Thursday, March 14, 2013

Goulash & Gloom!

Welcome back, Apprentices! Today, we're starting a new regular feature on the blog inspired by the wonderful Felicia Day and her YouTube network, Geek & Sundry please subscribe and support their amazing free content! Felicia Day has proclaimed March 30th International Tabletop Day! Check out what events will be happening near you and set aside that XBOX and headset for a day to play games with your friends in person, practice those social skills and have a blast!

So, every other week, my friends will gather at my house where we'll play a new tabletop game and I will prepare a meal themed with that game. This week, the game was Gloom.

"The world of Gloom is a sad and benighted place. The sky is gray, the tea is cold, and a new tragedy lies around every corner." If you have a slightly morbid sense of humor and a great imagination, Gloom is the game for you! Each player is in charge of an eccentric family and your goal is to make them as miserable as possible before finally killing them off. Simultaneously, you are doing your best to make your opponent's family as happy as possible. The game ends when every member of one family is dead and the player whose family has the lowest self-worth, as tallied on the cards, is the victor! If you want to learn a little more about how to play Gloom, check out the show Tabletop hosted by Wil Wheaton as he and his guests play a delightfully dark round of misery and misadventure.

The cards are beautifully designed on transparent plastic allowing you to layer each action card on top of the character cards. The artwork is unique and funny and helps you to easily slip inside the world of Gloom and weave the most fantastically dark and twisted tales. Visit the Atlas Games website for ideas on how to throw your own Gloomy Gala. They offer free downloads for party invitations and guides for decorations, snacks and party favors!

On to the food!

American Gothic Goulash

1 1/2 Pounds Ground Beef or Turkey
1/2 Pound Large Elbow Macaroni
1 Medium Onion Diced
1/2 Green Bell Pepper Diced
1 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1/2 Cup Chopped Baby Portobello Mushrooms (optional)
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 Jar of Your Favorite Spaghetti Sauce (I like Classico's Tomato Basil)
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

First, prep your veggies! This is a very simple recipe. The most time consuming part will be all the chopping you need to do. Remember, Apprentices: use a clean, sharp knife and a clean cutting board! As gloomy as this game can be, you want to feed your friends goulash, not little bits of your own fingers. And be sure to WASH your veggies thoroughly before chopping them. Safety first!

In a large skillet, preheat 1 Tbs of vegetable oil.  When the oil is hot, sauté your chopped onion and green pepper until the onion is shiny and nearly transparent and the green pepper is tender.  Keep your burner at a medium high heat to nicely sauté without burning. Sautéing the onion brings out a little of the natural sweetness and adds some extra dimension to the flavor of the finished product.

Cook your macaroni! Time to start your macaroni. I find the best time to start the water boiling is when the onion and peppers are cooking. The timing usually works out pretty well with your macaroni finishing up around the time your meat has browned (which is the next step). Anywho, remember that quest a couple of months ago all about how to cook pasta without turning it into a gooey, gummy mess? Well, put those skills into action cook that macaroni! Remember, once the water is boiling and you add the pasta, 9 minutes is your magic number. The kitchen timer is your friend so USE IT! Drain the macaroni when it's finished, set it aside and cover it.

Add your ground beef (or turkey) & chopped mushrooms to the skillet with the onion and peppers. Break the meat into small pieces and mix together well with the onion, peppers and mushrooms. Add salt, pepper, paprika and garlic. Cook until the meat is brown. Drain off any excess grease.

Now add spaghetti sauce and macaroni to the skillet and cover.     If you want a more loose, soupy consistency, add about 1/2 a cup of water to the mixture. Reduce heat and let simmer 5-7 minutes or until hot.

Sprinkle with cheese and cover. Cook for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese has melted.

Serve your goulash with a nice, crusty bread and a salad...but only if you're feeling obligated to see something green on your plate that isn't covered with cheese. I don't usually feel that obligation.

Join me for the next Tabletop installment in two weeks: Apples to Apples-tuffed Pork Chops! 

I'll also be getting ready for the season premiere of Game of Thrones! We'll be cooking up a meal fit for Kings and making mead! That's right, guys...MEAD! Don't forget to follow me on twitter and join the community on Facebook for all the latest 8-Bit Cook news!

And be sure to pop in tomorrow for a lesson in homemade Italian bread! YUM!


+10 Sautéing
+5 Chopping
+10 Dicing
+5 Boiling

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