MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
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31.1.12

MEAT DUMPLINGS – HÚSGOMBÓC


When you make a large pot of soup, oftentimes not every part goes, thus leaving you with the responsibility of reassigning such parts as something else. By far the most popular solution is to make bite size meat dumplings from the meat and vegetables and serve them in the soup. If there is no more soup left, the leftover meat and vegetables can still be made into larger dumplings and then served with a nice paprika sauce.

I made a rather large pot of beef soup on Sunday. We had soup and noodles for our lunches every day. On Monday, I made a vadas [hunter style dish] from the leftover meat and vegetables with fresh bread dumplings. Today I made meat dumplings and served it with some leftover tomato sauce. Nothing was wasted but we are dumpling-ed out. Keep in mind never to use leftovers beyond the third day.

1 cup of soup meat and vegetable mixture
1 eggs
1 heaping Tbsp dry parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• Put some water in a medium pot and place it on high heat.
• Put the meat and vegetables through the food processor.
• Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.
• Add the parsley and the seasonings.
• Add the fine breadcrumbs. Depending on the mixture, you may need a bit less or more.
• Add a couple of drops of oil to the water and bring to the boil.
• Wet your hands, shape a piece of dough into a ball and drop it into the boiling water.
• After all the dumplings rise to the top cook for 4-5 more minutes longer.
• Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and let dumplings drain.
• Place 2 Tbsp olive oil in the fry pan and place it on medium heat.
• Add the dumplings and heat through, shaking the pan occasionally and letting them slightly brown, but do not burn.
Makes 8 large dumplings


HUNGARIAN BREAD DUMPLINGS - ZSEMLEGOMBÓC


This is one of those delicious recipes that can be ruined so easily. As I made it, I measured out the ingredients – this recipe is a very good one. I did an image search and honestly, I didn’t find one appetizing looking zsemlegombóc anywhere. Yet this is a simple side dish and not at all complicated to make. The first mistake people make is not preparing the bun-cubes. The other is adding too much liquid or an excessive amount of flour to the batter. Like everything else, zsemlegombóc has to have a certain texture; lightness with a little resistance when you bite into a tender dumpling. I also found that adding water to the batter instead of milk make for more attractive looking and better tasting dumplings. Hungarians use crusty buns for this recipe, not at all like the crusty buns we can get in Canada. The best substitution is a foot long piece of French bread, those skinny long Parisian style French breads. Today my friend from With a Glass pointed out that this was a good way to use up leftover French bread.

1 foot section of skinny French bread
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 heaping Tbsp dry parsley
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup bread flour

• Cut the French bread into 1/2 inch cubes with a sharp knife. This makes about 3 cups of bread cubes.
Heat a non-stick fry pan on medium heat.
• Add 2 Tbsp olive oil.
• Add the bread cubes and slowly dry them in the fry pan for about 6-8 minutes, turning often. The bread cubes will get a nice golden color, but none of it should be overdone. If you have a few burned pieces, discard the batch and start over. Don’t try to save some, because the burned flavour permeates the entire batch.
• Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
• Add the eggs, dry parsley, salt and the pepper.
• Add the water and crunch up the bread cubes. Let it rest for 4 minutes.
• Meanwhile put some water in a medium pot and place it on high heat.
• Add a couple of drops of oil to the water and bring to the boil.
• Finally add the bread flour to the bread mixture and kneed to combine.
• Divide dough into 8 parts.
• Wet your hands, shape a piece of dough into a ball and drop it into the boiling water.
• After all the dumplings rise to the top cook for 4-5 more minutes longer.
• Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and let dumplings drain.
• Place 2 Tbsp olive oil in the fry pan and place it on medium heat.
• Add the dumplings and heat through, shaking the pan occasionally and letting them slightly brown, but do not burn.
Serves 3-4












29.1.12

HUNGARIAN BEEF SOUP - MARHAHÚSLEVES


Hungarian beef soup is a delicious three-course dinner but it takes a little skill to make. The first course is a clear broth with homemade soup noodles. The second course is cooked meat and vegetables with either one of the following warm sauces: horseradish, apple, tomato, or dill. Then small pieces of toasts follow with the salted marrow. With the exception of a few ingredients, nearly everything comes from the soup.

