16.10.17

FOAMY CREAM OF WHEAT - HABOS TEJBEGRÍZ

Foamy? You would think that picking out the right translation from 116 synonyms would be easy. It isn’t. There is no exact word for it that could stir up an identical response. I am afraid that foamy just doesn’t describe it. There are many such cases in culinary translation, just try to explain a pie to a Hungarian. It is as difficult as explaining lepény to a westerner. This is the reason for the many mistranslated Hungarian recipes that float around aiding and abetting the confusion and then we haven’t even arrived at the regional differences in language and practice. Once again the word “habos tejbegríz” is it foamy? No it isn’t foamy, but it’s lighter and airier in texture than ordinary tejbegríz. Adapted from ReceptNeked.

Grandma made it once for a neighbor lady’s ailing love interest, who by her own words was no cook. I looked at it with interest, but my six little brothers wouldn’t stand for deviating from the norm. During one of my visits I requested my grandmother's stuffed peppers for Sunday. What followed was an uproar when the little monkey's realized they won’t be getting breaded cutlets. They now range from 54 to 50 but they are still an interesting bunch. Except now the famous Hungarian inflexibility comes out… in politics. Imagine my sibling relationships, myself branded a “libsi” people lover and the six of them ultra right wing… even white supremacists… When people ask me how often I visit the Old Country I laugh… hysterically. 

and speaking of families

Foamy Cream of Wheat  

4 cups 2% milk [skim would burn]
3 egg whites
sprinkle of salt
3 egg yolks
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp real vanilla extract
6 Tbsp cream of wheat*

top with dried or candied fruit or maple syrup or with shaved chocolate.
* more about cream of wheat here

  • Place the milk in a wide pot on medium heat.
  • Meanwhile whip the egg whites and salt by a standing beater until stiff peaks show.
  • Transfer the stiff egg whites to a medium bowl.
  • Beat the egg yolks with sugar until very thick.
  • Once the milk comes to the boil slowly add the cream of wheat.
  • Continuously stirring, slow simmer until cream of wheat thickens.
  • Remove pot from heat.
  • Scoop a cupful of hot cream of wheat and gradually beat it into the whipped egg yolk mixture.
  • Add the egg yolk mixture to the pot and put it back on the medium heat.
  • Continuously stirring, simmer it for a couple of minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and fold in the stiff egg whites.
  • Put it back on medium heat and continuously stirring cook for 2 minutes longer.
  • Serve it in large cups with dried or candied fruit or maple syrup or with shaved chocolate.
  • Yields 4 servings.
  • We really liked it.


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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!