There are many variations of Hungarian soup dumplings. Substantial soups like gulyás require smaller garnish; csipetke and nokedli tends to be used there. But lighter soups require the larger dumplings. These can be made from farina or flour. Some people prefer the heavy flour based galuska while others swear by the light and airy farina dumplings. This one is flour based.

1 egg
4 Tbsp flour
1 pinch salt

• Have the soup simmering.
• In a small bowl beat the egg with a fork until yolk and white is well combined.
• Add the flour.
• With the fork whisk the dough until smooth and elastic.
• First dip a soup spoon in the soup.
• Then scoop up a spoonful of dough and drop it in the simmering soup.
• Repeat until all the dough is used up.
• Cover the pot when all the galuska floats to the top.
• Remove from heat and let it sit for 5 minutes and serve the soup.
• Recipe feeds two.




Taste the fruit and not the pectin!

8 cups strawberries, chopped
6 cups sugar
Lemon juice (optional)

• Sterilize the jars.
• Rinse the berries and drain well.
• Remove the hulls.
• Chop the berries. Don’t puree them.
• Measure berries into a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
• If fruit is very ripe add 1 Tbsp lemon juice for every cup of berries.
• Place the fruit and sugar on medium heat and bring to simmer.
• Increase the heat to quick boil.
• Boil rapidly for 10-5 minutes stirring constantly to prevent burning.
• Remove from heat and skim off any foam.
• Place the lids in very hot water to soften the rubber.
• Place a wide-mouthed funnel over a sterilized jam jar.
• Ladle the hot jam into the jar leaving a 1/4 inch headspace.
• Use a damp (not wet) paper towel to wipe the rims.
• Place the prepared lids on the top and screw on the cap.
• Place the jars filled with jam in the oven and process at 212F for 2 hrs.
• Store jams in a dry, cool place.

In terms of food safety, oven processing fruit and fruit jams is no more risky than the hot water bath method. The reason for that is simple. No open cattle will reach above the boiling point of 100°C or 212°F. Keep in mind though that low acid or non-acid foods should never be processed by any other than the pressure canner method. However oven processed fruits and fruit jams are as safe as those processed in the hot water bath.



Part jam and part fruit butter in the old fashioned way. I used no pectin, no preservatives, only fruit, sugar and lemon juice.

In terms of food safety, oven processing fruit and fruit jams is no more risky than the hot water bath method. The reason for that is simple. No open canner will reach above the boiling point of 100°C or 212°F. Keep in mind though that low acid or non-acid foods should never be processed by any other than the pressure-canner method.  However oven processed fruits and fruit jams are as safe as those processed in hot water bath.

6 cups prune plums, chopped
3 cups sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice

  • Wash the plums under cold running water.
  • Remove the pits.
  • Quarter the plums.
  • Place the fruit in a heavy Dutch oven.
  • With a potato masher crush some of the fruit.
  • Add the sugar and the lemon juice. Stir.
  • Place the Dutch oven on the stove.
  • Start cooking the plums on medium low heat.
  • When the plums begin to boil, adjust the heat to a steady, slow simmer.
  • Eventually the plums will begin to break down.
  • Occasionally give it a stir to make sure the jam doesn’t burn.
  • When it’s thick and deep purple coloured remove pot from heat.
  • Pack the jam into sterilized jars.
  • Place on lids and secure the caps.
  • Place jars on the oven shelf so the jars do not touch one another.
  • Process jams in the oven just over the boiling point at 212F for 2 hrs.
  • Store jams in a dry, cool place.


Székely Gulyás is made with sauerkraut and sour cream. Some claim that Székely Gulyás means gypsy gulyás in Hungarian. This is not true. "Székely" refers to a Hungarian-speaking ethnic group from eastern Transylvania. Székely Land existed as a legal entity since medieval times. It became part of Romania in 1920, returned to Hungary in 1940 and was again attached to Romania in 1945. Székelys remain Hungarians to this day.

Székely gulyás is the fast track version of Hungarian Cabbage Rolls. The taste is very similar, but it only takes a fraction of time to prepare. I tend to use round steak, but veal steak or pork tenderloin cooks even faster. It is important that you trim off all the fat and the bones whatever meat is used.

"Székely" could have been my maiden name, had one of my great great great grandpas didn't change his name for Vári. His surname was Székely, lived in the Village of Vári, and he was a Protestant minister. He would hold the service in Vári and then ride over on his bicycle to the next village. Eventually people in the next village began to call him the "Vári pap" [the minister from Vári]. The name stuck. It stuck so well he changed his name legally and our family name became Vári. My oldest brother has the family records.

