MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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28.8.11

MUSHROOM STEW - GOMBAPÖRKÖLT


My dad had a second cousin from his father’s side somewhere near Ecser. [Ecser is just outside of Budapest.] “Ecseri Ernő”, as we called him, was the teacher of a tiny village near the village of Ecser. He was also a bachelor, but as it turned out Ecseri Ernő was also a resourceful cook. It was a Sunday and the little panzio where he ate during the week was closed. Then dad and I show up. [I may have been ten at the most, in those days few private people had a telephone. We had one, we lived in Pest, but I am sure Ecseri Ernő didn’t have a telephone.] Keep in mind that Hungarians don’t go visiting without sitting down to a meal together. So Ecseri Ernő grabbed a wicker basket and we sat out for the woods to pick mushrooms for ebéd. [the midday main meal] Only Ecseri Ernő picked, he new his mushrooms, because I am still here. Then we went back to his place with a huge basket of wildly colourful and differently shaped mushrooms. Ecseri Ernő proceeded to clean them and then made us the best gombapörkölt I ever tasted. I think the more types of mushrooms can go into the pot the better. That was the first time I had gombapörkölt and I thought it was phenomenal.

Some people call it gomba goulash, which is misleading because goulash is a soup and gombapörkölt is a stew. Gombapörkölt is also fast, low cal and delicious. The one thing to keep in mind is not to overcook the mushrooms and to add only little water to the dish, because the mushrooms will release a fair amount of liquid on their own. Basically you cook a small lecsó [tomato-pepper ragout] before adding the mushrooms. Cook them for a short time only and the dish is ready. I don’t add garlic to this dish, garlic would overpower the mushrooms. Serve gombapörkölt with rice or nokedli and with a nice dollop of sour cream.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 lb large mushrooms,
1/4 cup water or stock
salt and pepper to taste

• Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
• Add the onions and slowly cook until soft.
• Add the tomatoes and the bell pepper.
• Stir in the Hungarian paprika.
• Slowly cook until peppers are soft and the tomatoes have nicely reduced.
• Meanwhile clean the mushrooms and chop them into 6 or 9 pieces depending on their size.
• Add the mushrooms and about a 1/4 cup of water or stock.
• Cover the pot and slowly cook for 5 minutes.
• If you end up with too much liquid, remove the mushrooms and set them aside.
• Bring the remaining ragout to the boil and continue cooking until ragout reduces sufficiently.
• Return the mushrooms and heat through.
• Adjust seasoning and serve with sour cream.



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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. This is to my old on-line friends and visitors: policing the comment section for spam and answering questions has become a chore. Good wishes to you all, happy cooking and keep on feeding your people with good food.

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