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“Éliás, Tóbiás
Egy tál dödőlle
Ettél belőle
Kertbe mentek a tyúkok
Mind megették a maggot.”

Dödőlle is basically a potato dumpling. All you need for making dödőlle is potatoes, flour, and some sort of fat. The rest is just icing on the cake. Dödőlle is cheap peasant food that can be comforting and delicious. If you are careless in its making it can be a stick to your ribs kind of meal at best and bloating at its worst. But take a little care with the preparation and it becomes the comfort food of rural Hungary.

My acquaintance with dödőlle started and ended with the nursery rhyme. I learned it as a little kid and more than fifty years later I still remember it. But I have never given a thought to what dödölle is. After all, some nursery rhymes are nonsensical even if the song claims you ate from it. The truth is Dödőlle didn’t interest me. Not until now.

I was doing a bit of research on ancient Hungarian cuisine and that is where I found the dödőlle recipe. You have to understand that a typical Hungarian recipe is vague and brief; even complex meals are presented as a mere paragraphs. And this was one of those recipes. Then I checked several Hungarian cooking blogs and decided to try my hand at dödőlle making. I followed one of the recipes to the last detail, but it turned out pretty awful. My first reaction was I will never make this again. Then I thought about it and sort of reinvented the dödőlle. I am almost certain my version is the real thing.

First of all I cooked the potatoes on medium heat but without covering them. So by the time the potatoes were cooked, the water nicely reduced; locking in all the flavours. Then I added more flour than I thought I should have and this produced the perfect dödőlle dough; easy to handle, really, it was a snap to make. I didn’t make them large either; they were “nudli” sized. Finally, I did not cook the dödőlle with the paprika onions as many bloggers suggested. I found that frying them with the paprika onions, the dödőlle absorbed the paprika thus lost all of its dödőlle deliciousness. I believe that the charm of this dish is in the complexity of flavours and textures, and this can be best brought about by layering the components instead of fusing them together.

I made exactly one bowl of dödőlle, this was enough for the Jim and I, but you may want to double the recipe, because we are rather small eaters these days.

1 very large russet potato [it has to be the starchy type]
salt to taste
tiny slab of bacon or olive oil
1 onion, diced
1/4 tsp Hungarian paprika
sour cream

• Peel, rinse and chop a very large russet potato.
• Place in a small pot and just cover with water.
• Bring to boil.
• Reduce so it continues to simmer without having to cover the pot.
• Meanwhile chop the bacon.
• Add the bacon to a fry pan and fry it crisp.
• Remove from heat.
• With a slotted spoon separate the fat and the bacon and reserve them in two tiny bowls.
• Dice the onion.
• Add the diced onion to the same fry pan and sauté until soft.
• If needed spoon a bit from the reserved bacon fat back into the fry pan.
• Stir in 1/4 tsp Hungarian paprika and add the reserved bacon bits.
• Continue cooking until components are nicely combined.
• Remove the fry pan from heat and scoop out the onion mixture and set aside.
• At this point wipe the fry pan with a paper towel. You want a clean surface for frying them dödőlle.
• By now the potato should be soft with most of the water reduced.
• Remove the potato from the heat. But do not pour off the potato liquid.
• Immediately stir into the pot more flour than you would deem necessary.
• The dough should clump up and be ready to be handled without sticking. Look at photo.
• Press half the dough onto a plate.
• Spoon 1-2 tsp from the reserved bacon fat into the pan.
• Using a teaspoon, tear off nudli-sized pieces of dough and drop into the fry pan.
• Fill the pan with the dödőlle and keep turning them over so they are nicely browned on all sides.
• Add more bacon fat if needed. [If you need any, it will be very little]
• When the first batch of dödőlle is cooked, scoop them into a baking pan and put the pan in a warm oven.
• Cook the next batch.
• When all the dough has been used up, pile all the dödőlle into a bowl.
• Add dollops of sour cream and top with the parika-onion-bacon mixture and serve.

For a bit of variety serve dödőlle with sauerkraut or with clumps of goatcheese
For a meatless dish omit the bacon and use olive oil instead.




This is my salmon poaching recipe. You can use it to poach salmon or trout in whole or in fillets. Adjust the cooking time to the size and thickness of the fish you poach. The fish in these pictures comes from a package of frozen trout.

Poach your fillets at 350F for about 10-12 minutes or until just opaque throughout. Do not overcook fish. If it looks barely done, barely pink all the way through, it is ready. It will continue cooking even after the pan is out of the oven. The general rule is it takes 10 minutes per 1 inch of thickness to cook salmon through. To avoid overcooking, remain close to your oven. One more thing, cutting the fish before cooking gives it clean edges.

500 g trout fillets
2 bay leaves
2 celery stalks
2 onions
2 Tbsp peppercorns
1 carrot
1 tsp salt

• Preheat oven at 350F.
• Place the bay leaves, celery stalks, onions, peppercorns and the carrot in a deep fry pan.
• Cover with water and bring to boiling.
• Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
• Place the fillets in a baking dish and pour the vegetables with their broth over the fish.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Cover with equal parts of wine.
• Poach in the oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes or until fish is done.
• Drain and discard vegetables.
• Serve poached fillets with lemon wedges.

* Depending on preference you can use aromatic wines or dry white wine to poach fish.