500 g lean round steak
1 onions, diced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 + 1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
2 cloves garlic
1-1/2 cups sauerkraut, drained
1 cup canned tomato, crushed
sour cream

• Remove fat and cut the meat to bite-sized chunks.
• In a large pot sauté the onions in 3 Tbsp olive oil until soft.
• Add the meat and sauté until golden brown.
• Remove from heat.
• Stir in salt, caraway seeds, 2 Tbsp paprika and garlic.
• Add 1 cup water and bring to slow boil.
• Cover pot and gently simmer for 1-1/2 hours.

• Add the sauerkraut and the tomatoes.
• Add boiling water (not cold) to not quite cover the cabbage.
• Put in the oven at 350F.
• Finish cooking in the oven (uncovered) for 1 more hour.

• Stir in 1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika.
• Let it cool and place in the fridge for overnight.
• Next day reheat Székely gulyás in the oven.
• Serve with rustic bread and sour cream.


…with my handy dandy Donvier

Homemade ice cream is denser and tends to freeze harder. Oh but it’s better for you! You have the quality control; there is no artificial content or preservatives in homemade ice cream. I have a small Donvier and make my ice cream with 1-1/2 cups of half and half. At the end of the recipe I included the 2 cup, 3 cup and 4 cup versions as well.

1-1/2 cups half and half
3/8 cups icing sugar
3/4 tsp pure vanilla

• Place the freezer bowl in a bag that completely encloses it; make sure there is as little air in the bag as possible.
• Then freeze the freezer bowl for at least 8 hours.
• Mix up the recipe ahead of time and chill it in the fridge.
• When the freezer bowl is ready pour the well chilled ice cream mixture in it.
• Turn the handle a few times and in 20 minutes you have ice cream.
• Scoop the ice cream into a container.
• Seal and transfer container to a freezer.
• Let the ice cream chill for several hours to firm up.


2 cup version:
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla

3 cup version:
3 cups half and half
3/4 cup icing sugar
1-1/2 tsp pure vanilla

4 cup version:
4 cups half and half
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla

Truth about creams:

Heavy Cream 36%
Whipping Cream 30%
Table Cream18%
Half & Half 10%


My fascination with cream of mushroom soup began when great aunt Lizi took moa and second cousin Jettike to the Gundel in Budapest. Among other things, I had cream of mushroom soup. It was delicious, but it must have had copious amounts of heavy cream in it. A few years passed and I came to Canada where lo behold I discovered Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. Admittedly it was one of the least artificial tasting canned soups of the day so I served it often. Then one day Jim rebelled and told me he hated it. So I reached back to the past and made a pot of my grandmother's mushroom soup. And that was a hit.

3 cups chicken broth
2 cups fresh mushrooms
salt and ground pepper

• Place the chicken broth in a medium sized pot.
• Clean and slice the mushrooms.
• Add the mushrooms to the pot.
• Bring to slow simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
• Season with salt and pepper.
• Make soup dumplings from one lightly beaten egg, flour, salt and water.
• Spoon the dumpling batter into the simmering soup.
• Slowly cook until dumplings have floated to the surface.
• Cover the pot and remove from heat.
• Let soup steep for 10 minutes before serving.
• Sprinkle, preferably fresh, parsley on the top and serve.



One more Hungarian recipe for túró made possible by adapting to local ingredients. Be sure to use dry curd cottage cheese or the recipe will not work. This is a homey, rustic bar that is well worth the wait.

600 g dry curd cottage cheese (Do NOT substitute)
4 eggs
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp farina
1-1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
finely grated lemon zest
2 pkg. vanilla sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp baking powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

3/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp flour
1 egg

• In a food processor puree the eggs and the dry curds until smooth. [In a blender, puree in batches.]

• Pour the curd mixture into a large bowl.
• Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until well combined.
• Pour into a greased, parchment paper lined rectangular baking pan.

• In a small bowl combine the topping ingredients and spoon it over the base.
• Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 25-30 minutes.

• Keep in the pan and let the bar cool to room temperature.
• Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
• Slice into bars in the pan and sift icing sugar on the top.



Be warned, "Miracle Whip" makes a lame tartar sauce. The better the mayonnaise you use the better your tartar sauce will be.

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp prepared mustard
4 Tbsp chopped dill pickle
dill pickle brine to taste

• In a small bowl combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar and the mustard.
• Add a little bit of dill pickle brine. Pickle brine amount will depend on the type of mayonnaise and sour cream used.
• Stir in the chopped dill pickles.



