Pasta Fridays: Mushroom Cream Sauce

This works with any mushroom type, and the texture is wonderfully smooth and creamy and coats the bigger pasta types beautifully. I had on hand frozen dumplings, portobello caps, and shallots. I boiled the dumplings in chicken stock to plump them up to double their size and thick sliced halved mushrooms. After cooking down the…

Pasta Fridays: Green Pea Sauce with Ricotta and Ham

A new tradition in the making that I’m hoping will prevail. I want to explore the Pasta World! Recipe Marcella Hazan:I substituted a small frozen bag of green peas. Having Italian Food may often amount to no more than that, or to a pizza, or a platter of cold cuts, or a rice and chicken salad….

Finding Recipes

I didn’t have Grandmothers baking and handing down recipes. I didn’t grow up with baking and desserts. I didn’t even taste banana bread until I was married, had a couple kids and made one myself. I didn’t know how to cook when I got married. Luckily, a simple wedding gift of a cookbook, “The American home cookbook” to be exact, helped me to make edible food for my family.

scrambled eggs in zsir

Kereszt Anyu is standing at the stove in her flowered apron, stirring an old ceramic bowl full of eggs with a fork. She picks up the old worn, wooden spoon, sticks it into a can, and with a quick twist, it’s heaping with pale tan, rendered pork lard. The lard is soft and beginning to…

Simple Vegetable Soup “egyszerű zöldségleves”

This is a basic soup my family has made for decades. It’s very paprika forward. Very Hungarian.
It’s simple, nutritious and deceptively full of flavor, in spite of the few humble ingredients.
The key is to add each element at the right time and in the right way. If not, you’ll have a very insipid or bitter soup.
This base vegetable soup lends itself to many variations, all completely delicious.

LECSÓ

First I smell the bacon slowly frying with half rounds of sliced onion, pale yellow, almost white Hungarian peppers, and rich red tomato from the garden. When the meat was just cooked, the onions and peppers just wilted, he slipped the half rounds of tomato and cracked a few fresh eggs on top, making little spaces where the egg whites would run and cook evenly. When it was cooked, he served it with a thick slice of toast and warm tea with lemon in it.

“Nokedli”

Hungarian egg pasta dumplings. Handmade, cut from loose batter into boiling water. Simple ingredients: Flour, eggs, salt. That’s it. But like any pasta, it takes elbow grease, time and a desire to make and clean up a huge mess.

Marmalade

I began exploring and uncovered these beautiful posts on marmalade.

Stuffed Kohlrabi Töltött Karalábé

Hungarians love stuffing vegetables. It’s such a flavorful way to use vegetables and elevate the plating from a boring bowl of stew to an  artfully stuffed and carved vegetable, placed majestically in a beautifully contrasting sauce, of which you can eat  as little or as much as you like.  Many of my favorite childhood foods were stuffed vegetables. Stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage and the sublime and rare stuffed kohlrabi. 

Pepper Jelly

I finally got the time to try a new Jam.  I was making salsa anyway, so I picked a small bag full of sweet Hungarian peppers. They’re a rich deep dark green with pronounced pepper flavor, not as sweet as bell pepper. I didn’t have pectin so I used unflavored gelatin and it firmed up…

Dumplings in Paprika sauce with frankfurters.

Want to whip up something super easy and delicious? This is it! Its a take on Hungarian “paprikas nokedli” One tub precooked rich egg dumplings One large onion coarsely chopped Oil, I used avocado oil 5 frankfurters or hot dogs cut on the bias into small pieces. I tablespoon good quality paprika Sweat down the…

“Csirke Paprikas” Chicken Paprikash

Everyone and their brother has a recipe for the Paprikash.  However, this is the one I’ve evolved and tweaked, the richness of the sauce, the fat dumplings, tender chicken and just the right sweet, tart, crunchy accompaniment: Cucumber salad. recipe here This is not just a recipe, it’s a walk through all the steps to…

“Uborkasalata” Cucumber Salad

This cucumber salad version is different than I find in any of my cookbooks, but it’s the one I grew up with and simply love the most. Many recipes add sour cream or onions which is fine, but when you have this simply incredibly crispy, fresh, sweet, sour side next to the rich egg dumplings…