The first thing is the fat. Authentic chicken paprika is cooked with lard. Yes it tastes better with lard, but not the kind you get in North America, so forget the lard. Besides at one point even my “Pesti” mother [we lived on the Pest side of Budapest] started to use oil instead of lard, she said it was better for you. These days I use olive oil in most of my cooking and a whole lot less of it than my mother used to. The other thing is how you cook the chicken. Authentic chicken paprika is cooked on the stove entirely, but you can’t make authentic chicken paprika without freshly slaughtered free range chickens. However baking the chicken in the oven part of the way brings great improvement to supermarket chicken. One thing you can’t get around is the paprika thing. You must have Hungarian paprika; you can’t make paprikás csirke without it.

breasts and legs of 1 chicken
1 onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3Tbsp olive oil
3Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp caraway seeds
1 cup of tomatoes, diced [fresh or canned]
2 cups yellow peppers, diced [if available Hungarian]
1 cup water
sour cream

• Wash and cut up the chicken.
• Cut the breasts in half.
• Cut the chicken legs in half.
• Chop off the bony end of the drumsticks and reserve for stock.
• Remove all the skin and fatty bits and discard.
• For lower the fat content remove the breast bones. Save the bones for stock.
• Peel and dice the onion.
• In a medium pot slowly sauté the onions in olive oil until translucent.
• Add the chicken pieces and slowly cook them for a couple minutes to seer in the juices.
• Stir in the paprika.
• Season the chicken with salt, pepper and caraway seeds. [No, you won’t even know they are in there]
• Add the tomatoes and stir in the peppers.
• Add the water and bring to boil.
• Reduce heat, cover with a lid and slowly simmer for a few minutes.
• Meanwhile turn the oven on at 350F.
• When oven is the right temperature remove the lid and place pot in the oven.
• Bake until meat is tender.
• Remove from the oven and serve with nokedli and sour cream.

Just before placing in the oven


The best part of this recipe is you cannot taste the Splenda in the cake or the Dreamwhip in the icing. The cake base is soft. It’s a calorie reduced version of my piskóta. It takes a bit longer to beat air into the egg yolks and the water then again its well worth the effort beating it thick. It doesn’t get as thick as the regular piskóta and you will get a sense when to stop beating it. It will have thickened considerably, but it doesn’t want to thicken anymore.

4 eggs
2 Tbsp water
3 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp Splenda
6 Tbsp cake flour
sheet pan with rim
parchment paper
cooking spray

• Set the oven to 350F.
• Line the bottom of a rectangular cake pan.
• Separate the yolks and the whites into two bowls.
• Set the whites aside.
• Add the water, sugar and Splenda to the yolks.
• Beat until mixture is very thick.
• Beat in the cake flour and set aside.
• Clean the beaters thoroughly.
• Beat the egg whites until very stiff.
• Gently fold some of the beaten whites into the flour mixture.
• Gradually fold in the rest of the whites.
• Pour batter into the prepared pan.
• Place in the oven and bake until the middle springs back.
• Remove from the oven and let cake rest for 10 minutes.
• Gently run a knife around the corners of the pan to loosen cake.
• Lift out by the parchment paper and place on a cookie rack to cool.
• Place a clean towel on the top and invert cake.
• Carefully remove the parchment paper.
• Place a cookie rack on the top and invert.
• Cake is now on the rack with the right side up.
• When the cake is cool gently slide onto a clean breadboard.
• Spread the cake with calorie reduced chocolate icing.
• With a very sharp knife cut the cake into 16 bars, wiping the blade after each cut.

Makes 16 cake bars, plain: less then 40 calories each, with icing 66.25 calories each.
Without icing the entire cake is only 635 calories.
With calorie reduced chocolate icing the entire cake is only 1062 calories.



Not stable enough for piping, but this is really nice. And it won’t taste like Dreamwhip. Recipe provides covering for one cake or 12 cupcakes. This entire recipe is only 427 calories.

3 Tbsp calorie reduced margarine
2 Tbsp cocoa
4 Tbsp icing sugar
1 Tbsp fat free yoghurt
1/2 cup skim milk
1 45 ml pouch of Kraft Dream Whip Mix

• In a medium bowl combine and beat smooth the margarine, cocoa, icing sugar and yoghurt.
• In a separate bowl and with clean beaters, beat the skim milk and dream whip until stiff.
• Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the dream whip.

Beating the Dream Whip

Adding the chocolate mixture


This is a nice side dish, but it can be eaten cold, which makes it a good accompaniment in the lunch bag or as a snack with a hint of Parmesan cheese sprinkled on the top.

1/2 head of medium sized cauliflower
2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp water
cooking spray

• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Wash and cut the cauliflower.
• Separate the florets into medium large pieces.
• Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl.
• Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
• Toss to coat evenly.
• Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
• Arrange the cauliflower florets in the tray.
• Add the water.
• Roast until florets begin to brown.



This is my pizza crust recipe. I also use it to make crazy bread or breadsticks. This is an instant yeast recipe. If you use traditional yeast remember to proof your yeast before adding it to the dough.

2-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2-1/4 tsp instant yeast [2-1/4 tsp = 1 package]
1/4 cup oil
1 cup lukewarm water
cooking spray

• Place 1/2 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and instant yeast in a large bowl.
• Add the oil and the lukewarm water.
• Mix until well combined.
• Stir in the remaining 2 cups of flour.
• Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
• Place dough on a floured board and kneed until elastic.
• Let dough rise for 1-1/2 hours.
• Punch down.
• Divide the dough into eight parts and start rolling the breadsticks.
• Each part will make 4 or more breadsticks.
• Spray 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.
• Lay the breadsticks on the sheets leaving room for the rising.
• Spray the tops with cooking spray.
• Yields 32 breadsticks



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