2-1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp sugar
1/3 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp instant yeast
1 egg
1/2 cup milk

1 cup túró
1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 pkg. vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp farina
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
powdered sugar

• In a bowl crumble together flour sugar, salt and butter to a fine meal.
• Stir in the yeast.
• Add the egg and the milk and kneed the dough until elastic.
• Cover and let rise until doubled.
• On floured board roll out dough and cut into 12 rectangles.

• In a bowl combine the túró, egg yolk, sugar, vanilla sugar and farina.
• Stir in the lemon zest.
• Spoon the túró mixture on top of the rectangles.
• Pinch together the opposite corners and twist the top to seal in the filling.

• Line a rectangular baking pan with parchment paper.
• Lightly grease or spray with cooking spray.
• Arrange bundles in the pan.
• Brush the tops with egg yolk and set aside to rise.
• When bundles doubled in size bake at 375F for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
• Sift with powdered sugar and serve.



The original version of this bar was created by János Rákóczi, a Hungarian chef (1897-1966) who developed it for the Hungarian restaurant at EXPO 1958. It did not have jam spread all over the base or a mile high meringue on the top as it is generally presented today. The meringue was piped and the apricot jam was piped as well. This is my second attempt, because even in its original version, the bar is still a little too sweet for me. I reduced the egg and general sugar content, and for this reason I opted to pipe the jam in thin streaks rather than in large dollops.

Rakoczy Curd Squares

Paté Sucré Crust:
150g flour
75g cold butter
40g sugar
1 Tbsp sour cream
pinch of salt

1/3 cup graham crust [to sprinkle over the crust]

2-2/3 cups homemade túró
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
grated zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup raisins
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
2 pkg. vanilla sugar

3 egg whites
1 pkg. vanilla sugar

• 1/2 cup apricot jam [to pipe on the top]
• Preheat oven to 400F.
• Set out and measure all the ingredients.
• Slightly heat the jam.
• Force the jam through a fine sieve and set aside.
• Discard the apricot skins.

• Mix the flour, butter, sugar, sour cream and salt.
• Press into the bottom of a rectangular baking pan.
• Place in a preheated 400F oven for 20 minutes or until lightly golden.

• Meanwhile prepare the túró filling.
• [If using curd cheese force it through a sieve.
• Omit the previous step if using homemade túró.]
• Add the sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest and 2/3 cup of sour cream.
• Stir to combine.
• Stir in the raisins.
• Beat the vanilla sugar and 2 egg whites until stiff and shiny.
• Fold the beaten egg whites into the túró mixture.

• Take out the baked crust and sprinkle graham crust on the top.
• Spread the túró mixture over the top.
• Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and bake until set. [When the middle does not indent if gently tapped]

• When the filling is close to set, prepare the meringue.
• Whisk 3 egg whites with vanilla sugar until stiff and shiny.
• Remove the pan from the oven and spread the meringue on the top.
• Reduce the oven again to 325F and return the pan for 5-10 minutes to slightly dry the meringue.
• Pipe or sprinkle the prepared apricot jam over the top.
• Let the bar cool completely before slicing with a wet knife.


No more TÚRÓGOMBÓC deprivation; There IS a way to make túrógombóc from cottage cheese; you just need the DRY CURD type. The curds have to be mashed thoroughly in order to absorb the semolina. Otherwise the dumplings will fall apart in the simmering water. By pureeing the curds – dry curd cottage cheese becomes a type of soft cheese product that is then suitable for making túrógombóc! Jó étvágyat!

1-3/4 cups DRY CURD cottage cheese
2 eggs
1/4+1/8 cup semolina
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs

Note: This recipe was designed specifically for dry curd cottage cheese and these proportions will not work with any other type of soft cheese product.

  • Process the dry curd cottage cheese.
  • Place the processed dry curds in a large bowl.
  • Add the eggs and stir to combine.
  • Add the semolina and stir to combine.
  • Add salt to taste and stir to combine.
  • Bring a pot of water to boil.
  • Form 6 balls in the palm of your hands.
  • Slide the dumplings into the boiling water.
  • Gently simmer until dumplings float to the surface.
  • Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon and drain.
  • In a large skillet lightly toast the bread crumbs in 2 Tbsp oil. 
  • Pour the roasted breadcrumbs into a large heated bowl.
  • Slide the dumplings into the bowl, moving the bowl around to coat the dumplings.
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with sour cream.


