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We ate meat once a week while growing up and the rest of the time we had pasta or vegetable stews called “főzelék”. To replace the meat we put all sorts of things on top of the stew. A poached egg, a couple of slices of unsweetened French toast, fried bread cubes, fried potatoes, a tiny bit of leftover meat with sauce, a drizzle of paprika grease or some breaded deep fried vegetables. We called them “feltét”, which means “to put on top”.

 Making FŐZELÉK [Vegetable Stew] -- A Parody

Breaded cauliflower makes a tasty meat replacement, but it can be a nice appetizer too. Serve it with a sauce or sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan. We happen to like them golden fried with just pepper and salt. Breading vegetables is easy. It will never cease to amaze me the trouble people go into making up a batter just the right consistency, which invariably ends up too little at first and in the end way too much. Dipping the vegetables into the batter is pretty useless too, because most of the coating will slide off during frying. The Hungarian way is much easier plus you will never end up with naked veggies on your plate. 

1/2 head cauliflower 
1-2 eggs, beaten slightly 
3/4 cup flour 
salt and pepper 
oil for frying 

• Cut apart the florets, but leave them fairly large. 
• Rinse and dry with a paper towel. 
• Sprinkle the florets with salt. 
• Place flour in a medium sized bowl. 
• In a different bowl, beat the eggs lightly with a fork, making sure the yolks and the whites are truly mixed. 
• One by one dip each floret into the flour, then into the beaten egg and into the flour one more time. 
• Place the florets on a tray. 
• Slowly heat up 1 to 2 inches of oil in a fry-pan. Make sure the oil is not too hot, because the batter burns easily. 
• Turn the florets to lightly brown on all sides. 
• Drain on paper towels. 
• Serve hot or cold.


  1. Cauliflower ... what can I say about cauliflower? The last time I bought one, I think it ended up pitched in the garbage as whatever plans for it were discarded. Since I don't fry (even shallow frying) too often I would be hesitant to try the dish but I bet it would be tasty just BECAUSE of the frying. :)

    1. Well Maria, the truth is you gotta love the cauliflower. Because frying or not it will still taste like cauliflower. Used as a meat replacement this will not break the bank with calories. Now if you were to serve it with a fair portion of meat, that would be another thing altogether. It's OK not to like things. I don't like to eat critters that swim or float or stand in water.

    2. Boy does that ever bring back memories! I have always enjoyed cauliflowers, but this is the tastiest preparation. Thanks for the recipe Zsuzsa, after missing it for over 50 years, I am eager to make a large batch.

    3. Just make sure Laszlo the oil is plentiful and is not too hot.

  2. I love cauliflower, particularly when it is baked, it sweetens up like crazy. I suspect that deep frying would do the same thing too. Looks delicious.

    1. Yes for sure. It is sweet. I love cauliflower.

  3. Thanks for bringing back great memories of my mothers' cooking, I love cauliflower any which way. Thanks also for the hilarious video.

  4. I also love cauliflower, any way it even raw with a dip. Love cauliflower soup, and especially fried. The Italian fried way is made with an egg, flour, water batter, which is also very good. Love your method...simple and oh, so delicious!

    1. I was all set to call you yesterday - then Olivia showed up, they had an in-service day. There are a few hours of window I can call you - that the time zone difference and my daily activities permit - which may in fact not work for you, but you have been too gracious to let on. Today I am busy all day, but the following three days I will be free. I am reluctant to bother you over the holidays, but perhaps next week I could give you a call? I hope all is well with you Elisabeth.




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