making Polish kluski before (I don’t count pierogi as dumplings by the way, they’re ravioli!) but the dumplings that accompany this veggie hotpot sound like doddle to make and the stew itself doesn’t sound too bad either. A proper frugal clear-the-fridge meal.

Baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragù

Baked potatoes with wild mushroom ragù
Image from Smitten Kitchen

Recently, I’ve been obsessed with baked potatoes. I don’t know why, but I think it might be something to do with perfecting my technique. A microwaved potato just won’t cut it and the oven-baked ones take far too long for this impatient cook! I’ve taken to microwaving the potatoes for 10 minutes (stabbing them first of course) and then baking for 30 minutes at around 180 degrees or slightly higher. I don’t think 40 minutes is too long to wait for dinner and the skin comes out nicely crisp thanks to a blast in the oven. This mushroom ragu from Smitten Kitchen is a great earthy, fresh and seasonal alternative to the usual staples of tinned beans or tuna.

Vegan chocolate orange truffle bites

Vegan chocolate orange truffle bites
Image from BBC Food

After all those hearty, belly-lining meals this week you probably won’t be in the mood for an autumnal desert like a sticky toffee pudding or apple crumble. How about these melt-in-your-mouth chocolate orange truffle bites by Hemsley + Hemsley? They’re perfectly simple to make and prepare ahead for whenever you’re in the mood for a sweet treat. Healthier than the store bought option and even better when homemade. You could make some as Christmas gifts for friends if you don’t eat them all first.

What’s on your menu this week? Are any of these dishes making your mouth water?

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