She likes it! She likes it! “It isn’t the same one, but this one is very good too” and she promptly ate it up. Oh, she was willing to eat KD and the White Spot’s version of mac and cheese. But she was having none of the home made ones I tried to give her. Intent on coming up with a version that has actual food in it, I have been trying to recreate the flavour of White Spot’s mac and cheese for close to a year now. Serving it in a little white dish that comes in the pirate pack didn’t help, because you know you can’t fool a six year old foodie. But this one is a keeper!

1/2 cup elbow macaroni
2 tsp butter
2 tsp flour
3/4 cup milk
1-1/2 Tbsp cream cheese
1/2 cup old cheddar cheese, grated
minute amount of ground nutmeg sprinkle

• Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
• Add the macaroni and bring it to boil.
• Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until just tender.
• Drain and rinse with cold water, then set it aside.
• In a pot, melt the butter and add the flour.
• Stir until mixture has a lightly nutty aroma.
• Slowly whisk in the milk.
• Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer.
• Whisk in the cream cheese.
• Reduce heat and stir in the grated cheddar.
• Add a very small amount of nutmeg [almost nothing] and stir smooth.
• Serve immediately.
Yields two child size servings.

You can refrigerate the leftover. The following day pour a bit of scalding hot milk on the top. Stir, cover and heat it up in the microwave.

MAC AND CHEESE for 6 [an estimate]

2 cups elbow macaroni
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk
1 pkg. 8 oz cream cheese
2-1/2 cups old cheddar cheese, grated
1 dash of ground nutmeg


Hungarian tomato soup is a lighter and not as thick and tangy as its "Canadian" version, which in all probability comes from a can.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 Tbsp flour
2 cups peeled and crushed tomatoes, preferably fresh
2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp dried basil
salt and black pepper to taste
1-2 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup leftover cooked rice
1 Tbsp dried parsley

• Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat.
• Add the onions, carrots and celery.
• Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables soften; set aside.
• Heat the remainder 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large, Dutch oven over medium heat.
• Add 1 Tbsp flour and make a light rough.
• Stir in the softened onion and carrot mixture.
• Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, and basil.
• Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes.
• Taste and add salt and pepper.
• Taste and add the sugar. Taste again, because just the right sweetness is crucial.
• Stir in the leftover cooked rice and heat through.
• Sprinkle with parsley and serve.



This has been one of Jim’s favorites. We were newlyweds, I was a new immigrant and this was my first foray into the realm of Canadian style cooking. The recipe came from a Purity Cook Book Jim ordered through the mail. Jim loved it when I made it for him for a variety of reasons. I modified the recipe over the years; I found the original recipe produced tough ribs and soggy stuffing, none of which appealed to my Hungarian sensibilities. But Jim kept liking it and with some changes I made it my own.

4 pork ribs
salt to taste

Apple Stuffing:
4 slices of light rye bread
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 apple, shredded
2 Tbsp olive oil,
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley

• Salt and bake the ribs in a covered dish at 320F.
• Depending on the size this could take 2-3 hours.
• Meanwhile prepare the stuffing.
• Cube 4 slices of light rye.
• Place bread cubes in a large bowl and set it aside.
• Chop the onions and set it aside in a separate small bowl.
• Chop the celery and set it aside in a separate small bowl.
• Peel, core and shred the apple and set it aside in a separate small bowl.
• Sauté the onions in 2 Tbsp of olive oil until soft.
• Add the celery and continue cooking for a couple of minutes.
• Add the sautéed onions and celery to the bread cubes.
• Add the shredded apple.
• Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and parsley.
• With clean hands loosely combine contents of the bowl and set aside.
• When tender remove ribs from the oven.
• Let them cool somewhat.
• Grease a clean baking dish.
• Place one rib, meaty side down, inside the clean dish.
• Cover with stuffing and top with the other rib, meaty side up.
• From the original pan pour all the rib drippings on top of the ribs.
• Bake the stuffed ribs uncovered at 350F for 1-1/2 hours longer.

Apple Stuffing



One more recipe from Ann Eggleton. Amongst other things, Ann is responsible for the majority of Canadian dishes in my repertoire. She was my mentor in and out of the kitchen. Every young person new immigrant should have a friend like Ann.