Strong beef soup requires meat and marrowbones. The meat does not have to be a good cut, by the time the soup is done; even the toughest cuts should be falling off the bones. Cooking begins in the oven at high temperatures; this sears the meat and gives the soup a wonderful flavour. What I like best about pre roasting the meat and bones is you don’t have to skim scum from the top as the soup begins to cook. The soup cooks ever so slowly, if you see actual simmering it is cooking too fast. The cooking style is very much like the Újházi.



2 lbs. beef chuck, in one piece
1 lb marrowbones
3 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper corns
6 whole carrots, cleaned
3 parsnips, peeled
1/2 celery root, peeled
1 kohlrabi, peeled
parsley greens
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 bay leaves
4 cloves
1 tsp peppercorns
2 tsp salt
cold water to fill up stockpot 3/4 way

• Preheat the oven to 450F.
• Place the beef and the marrowbones in a roasting pan.
• Roast the meat and marrowbones in the preheated oven for 1 hour.
• Meanwhile peel the vegetables and set them aside.
• Transfer the meat and the bones to a large stockpot.
• Add some water to the roasting pan to deglaze.
• Pour the contents of the roasting pan into the stockpot.
• Add the vegetables to the stockpot and then fill with water 3/4 of the way.
• Bring to a boil very slowly, reduce heat to barely a simmer and cover.
• Cook it in such fashion for 4 to 5 hours.
• Meanwhile make the noodles and the sauce.
• When the meat is very tender, remove soup from heat.
• With a large ladle scoop the fat from the top and discard.
• Place a fine sieve over a clean Dutch pot and ladle the stock into the pot.
• Place the cooked egg noodles in the soup bowls and ladle some clear broth over it.
• Arrange the vegetables and the meat on a serving platter and place the sauce alongside.
• Make a couple of toasts and spread the hot marrow [from the marrowbones] on the top. Sprinkle with salt.
• Serve the soup first and next serve the meat and vegetables with the sauce and the marrow toasts.


HUNGARIAN TOMATO SAUCE – PARADICSOM MÁRTÁS


Made mainly to accompany soup meat, either beef or pork, Hungarian tomato sauce is unlike Italian style tomato sauces. The liquid for it comes from the soup stock the meat was cooked in. The consistency should be smooth, some people add heavy cream at the end, but always this is a mild tomato sauce and only slightly tang. Mostly made from tomato paste, sometimes from fresh tomatoes, in which case it is pureed.

1 1/2 Tbsp soft butter
1 Tbsp flour
1-1/2 to 2 cups of water or stock
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

• Melt the butter in a saucepan.
• Sprinkle the flour over the butter, stir and cook until the mixture foams up. Do not let it brown.
• Stir in the tomato paste, water or stock and cook stirring so no lumps form.
• When thickened, stir in the sugar, salt and the red wine vinegar.
• Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Add more sugar or vinegar to suit taste.
This makes over 1 cup of sauce.



28.1.12

GREEK RICE AND FETA SALAD


Use leftover rice or cook the rice in salted water and let it cool down to room temperature before assembly. Do not use overcooked, sticky rice for this dish. Excluding the roasted red pepper, chop all the vegetables into uniform sizes.

1 cup raw Basmati rice or 3 cups cooked
1 tomato
1/2 English cucumber
1/8 cup red onions
4 green onions
1/2 roasted red pepper
1/3 cup black olives, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tsp dry oregano or a handful of fresh, chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tsp plain yogurt
handful of baby spinach

• Place the cooked cold rice in a large salad bowl.
• To separate the rice kernels, lightly toss with hands.
• Scoop out the tomato seeds and discard seeds or set them aside for another use.
• Dice the tomato, cucumber, red and green onion.
• Chop the roasted red pepper into larger chunks.
• Add the oregano and the black olives
• Crumble half of the feta and add to the rice.
• Gently toss.
• Adjust the salt and sprinkle with ground pepper.
• In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise and the yogurt.
• Add to the salad and gently toss.
• Cover and chill for 2 hours.
• Toss in the baby spinach.
• Sprinkle the top with the remaining feta and serve.
  Serves 6 -8

26.1.12

CINNAMON ROLLS


Fluffy, light cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Proofing is unnecessary if you use instant yeast. With everything at room temperature, the dough rises quickly. These cinnamon buns are so light and fluffy; they will be flopping all over the place when you put them in the pan. Lacking uniform spirals is a small trade off for these fluffy wonders! The cream cheese topping makes a generous amount. I tend to cut it in half and extend it with a little milk or light cream. Then instead of spreading it, I drizzle some on the rolls before serving. Today I only made a simple sugar glaze from icing sugar and whipping cream for a very discerning eight year old. Plus I had to loose the raisins.

