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 abált bacon

bacon before

I could find no true translation for the word "abált" in my dictionary. The word describes how the bacon is prepared, similar to boiled or simmered, yet that would  explain only part of the "abáló" process. As you know there are mysterious and untranslatable facets of the Hungarian cuisine. Now weather the bacon is "abált" or has been prepared in a number of different ways, the one thing that remains that it is fully cooked and eaten cold with a thick slice of rustic bread. This is the quintessential food you take on a trip or put in front of the guest who drops by. Canadians are horrified that we are eating fat and then consume copious amounts of fried foods and snack time treats and all these are soaked with, what else, fat. But Hungarian szalonna is not fat, it’s bacon. And weather you fry it or "abál" it, in the end, makes no difference, except maybe to Hungarians. Hungarians LOVE abált szalonna!

1 lb slab of smoked bacon (not sliced)
3 + 1 cloves of garlic
3 tsp Salt
Hungarian Paprika

• Place the bacon, 3 cloves of garlic and 3 tsp of salt in a saucepan.
• Cover with cold water and place on the stove.
• Bring it to simmer and gently cook for 30 minutes.
• Remove from heat and place the bacon on a platter.
• Reserve the broth.
• Mince the remaining garlic and add to a small bowl.
• Stir in 1 Tbsp of Hungarian paprika.
• Add a tiny bit from the reserved broth to make a paste.
• Spread the top of the bacon with the paprika paste.
• Discard the broth.
• Let the bacon cool to room temperature and then refrigerate.
• Chill thoroughly before serving.



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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!