450 g round steak
2 Tbsp oil
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 small onion, diced
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup sour cream

• Place the beef in the freezer for 10-15 minutes, it will slice easier.
• Thinly slice the beef into strips.
• Preheat a large skillet with 2 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat.
• Add some strips and sear on both sides.
• Remove beef and repeat with remaining 2 Tbsp oil and meat.
• Reserve all the beef on a plate.
• Place 2 Tbsp butter in a larger pot over medium heat.
• When the butter melts, add the diced onion.
• Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until soft.
• Add the meat to the pot.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Cover with water and gently simmer until meat is tender.
• Add more water if needed.
• When the meat is done, clean and slice the mushrooms.
• Add the sliced mushrooms to the pot.
• Slowly simmer for a minute.
• In a small bowl stir smooth 1/2 cup water and 3 Tbsp flour.
• Force through a sieve and add to the pot.
• Stir and bring stroganoff back to simmer.
• Whisk in the sour cream and remove from heat.
• Serve the stroganoff on rice or on buttered noodles.


This one came from Ann too. Half the work and very, very delicious!


1-1/2 cups butter
1 cup brown sugar
3-3/4cups flour


6 eggs, beaten
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup flour
2-1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups currants


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Crumble base ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan.
  • Bake in a 350F oven for 10 minutes.


  • In a lage bowl beat the eggs and 2 cups brown sugar until light and thick.
  • Add 3/4 cup flour, 2-1/4 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp salt and 1-1/2 cups of currants.
  • Stir to combine, then spread over base.
  • Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until center is almost firm.


Lecsó is the start of many good things and this dish happens to be one of them. Lecsó is used all year around, but nothing beats fresh Hungarian lecsó. You had to be daft not knowing yellow wax was in season. The delicious aroma of lecsó cooking would surely seduce you as you passed by an open window… It seemed all of Pest would be in lecsó mode for weeks.

2 red potatoes
3 Tbsp oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Hungarian Paprika
salt and pepper
3 tomatoes
3 yellow peppers
3 European wieners*, sliced

• Peel the potatoes, wash, and cut into quarters.
• In a medium sized pot sauté the diced onions until soft.
• Remove from heat and mix in the paprika.
• Add potatoes to the onions and return pot to the stove.
• Salt and pepper it to taste.
• Pour water on the potatoes quarter way up.
• Bring to slow simmer and cover.
• While the potatoes simmer, wash the peppers and the tomatoes.
• Remove the pepper cores and discard.
• Slice the peppers into thick chunks.
• Quarter the tomatoes.
• When the potatoes are half cooked, add the peppers and tomatoes.
• Bring back to simmer.
• With the lid off sauté the potato lecsó until the potatoes are tender.
• Add the wieners, cover and turn off heat.
• Let stand for 5 minutes and serve.

*Please, never use hot dogs in a Hungarian dish.



Back in the days when best friend Ann Eggleton doused ketchup all over everything, including Chinese food, I used to think it a sacrilege. Then I found out ketchup is a Chinese invention and not the North American icon I thought it was. So here is North American Chinese food in a ketchup sauce and it’s pretty darn good and tasty. And yes, the recipe is Ann’s.

400 g boneless pork, cubed
1/8 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup vinegar
oil for deep frying
1/2 bell pepper, diced

• Heat the oil in a heavy pot.
• Place the flour and meat in a plastic bag. Shake to coat.
• Drop the meat, a few at a time, into the hot oil.
• Deep fry meat VERY crisp.
• Take out meat with a slotted spoon and drain on paper.
• Place equal amounts of sugar, ketchup and vinegar in a medium saucepan.
• Bring contents to simmer.
• Add the crispy fried meat chunks and heat until the sauce bubbles.
• Place a lid on the top and let it sit for 15 minutes.
• Add the chopped bell pepper and combine.
• Serve sweet and sour with rice.


If truth be told I didn’t follow my own recipe. It called for shortening and I used margarine. The loaf was fabulous anyway and my darling loved it. The original recipe was called Peggy's Lemon Nut Loaf. It’s all over the web. I got my recipe many years ago from an actual Peggy, though I doubt it was her own recipe. Well of course I changed it, I prefer a decent sized loaf and not the flat little loaves the original recipe made. The taste is the same though, the same lemony deliciousness. Makes 1 loaf.

2-1/4 cups flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp lemon zest, grated
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup sugar
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

• Combine the flour, baking powder and the zest.
• Cream the shortening, sugar and the eggs.
• Combine the dry ingredients with the shortening mixture.
• Add the milk and combine.
• Stir in the nuts, reserving a couple of tablespoons.
• Turn the batter into a parchment lined, well greased loaf pan.
• Scatter the reserved nuts on the top.
• Bake at 350F for 55-65 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
• To make the glaze combine 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp lemon juice.
• Pierce the top of the loaf with a fork and spoon the glaze on it.
• Place the loaf pan on a rack for 20 minutes.
• Grasp the parchment paper on both ends and gently pull out the loaf.
• Remove parchment gently and place loaf on a rack to cool.