It is now day two. The cinnamon rolls that are left are still soft and lovely.

4 cups white bread flour
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp instant dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk, lightly warmed
3 eggs, whisked with a fork
2 Tbsp vinegar

Cinnamon Filling
1/3 cup butter, soft
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

Cream Cheese Topping
125 g cream cheese
1/2 cup butter, soft
2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla

• Measure out your ingredients first with the half cup sweep method..
• In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup wheat gluten, 2 Tbsp instant dry yeast and 1/2 tsp of the salt
• In small bowls melt the butter and lightly heat the milk.
• In a medium sized bowl, whisk 3 eggs to combine the yolks with the whites.
• Add the lukewarm milk and then the melted butter and whisk to combine.
• Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients.
• Add the vinegar and beat dough for three minutes on high speed.
• Start adding the remaining flour, half a cup at the time.
• Fully incorporate flour into the dough.
• Keep adding half a cup of flour to the dough until the last half a cup.
• Add only as much flour as needed to make light almost sticky dough.
• Pour the remaining flour on the board.
• Start kneading incorporating only as much flour into the dough only as necessary.
• Shape into a ball.
• Place in a greased bowl, turning once.
• Meanwhile prepare the cinnamon filling.
• Combine filling ingredients.
• Pat and roll into a rectangle and spread it end to end evenly with the cinnamon filling.
• Beginning at the edge furthest from you, begin to roll up the square.
• Cut into twelve pieces.
• Place on a parchment lined and buttered pan, cut side up.
• Brush the surface with melted butter.
• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• After they doubled, bake them until light golden brown.




24.1.12

MARYBELLES FLAMING PUDDING


It’s not flaming yet, but Marybelle “Carrot Pudding” will be flaming good! This has been part of our lives for the past forty years. After Ann’s huge Christmas dinner, I always ask for a sliver of Marybelle’s pudding, with a spoonful of whipped cream, which my friend then steals for me from the top of the trifle. Ann makes her mom’s pudding every year for Christmas and serves it with hard sauce. Instead of hard sauce, I made a batch of hot rum sauce for it, and naturally, it will be served  with whipped cream. Marybelle used to make her pudding with suet, but since suet is not readily available anymore, Ann replaced it with butter. That is how I made it too. I was going to take a picture in the dark igniting the hot brandy, but we dug into the pudding in the afternoon, so there is no photo of it at this time. The required ingredients are basic, and you probably have all the fixings in your pantry and fridge. Serve it on a platter, pour some HOT brandy on the top, ignite and cheer!

1 generous cup grated carrots
1 generous cup grated potatoes
1/2 - 2/3 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 scant cup brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp molasses

• Combine carrots, potato, suet and raisins.
• Stir in sugar and molasses.
• Sift together the dry ingredients.
• Stir in the raisins.
• Pour into a well-buttered heatproof 6-cup bowl.
• Cover with aluminum foil and tie it down with a kitchen string.
• Fashion a little handle from kitchen string and attach it to the bowl. The reason for this is for easy removal, in case you have to lift out the bowl from the steam pot.
• Place the bowl inside the steamer and fill up the bottom pot with hot water, right up to the bowl, but not submerging it.
• Place a well fitting lid on the top.
• Bring the water to full boil.
• Reduce heat to low medium and steam the pudding for 3 hours.
• Replenish the water in the bottom pot as needed.
• After three hours remove the bowl from the steamer pot and let it sit for 10 minutes. After shrinking a bit, the pudding should separate from the bowl.
• Remove the foil, but be mindful not to burn your hands.
• Place a serving platter on the top and invert the bowl.
• Carefully pry bowl off the pudding.
• To flame your pudding, pour a little HOT brandy on the top and ignite.
• Let the flame die down and slice.
• Serve the hot pudding with hot rum sauce and vanilla flavoured whipped cream.





RUM SAUCE


For a darker sauce use brown sugar instead of granulated. I wanted a bit of contrast with the dark pudding that is steaming away on the stove at the moment. The taste of this sauce is exqusite.  I had to stop myself from tasting it again, it was about time, there are already 5 used tablespoons in the sink... Zsuzsa was BAD today.

