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The most important components of Hungarian rizottó are rice, peas and mushrooms. We never put cheese onto a hot dish. I don’t think Grandma liked it. But we only ate rizottó with fresh peas. Frozen fruit and vegetables started in Hungary about the time I was a teenager. I remember picking up odds and ends from the közért [grocery store] that used to be on the corner of Dohány and Szövetség utca.

Across the corner where the store used to be

Sometimes I picked up more than I was asked, such as a small frozen packet of red currants. I loved those red currants! I would put it on top of the warm coal stove and I watched it as it sizzled while I kept picking at it. I think I ate most of it still frozen. So the peas were welcome after a long winter. They were still pricey to make a soup or főzelék so Grandma made us rizottó. It used to be a slushy mess, I don’t think Hungarians are good with rice, but I revised it. Instead of water, the rice could be cooked in homemade chicken stock. Either way this makes a nice side dish.
1 batch of cooked rice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 cup of frozen peas
2 cups sliced, fresh mushrooms
1 Tbsp grated parmesan [optional]
• Cook the rice to directions [click on the link], set it aside and keep it warm.
• In a non stick skillet sauté the onions in olive oil on medium heat until translucent.
• Add the frozen peas and continue to sauté for a minute.
• Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté until the liquid is reabsorbed by the mushrooms.
• Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
• Add the sautéed vegetables to the rice.
• With two forks gently toss to combine.
• Sprinkle with parmesan and serve.



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