We had a lot of success growing raspberries and for years we had an endless supply. Our raspberries ripened late in summer and kept producing until the first frost. Then last year they all died back and we hardly had any. Jim put some new canes into the ground and maybe by next year the freezer will be filled with delicious raspberries. Update: It was.

1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted

• Partially thaw frozen berries.
• Place in a blender and puree.
• Force the berries through a sieve.
• Discard the seeds
• Add the icing sugar and mix thoroughly.
• Use the sauce within a couple of days.


We grow our own beets and even though we try to pick them the same size, they often range from enormous to these tiny things. A wide range of sizes do not make uniformly cooked beets though. Every preserving book tells you to cook beets in whole, “for easy peeling”. I too tried having several pots going at the same time; a big pot for the large ones, a medium sized pot for the in between sized ones and a smaller pot for the smallish beets. I would bring them to boil, place on a lid and then hover over the stove in fear of overcooking them. Well that happened too. But I no longer cook my beets in whole. This year I made pickled beets similar to my beet salad; I peeled and sliced the beets raw. Then I packed them into sterilized jars, poured hot brine over them, put the lids on, screwed on the caps and popped them in the oven to cook and process both at the same time. This year's pickled beets should be the most uniformly cooked ever.

white vinegar

• Wash the beets.
• Remove both ends and peel off skin.
• Place peeled beets on a plastic cutting board. [Beets stain wood.]
• With a sharp chef’s knife cut beets in half.
• Place beets on the cut [flat] side and slice them thinly uniform.
• Arrange beets in sterilized jars.
• Make brine from equal amount of sugar and vinegar.
• Bring brine to boil an pour on the beets, leaving head space.
• Place snap lids in hot water for a couple of minutes.
• Wipe the rims and place on the lids.
• Screw on the tops.
• Place jars in oven at 250F for 2-1/2 hours.



This is a delicious way to do rice pilaf. No need for saffron here. The red pepper gives it great flavour and color. Basmati rice is the preferred choice for pilaf.

1/8 cup butter
1 Tbsp oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 cup Basmati rice
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste

• Melt the butter or margarine in a medium sized pot.
• Add the oil.
• Add the onions,  red peppers and the garlic; sauté until soft.
• Add the rice and stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes.
• In a small saucepan bring the chicken broth to boiling.
• Add the hot chicken broth and bring to boil.
• Cover the pot immediately.
• Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 5 minutes.
• Do not remove the lid during cooking.
• When the pot has no remaining liquid the rice is done.
• Toss with a fork.



To pull the rabbit out of the hat when you forget to take meat out of the freezer. I made fresh spaghetti. That should count for something, eh?

2 cups of spaghetti or short pasta
750 g canned Italian tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 pinch of red-pepper flakes
handful of dry basil , crushed
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated for topping

• Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water to al dente.
• Pour though a large sieve.
• Drain the pasta and set it aside.
• Crush the Italian tomatoes.
• Mince the garlic cloves.
• Place a deep non stick fry pan on medium heat.
• Add 3 Tbsp olive oil and the minced garlic.
• Cook for a minute, then add the pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
• Increase the heat.
• Tilting the pan, add the tomatoes gradually.
• Stir, swirling the pan, cook the tomatoes until they begin to thicken.
• Add the drained pasta and sauté for 3-4 minutes; until sauce clings to it.
• Add the crushed basil; sauté for 30 minutes.
• Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Feeds 6



When I first came to this country in 1967, pregnant and plagued with perpetual morning sickness, not speaking English, not knowing how to cook, and not finding the foods or ingredients I was used to, what can I say being in love wasn’t always enough. The little comfort I could get from food was the occasional cup of hot cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream. Once I started feeling a little better, salami from the Italian deli was quite enjoyable. Otherwise nothing tasted right. Not the water, not the milk, not the eggs; not the bread. Especially the bread! All we could find in Prince Rupert was this tasteless white thing called Wonder Bread. Wonder I survived! Henceforth hot cocoa with whipped cream remains the first food I go to for comfort.