2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup brown or white sugar
1 cup table cream
3 Tbsp rum

• Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
• Mix together the sugar and cornstarch.
• Stir the sugar mixture into the melted butter.
• Stir in the table cream.
• Bring to slow simmer.
• Cook stirring continuously until sauce thickens.
• Remove from heat and stir in rum.
• Serve warm on Marybelle's Flaming Pudding.

SHEPHERD BARLEY – PÁSZTOR TARHONYA


Hungarian shepherds used to carry a little pouch of dry egg barley. There are several versions of egg barley dishes, all frightfully similar. I have a small book of cauldron recipes and it’s almost impossible to tell them apart from the pictures. The only difference is what they put in beyond the basic ingredients, egg barley, bacon, onion, garlic and of course Hungarian Paprika. The rest of the ingredients vary, but end up tasting the same anyway. The shepherds cooked the egg barley in the open air, over the fire in a cauldron. If you have the inclination to make real egg barley, this is a fantastic dish cooked on the stove. However, last night I took the easy way out, I substituted the egg barley with Italian orzo pasta. This might not be everyone’s idea of using conveniences, because after all, the dish still needed to be babied. Hungarian cuisine takes a bit of effort, but that is why it’s so flavourful and homey. It was not bad with the orzo, and if reheated the following day, it gets even better, because by then the flavours have had a chance to mingle. Homemade egg barley has a very distinct flavour and while the orzo substitution works, it can never taste like the real thing. But as Jim says beggars can’t be choosers.

2 thick slices of bacon, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
1-1/2 cups egg barley or orzo pasta
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups homemade stock
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 stick dry spicy sausage, sliced very thin [I used chorizo]
1 tomato, diced
1/4 yellow or red pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste

• Fry the bacon bits in a deep non-stick sauté pan until transparent.
• Add the diced onion and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
• Add the orzo pasta and fry them for about five minutes, continually turning them over so they crisp up at the same rate.
• Add the Hungarian paprika and stir to cover the orzo.
• Immediately add 1 cup of stock.
• Add the chopped potatoes.
• Add the remaining stock and bring to slow simmer.
• Cover the pan and slowly cook until potatoes are tender.
• Add the sliced sausage and the diced tomato and pepper.
• Adjust the salt and sprinkle with pepper.
• By this time, the stock should be minimal. Turn down to the lowest setting, cover and let dish warm for five more minutes.
• Makes 4-6 servings



RED PEPPER PASTE – PAPRIKAKRÉM


Provided you can get it, Hungarian paprikakrém is expensive here. It comes in tiny tubes sometimes in jars, and can range from regular to very hot and they tend to be on the salty side. Hungarian pepper paste may be used instead of paprika, but the homemade version is not strong enough for that, not unless it was made from Hungarian red peppers. I don’t add salt to it and that way I don’t have to adjust the dish I am adding the pepper paste to. A tablespoon or two of this slightly smoked flavoured paste adds an extra layer of taste to pörkölt or gulyás and many other paprika based dishes.

4 roasted red peppers
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar

• Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse grind into thick sauce.
• Pack into a tiny sterilized jar with a well fitting cap.
• Keep it refrigerated.

ROASTING RED PEPPERS


Very simple to roast red peppers and there are many uses for them in salads, antipasto or Mediterranean dishes. Roasted red pepper is also the main ingredient of red pepper paste.


• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Cut the red peppers in half and remove the seeds and the stem
• Place them cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 1 hour.
• Remove the peppers from the oven and transfer to a bowl.
• Tightly wrap the bowl with foil and let the peppers cool to room temperature.
• Remove skins and slice or chop the peppers.

MAPLE GLAZED CARROTS


I like to use smaller carrots for this. If the carrots are too long for your steamer basket, cut them in half crosswise. The carrots are naturally sweet, so there is no need to increase the maple syrup in the recipe. You can glaze three times as many carrots with the same amount of butter and maple syrup.

