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Warm Stew for a Cold Night

TIMES TEST KITCHEN DIRECTOR

Everyone knows hearty stews and chilly nights are made for each other. This stew is especially rich, made with lots of mushrooms, along with sour cream and paprika. Lemon juice keeps the stew from being too heavy.

To accompany it, pick up some spaetzle at an ethnic market to serve--make it your own. Mix 1 egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/3 cup water. Slowly blend into 1 cup flour and beat until stiff. In three batches, press the dough through a colander into boiling water and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes per batch. Toss with melted butter.

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Stewed Beef Paprika with Spaetzle

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Mixed Garden Salad

Caramelized Apples with Vanilla Ice Cream

Staples

Garlic

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Onion

Butter

Oil

Red wine vinegar

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Salt

Black pepper

Flour

Paprika

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Oregano

Sugar

Vanilla extract

Shopping List

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1 1/2 to 2 pounds cubed stewing beef

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth

4 medium potatoes

1 (8-ounce) carton mushrooms

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1/2 pint sour cream

1 lemon

3 tomatoes

1 seedless cucumber

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1/4 pound feta cheese

1 bunch green onions

Kalamata olives

3 Fuji apples

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1 quart vanilla ice cream

1 (10-ounce) package spaetzle

GAME PLAN:

Day before or morning before: Prepare stewed beef paprika.

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One hour before: Arrange salad on serving platter; cover and chill.

30 minutes before: Prepare caramelized apples. Cook spaetzle in boiling water until tender.

STEWED BEEF PAPRIKA

2 cloves garlic, minced

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1 medium onion, minced

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons oil

1 1/2 to 2 pounds cubed stewing beef

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Salt, pepper

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chicken broth

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

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1 (8-ounce) carton mushrooms

1 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons paprika

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1 tablespoon lemon juice

Saute garlic and onion in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in 5-quart Dutch oven until tender. Remove from pan and set aside.

Season beef with salt and pepper to taste and dredge in 1/4 cup flour to coat, shaking off excess. Brown beef in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon oil. Return onion mixture to sauce pot. Stir in chicken broth. Cover and simmer 45 minutes.

Add potatoes and mushrooms and cook until meat is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Combine sour cream, paprika and remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Stir into boiling stew. Heat and stir until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice.

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Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

451 calories; 1,235 mg sodium; 85 mg cholesterol; 26 grams fat; 26 grams carbohydrates; 30 grams protein; 1.09 gram fiber.

MIXED GARDEN SALAD

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3 tomatoes, cut into wedges

1 seedless cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, sliced thin crosswise

Salt, pepper

Crushed oregano

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1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 green onions, sliced thin

12 kalamata olives

1 to 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

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1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

Arrange tomatoes in single layer on platter, then cucumbers. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with oregano to taste. Top with crumbled feta cheese, then green onions. Top with kalamata olives.

Combine vinegar, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl. Add olive oil in droplets, stirring constantly to incorporate oil.

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Lightly drizzle salad with vinaigrette. Cover and chill until serving time.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains about:

230 calories; 423 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 23 grams fat; 6 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.99 gram fiber.

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CARAMELIZED APPLES WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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3 Fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths

Vanilla ice cream

Pour sugar into large skillet. Heat over medium-low heat until sugar begins to melt. Continue to heat and simmer until syrup turns pale amber color. Swirl in butter and vanilla extract.

Add to caramel syrup, stirring to coat. Stir syrup to dissolve any clumps of sugar. Cover skillet and cook over low heat until apples exude juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until syrup is thick, basting apples occasionally.

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Let apples cool slightly. To serve, spoon caramel apples into dessert dish and top with scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving, without ice cream, contains about:

284 calories; 59 mg sodium; 16 mg cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 60 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams protein; 0.53 gram fiber.

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