2 tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa
itty bitty dash of salt
1 cup milk

• Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in a large mug.
• In a separate cup microwave milk until hot.
• Gradually stir the hot milk into the cocoa mixture.
• Stir until well blended. 1 serving


1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
dash of salt
1/3 cup hot water
4 cups milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
whipped cream, sweetened

• In medium saucepan stir together sugar, cocoa and salt.
• Stir in water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.
• Bring to boil and keep stirring for 2 minutes.
• Add the milk, stirring constantly, and heat to serving temperature.
• Do not bring to boil.
• Remove from heat and add vanilla.
• Serve topped with whipped cream. 5 servings


1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/4 cups cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup hot water
16 cups milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
marshmallows (optional)

• In a 6-quart saucepan combine sugar, cocoa and salt.
• Gradually add the water.
• Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils.
• Boil and stir for 2 minutes.
• Add the milk.
• Heat it to serving temperature, stirring frequently. Do not boil.
• Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
• Add the marshmallows. 22 servings


Layers of potatoes with a bit of onion and baked in some sort of cheese sauce. Potatoes au gratin is perhaps the best known among all the gratin dishes. Without doubt gratinated food belongs to the comfort food category. I am no great fan of North American scalloped potatoes, but give me some gratin, be it potato or cauliflower and I will be well.

4 large russet potatoes
2 onion slices
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cups shredded white cheese blend*
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded

• Preheat the oven to 400F.
• Slice the potatoes very thin.
• Cut two very thin slices from an onion’s widest part. Separate into rings.
• Butter a casserole dish.
• Layer half of the potatoes in the bottom of the dish.
• Scatter the onion slices on the top.
• Top with all the remaining potato slices.
• Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
• In a medium saucepan, melt 2 Tbsp butter on medium heat.
• Add 2 tbsp flour stirring constantly.
• Add the milk and cook, continually stirring until sauce is thickened.
• Add the cheeses at once and continue stirring until the cheese is melted.
• Pour the cheese sauce over the potatoes and cover with aluminum foil.
• Bake for 1-1/2 hours. Serves 4

* I used a 3 cheese Italian blend.



Celery seed is an essential component, but be careful not to add more than a 1/4 of a teaspoon for every 4 cups of sliced cabbage. Too much celery seed will overpower the delicate flavor of this salad. My friend, the late Betty Lampard used to make a mean dish of Crispy Cole Slaw. This is her recipe.

4 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 thin slices of onions
2 inch segment of English cucumber, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp celery seeds [but no more]
1 Tbsp olive oil, optional

• Wash and drain the vegetables.
• Thinly slice the cabbage, green pepper, onion and the cucumber.
• Place the sliced vegetables in a salad bowl and toss.
• Add the vinegar, sugar, oil, salt, pepper and the celery seeds.
• Toss to combine and let flavors merge for 20 minutes.
• If desired add a little olive oil, but just before serving. Serves 6



Perfect poached egg is cooked in residual heat and not poached at all. Poached egg cools quickly; serve it on a heated plate.

• Use a medium-sized non-stick skillet with a lid.
• Fill the skillet with 2-3 inches of water.
• Add a drop of vinegar to the water. Vinegar helps the egg to hold its shape.
• Crack the egg into the water.
• Put the skillet on high heat.
• Add some salt. Salt will make the water boil faster.
• When the water starts to boil place the lid on the pan and remove pan from the heat.
• Depending on how runny you like the yolk, keep the lid on for 3-5 minutes.
• Lift each poached egg out of the water with a wide slotted spoon and place on
  a heated plate.


Zsuzsa does not like to eat seafood, but had to cook it over the years. Wild Pacific sockeye and fresh lake trout are the only things she is willing to try. She ate this. 


1 serving size sockeye salmon fillet
parchment paper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 green onions
salt and pepper
soft margarine for glue

• Set the oven to 350F.
• Rinse the fillets and pat dry with paper towels.
• Wash the onions.
• Place a fillet on the parchment paper.
• Drizzle with lemon juice.
• Smear a bit of butter on top.
• Place the onions beside the fillet.
• Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
• Brush the edges of the parchment paper with soft margarine.
• Fold the parchment over half enclosing the fish.
• Stick the parchment edges together; the margarine is the glue.
• Fold the remaining sides over to enclose the fish.
• Place the parchment package inside a baking pan.
• Repeat the process with the other fillets.
• Bake for 10-12 minutes until paper is puffed and brown.



My original recipe calls for veal, but I use lean ground pork as well as ground chicken. I don’t care for the taste of ground beef no matter how lean it is. The sauce should cover the meatballs, so the amount of tomato sauce used will depend on the size of your baking dish. Mine require about two cups. This will ensure the flavours can merge and I have sufficient sauce for serving. I use my own tomato sauce. It already has carrots and a fair amount of basil in it. There is an endless variety of commercial tomato sauce out there so use your judgement how much parsley, basil and oregano you add to the sauce.