6 medium sized carrots
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp real maple syrup
sprinkling of salt
freshly squeezed lemon juice

• Peel the carrots and cut off the ends.
• Cut the carrots lengthwise into two or three pieces depending on the thickness. Cut uniformly so carrots can cook at the same rate.
• Steam the carrots in a steamer basket, but only to el dente. They will be so hot they will continue to soften even after you drain them. [Some people plunge them into ice water at this point to stop the cooking, but if you time it well, there is no need to do this.]
• Melt 1 Tbsp butter in a non-stick fry pan.
• Drain the carrots and quickly transfer them to the fry pan.
• Add 1 Tbsp maple syrup, a sprinkling of salt and squeeze a bit of lemon over them.
• Gently sauté the carrots until the sauce have reduced to a glaze.
• Remove from heat and serve immediately.





22.1.12

CARAMEL POPCORN


This recipe comes from “Chef Michael Smith’s Kitchen, 100 Of My Favourite Easy Recipes”. This may seem like a small amount but you get four descent-sized servings from it and it’s really addictive. I would not want to pick out un-popped kernels from this dish. As annoying the ads are Orville Redenbacher's popcorn is the best.

3-4 Tbsp corn oil
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup icing sugar
sprinkle of salt
salt

• Add the corn oil to a heavy pot and add the popcorn kernels.
• Turn on heat medium-high.
• When the kernels begin to pop, put a tight fitting lid on the pot.
• Pop the corn.
• When the popping slows down remove pot from heat.
• Wait until the popping stops.
• Remove lid and add the butter in small chunks.
• Add the icing sugar and sprinkle with salt.
• Place pot back on the heat and gently stir the popcorn, coating the popcorn evenly with the butter and the sugar. Soon the sugar will begin to caramelize.
• Patiently continue stirring until the popcorn is deep golden brown and fragrant.
• Pour onto a baking sheet and spread it out evenly.
• As it cools, which is rather quickly, the caramel popcorn hardens.

SIKLOS CAKE - SIKLÓSI TORTA


We all keep recipes intending to make them one day and then forget about them. I have been shuffling this recipe from one place to another for the past 45 years. Every time I see it, I decide I will make it soon. When my husband and I got back from our honeymoon in 1967, we went down to Siklós for a visit. That’s where the other branch of the Vári family lived. Before we left Irma néném handed me two recipes. This was one of them. Today I felt nostalgic enough and thought it was time I made this recipe or it could be forever lost to the Universe. My cousins could have been making it for the last 45 years back in Hungary, but I wouldn’t know about that. The recipe starts out “make a piskóta” and then lunches into cooking the pudding. Hungarian recipes tend to be outlines with certain guideposts, intended for cooks rather than for beginners. For instance, the pudding didn’t call for sugar, but I decided it needed it. I increased the cocoa too. As for not having any butter in the pudding… in the end I decided to stick to the original plan and it turned out great. Somehow, the three layers combined, the cake comes out delicious. I was surprised how good this simple cake turned out to be, and provided I last long enough, I will probably make it again.


I used a round cake pan, but it will work in a square or rectangular pan too. Initially I thought the pudding will be too much, but in the end, it was just the right amount.

Cake:
4 egg yolks
4 heaping Tbsp sugar
4 heaping Tbsp flour
4 egg whites

Chocolate Pudding:
8-10 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
4-1/2 cups whole milk

Topping:
1-1/2 cups whipping cream

• Preheat the oven to 350F.
• Line a round spring-form cake pan with parchment paper.
• Beat the egg yolks and sugar on high speed for 4 minutes.
• Add the flour and beat to combine.
• With clean beaters beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
• Gradually very gently fold the beaten egg whites into the yolk mixture.
• Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake until center gently tapped springs back.
• While the cake bakes, prepare the pudding.
• In a heavy pot, bring 1/2 cup of milk to the boil.
• In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar and cocoa and set aside.
• Start adding some of the hot milk to the flour mixture, whisking all the while.
• Add the remaining milk and transfer the mixture back to pot.
• Very slowly bring it to the simmer, whisking all the while.
• When the cream is sufficiently thick, remove pot from the stove.
• Cover the hot pudding with plastic wrap, and press it to the top so no skin will form.
• Let the pudding cool down completely.
• Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan. If you used a spring form pan, remember to cut around the edge before unhooking the spring mechanism.
• Pull out the parchment from under the cake.
• Close back the spring mechanism.
• Spread the chocolate pudding on top of the cake.
• Whip the cream to stiff peaks and spread over the pudding.
• Chill the cake for 3-4 hours.
• Open the spring mechanism, slide the cake over a serving platter and serve.

