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Felvételeim nyilvános publikálása engedély nélkül nem használhatók.



My dad had a second cousin from his father’s side somewhere near Ecser. [Ecser is just outside of Budapest.] “Ecseri Ernő”, as we called him, was the teacher of a tiny village near the village of Ecser. He was also a bachelor, but as it turned out Ecseri Ernő was also a resourceful cook. It was a Sunday and the little panzio where he ate during the week was closed. Then dad and I show up. [I may have been ten at the most, in those days few private people had a telephone. We had one, we lived in Pest, but I am sure Ecseri Ernő didn’t have a telephone.] Keep in mind that Hungarians don’t go visiting without sitting down to a meal together. So Ecseri Ernő grabbed a wicker basket and we sat out for the woods to pick mushrooms for ebéd. [the midday main meal] Only Ecseri Ernő picked, he new his mushrooms, because I am still here. Then we went back to his place with a huge basket of wildly colourful and differently shaped mushrooms. Ecseri Ernő proceeded to clean them and then made us the best gombapörkölt I ever tasted. I think the more types of mushrooms can go into the pot the better. That was the first time I had gombapörkölt and I thought it was phenomenal.

Some people call it gomba goulash, which is misleading because goulash is a soup and gombapörkölt is a stew. Gombapörkölt is also fast, low cal and delicious. The one thing to keep in mind is not to overcook the mushrooms and to add only little water to the dish, because the mushrooms will release a fair amount of liquid on their own. Basically you cook a small lecsó [tomato-pepper ragout] before adding the mushrooms. Cook them for a short time only and the dish is ready. I don’t add garlic to this dish, garlic would overpower the mushrooms. Serve gombapörkölt with rice or nokedli and with a nice dollop of sour cream.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 lb large mushrooms,
1/4 cup water or stock
salt and pepper to taste

• Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
• Add the onions and slowly cook until soft.
• Add the tomatoes and the bell pepper.
• Stir in the Hungarian paprika.
• Slowly cook until peppers are soft and the tomatoes have nicely reduced.
• Meanwhile clean the mushrooms and chop them into 6 or 9 pieces depending on their size.
• Add the mushrooms and about a 1/4 cup of water or stock.
• Cover the pot and slowly cook for 5 minutes.
• If you end up with too much liquid, remove the mushrooms and set them aside.
• Bring the remaining ragout to the boil and continue cooking until ragout reduces sufficiently.
• Return the mushrooms and heat through.
• Adjust seasoning and serve with sour cream.



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