1/2 lb lean ground veal
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 slices of light rye or sourdough bread
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
cooking spray
2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp each dried basil and oregano as needed
2 carrots peeled and sliced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese for serving

• Place the meat in a large bowl.
• Place 2 Tbsp olive oil in a fry pan.
• Chop the onions and the garlic finely and add to the fry pan.
• Lightly brown the onions and the garlic over medium heat.
• Add the cooked onion mixture to the meat.
• Dampen the bread slices slightly.
• Squeeze out all the water.
• Crumble the bread over the meat.
• Add the egg.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Add the dry herbs.
• Combine really well. There should be no visible chunks of bread in the mixture.
• Form 4 large meatballs.
• Spray the bottom of a small, deep casserole dish with cooking spray.
• Place the meatballs in the casserole.
• Stir in the spices. If you have fresh herbs, add two to three sprigs.
• Add the sliced carrots.
• Pour the tomato sauce on the meatballs.
• Bake in a 350F oven for 2-1/2 hours.
• Serve with pasta and grated Parmesan cheese.
• 4 servings



Don’t like Brussels sprouts? That’s because you only had them bitter and overcooked. First of all, don’t overcook! Overcooking gives Brussels sprouts the bitter taste. When a knife is inserted into the stem end, it should be barely tender. Look for very small sprouts. Unless they are cut in half, medium to large sprouts are destined for overcooking; the outside is already mushy and the inside is still tough. Cook sprouts just before serving; let them sit for no longer than 7-10 minutes. When Brussels sprouts are ready, they should be just tender, bright green and have a sweet and nutty taste.

• Rinse Brussels sprouts with cold water and drain.
• Trim the stem ends without cutting the base.
• Cut a shallow “x” in the base, so stems cook faster
• Cut large sprouts lengthwise in half. This is important!
• Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to rolling boil.
• Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until just tender. (10-15 minutes*)
• Drizzle sprouts with lemon-infused olive oil.

*This is not a guide to follow, just an approximation to help you plan. The important thing is, don't leave them unattended, there is a fine line between a great dish of Brussels sprouts and a ruined one.


This is my happy spice. Roasting these spices must release endorphins in the body, because it always gives me a bit of happy when the fragrance begins to fill the house... Not a bad way to start cooking eh? Roasting garam masala is well worth the effort; in a dish it is simply DIVINE! Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer, otherwise the garam masala will begin to loose its wonderful aroma within a day or two. Don't buy it from a bin or in a packet it won't be the same.

4 tsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
4 (3inch) cinnamon sticks
1 tsp whole cloves
1 whole nutmeg
2 tsp cardamom seeds, without the pods

• Place the cardamoms separately on a small roasting pan.
• Place all the other ingredients on a baking tray.
• Roast them all at the same time at 275F.
• As the kitchen fills with the aroma of roasting spices, remove both pans from the oven, and let them cool.
• Peel the cardamoms, discard the pods, and retain the seeds.
• Chop the nutmeg into manageable pieces.
• Place all the spices in a coffee grinder or with mortar and pestle grind or pound them very fine. In a bind it can be wrapped in an old but clean kitchen towel and crushed with a hammer.



I never had these types of soups as a kid, my grandmother's soups were always the same; she put everything in it. The only difference was when she made mushroom soup from button mushrooms or potato soup. The rest of her soups were indistinguishable. Eventually I caught on that not everyone ate soup like that and I began to treasure variety. Soup making, you guessed it, is serious business in Hungary. Every decent meal begins with a soup and you need no canned stuff or bouillon cubes to make one. Good cooks make good soups. So don't touch that can opener!

1 cauliflower
1 tsp chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
8 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp Flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 cup half and half

• Wash the cauliflower, break it into sections and trim the ends.
• Place the chicken broth in a medium sized pot.
• Add the cauliflower florets and parsley and bring it to boil.
• Add salt and pepper to taste.
• Reduce heat to a slow simmer.
• Cook until cauliflower is just tender.
• In a fry pan make a roux from 2 Tbsp oil and 2 Tbsp flour.
• Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Hungarian paprika.
• Add the half and half to the fry pan and stir.
• Bring to almost boil then remove from heat.
• Gradually add the paprika mixture to the soup.
• Slowly simmer soup for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.
• Adjust the seasoning.
• Serve cauliflower soup with a large dollop of 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. Happy cooking!