21.1.12

REBECCA’S SPINACH DIP


I think this is the best spinach dip ever and after this, I certainly will not be wanting spinach dip from the deli again. This is a hot dip, baked in the oven, but it will be just as good cold the following day. Rebecca’s recipe called for frozen spinach – I was thinking of the abundance of spinach from our garden during the summer and opted to try it out with fresh spinach instead. A package of 10 oz frozen spinach is roughly equals to 1-1/2 cups of cooked spinach, not squeezed out, because the frozen spinach is still full of liquid too. I only made half the recipe, so envision twice the amount pictured here. The biggest task was washing the leaves; the cooking took no time at all. I list both fresh and frozen spinach in the recipe. If opting to use a frozen package, omit the first five steps from the instruction.

1 cup light cream cheese
1 cup light mayonnaise
1 cup light sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
1 pkg. frozen spinach or 2 bunches fresh spinach
2 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese, or cheddar or mozzarella, or a mixture of cheeses

If using fresh spinach:
• Wash 2 bunches of fresh spinach in running water.
• Drain.
• Place spinach in a small Dutch pot and pour boiling water on the top.
• Turn on the heat and bring to the boil.
• With kitchen thongs turn over spinach and remove pot from the heat.

If using frozen spinach:
• Omit the preceding steps and defrost the frozen spinach in the microwave.

From here on, prepare both the freshly cooked and frozen package the same way.
• Preheat oven to 350F.
• Squeeze out all the liquid from the spinach and set it aside.
• Place the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, salt and minced garlic in a bowl and beat to combine.
• Add 1 cup of shredded cheese, reserving 1/2 cup for use later.
• Add the squeezed out spinach and stir to combine.
• Transfer dip to an “oven to table” baking dish.
• Sprinkle the top with the reserved shredded cheese.
• Bake in the oven at 350F until the dip begins to bubble.
• Serve spinach dip either hot, cold or anywhere in between.




HUNGARIAN POTATO SALAD - ECETES KRUMPLISALÁTA

This was the quintessential party dish while I was growing up. Do not add bacon or oil, this is not a German style potato salad. As simple as this dish sounds, it is easily ruined if the potatoes are overcooked. Prepared well, this is a wonderful salad and it’s best made from Hungarian kiflikrumpli. Never use white fleshed, starchy, baking potatoes for this dish. Red potatoes can work and the smaller [newer] the better, just don’t cook them soft, leave them al dente. With no kiflikrumpli in sight in January, I settled on half a package of Canadian red minis today. Tastes like home.

1/2 kg red mini potatoes
1/4 red onion
sprinkling of salt
1-1/2 cups water
2 scant Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vinegar

• Cook the red potatoes al dente. Potatoes will continue softening while they cool.
• Pour off and discard the potato water. If any of the potatoes split, discard those or set them aside for some other use. These would have absorbed too much water and when put in the brine they will be soggy.
• Keep the potatoes in the same pot and let them cool until they are safe to handle.
• Peel the potatoes and slice them uniform.
• Arrange potatoes neatly in a glass serving-bowl.
• Slice the red onion and place it over the potatoes.
• Sprinkle the onions with salt and wrap the bowl. The smell of onions will be strong.
• Let it rest for 1 hour.
• In a small bowl, make pleasant [not too sour, not too sweet] vinegar brine from 1-1/2 cups of cold water, sugar and vinegar. The amount of sugar and vinegar used depends on the vinegar used , mine was 7%, as well as on personal preferences. Pour the brine over the potatoes and the onions.
• Wrap the dish really well and place in the fridge for a couple of hours so the flavours can mingle inside the bowl. Make sure there is nothing else open in the fridge that could absorb the onion smell.
• Serve the Hungarian potato salad with robust meat dishes, spicy sausages etc.
• Serves 4


BEAN GOULASH - BABGULYÁS


Babgulyás is pretty much like a gulyás soup, except beef is replaced with brown kidney beans with chunks of spicy sausage added at the end. Much like any gulyás, babgulyás is served with sour cream. Always cook the beans on their own in water first. Do not add salt or cook them in stock, or with the smoked meat, because stock and smoked meat both contain salt. Salt prevents the softening of the beans, so salt every bean dish after the beans have reached their desired softness.

