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Happy New Year!!! Although the preparation is minimal, this is a very delicious dish. Serve it with rice or mashed potatoes. Veal is equally nice prepared this way, just use red wine and add a tablespoon of tomato puree to the sauce.

There is no lack of superstitions in Hungary when it comes to New Year’s observances. Eating lentils supposed to ensure money for the coming year. Considering how religiously my parents and grandparents observed this custom, I hate to think what would have happened if they didn’t. We made a lot of noise, but it wasn’t to scare away evil spirits. There were seven kids in my family; six of whom were boys. It was bad luck doing laundry on New Years Day, but that took no effort at all, because washday and air-drying the laundry was big operation so who in their right mind would do any of that on a holiday? Washing your face with cold water was supposed to bring you health. We had no boiler, so that was a daily thing; no difficulty there. Eating pork on New Year’s Day was supposed to bring you luck. I do not know how much luck this brought us, with Hungarians being pork eaters since the sixteenth century anyway. You see the Turks lead away all the meat but being Muslims, they could not touch the pigs. Hungarians have been on a steady pork diet ever since.

Let me see how many New Year's Day observances I broke so far. Husband does not like lentils period. We are quiet people; even the two dogs we are dog sitting were quiet last night. I also put yesterday’s towels and stuff through the wash this morning. Then I had a warm shower. So if I have an unhealthy, unlucky and penniless New Year we all will know why. Lizi néni must be rolling in her urn. At least I did not make us salmon on New Year’s Day. Ah but that story was more or less the same.

4 thick boneless pork chops
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt to taste
24 peppercorns, crushed
1 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp dry white wine

• Trim off all the fat and butterfly the pork chops. To butterfly a boneless pork chop, cut it almost in half through one side, stopping about 1/4 inch from the edge. Open the chop as you would a book.
• Sprinkle chops with salt to taste.
• Add the olive oil and the unsalted butter to a large non-stick fry pan.
• Melt the butter and add the pork chops.
• Sprinkle crushed peppercorns over the chops.
• Gently sauté the chops over medium heat, turning them over with a pair of cooking tongs.
• When chops are no longer pink, reduce heat to very slow simmer and place a lid over the fry pan.
• Gently cook the chops with the lid on for 15 minutes.
• Remove pan from heat and transfer chops to a warm platter.
• Add the whipping cream and the white wine and gently cook cream sauce for two minutes.
• Pour cream sauce over the chops and serve.



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