1 cup red kidney beans
2 bay leaves
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
1/2 tsp caraway seeds, crushed
2 cloves of garlic, minced
leftover smoked meat or hambone
1-2 carrots, sliced
1 parsnip, sliced
1/2 celery root, chopped
1 small potato
1/4 green pepper, diced
1 tomato, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of 14% sour cream

• Place beans in a glass container.
• Add 4 cups of water and set it aside to soak overnight.
• Drain and discard the soaking water.
• Rinse the beans in cold running water and drain.
• Place the beans in a medium sized pot and add 2 cups of water.
• Add 2 bay leaves, but do not add any salt.
• Cook the beans for 1 hour or until completely soft.
• In a heavy pot, heat 4 Tbsp olive oil.
• Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent.
• Add 1 Tbsp flour and cook for a little while longer.
• Add the paprika, caraway seeds and minced garlic.
• Add the cooked beans, including the stock.
• Add a bit of leftover smoked pork meat or a ham bone.
• Add 2 cups of cold water and bring to the boil.
• Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
• Add the carrots, parsnip, celery root, potato, green pepper and tomato.
• Bring to the boil, cover and reduce heat to a slow simmer.
• Cook for 40 minutes. Remove from heat, but do not take lid off.
• Let soup steep for about an hour.
• Remove the bay leaves.
• Adjust the salt and add some ground pepper to taste.
• Serve the bean gulyás with sour cream on the side.

20.1.12

RICE PUDDING


Rice pudding is best when soft and creamy. Arborio rice and whole milk make the best and creamiest rice pudding. Keep in mind that Arborio rice can absorb up to twice as much liquid than other types of rice. The pudding should have liquid consistency; it thickens considerably as it cools.

3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup Arborio rice
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
sprinkle of nutmeg
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup whipping cream

• In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the milk, rice, and salt.
• Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
• Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the rice is tender.
• Add more milk if needed.
• Stir the milk mixture often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
• When the rice is tender remove from heat, add the sugar, the vanilla extract and the ground nutmeg.
• Return to heat and cook until the rice pudding thickens.
• Remove from heat; stir in the butter and add the raisins.
• Spoon the pudding into serving dishes, cover with plastic wrap and chill.
• Serve rice pudding with sweetened whipped cream.

BAKED CORN CRACKERS


Yesterday’s corn crackers got me all fired up and my excitement only grew as I made a whole batch today with 4 flavourings, garlic, lemon pepper, dill and grated parmesan. I mixed up the dough in four tiny batches. To make it easier to divide, I increased the olive oil from 1 Tbsp to 4 teaspoons. Every ingredient now divides by 4 with the exception of the water. But I figured it out; if you divide 2/3 cup water by four, it works out exactly 1/8 cup + 2 tsp. It was a bit finicky, but it was all worth it in the end. In the future even if I make it the same flavour, I will still divide the dough before rolling. It is much easier to roll it out in four parts. The major bonus being that a smaller amount is easily flips around, and then rolls easier and in the end, you get thinner crackers. The most important step is rolling out the dough as thin as possible. If the crackers are thick, they will be hard instead of crispy. I cut most of the dough with a pizza cutter and by far that was easiest. [Yesterday I used a ravioli cutter] Again, many thanks to Sissi and to Mr. Three Cookies: I saw the recipe first on With a Glass and Mr. Three Cookies is the father of the recipe. I made it for one of my girls; I hid the bowl she gets to take them home. Well OK, I will let Jim have a taste, but just a taste, because these are simply AMAZING~~~

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup water
1 tsp of your choice of flavouring [I used dill, grated parmesan, lemon pepper and garlic powder]
4 tsp olive oil

• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Combine ingredients in a bowl.
• Add the water gradually; you may not need all of it. You need just enough water to form a ball.
• Divide the dough and shape into four balls.
• Place one ball on a sheet of parchment paper and roll out the dough as thin as you can manage. Occasionally flip the dough, this makes for easier rolling. The dough will not stick [not unless you put in too much water]. Always roll from the middle in each direction.
• Slide the parchment paper onto a large baking sheet.
• With a ravioli or pizza cutter cut up the dough and slightly separate the crackers.
• Bake the crackers for 10 minutes or until they start getting a little colour. Beware these crackers can over bake in seconds.
 


the dill crackers

Half a batch 2 flavours

baked for 10 minutes

I rerolled the scraps

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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. Happy cooking!

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