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What could be more fitting in a snow storm than dragging out something you made at the height of the growing season? Just when we thought we were done with winter the B.C. Interior is plunged into another cold front. It is the price we pay for the privilege living in Canada. I love this land and its diverse people but the weather… sometimes the weather gets to me. At least it’s not Ontario or the Yukon.  I am getting too old for extreme weather conditions. I never enjoyed damp or cold. My brand new cross country ski equipment lasted for two outings and I hurriedly passed it on. And that was when I was in my mid twenties. I could have endured tropical heat, but not the bugs or the vermin that run around. Living on Planet Earth has its challenges. Even in the Goldilocks Zone. Life is a challenge everywhere. It will be months before I get to have another wax bean stew. Nobody sells it around here, we have to grow it.

This is the way my other grandmother prepared wax bean stew; I always loved wax bean stew no matter which of my grandmothers made it. My favourite bean was the flat, wide Juliska Bab. Maybe one day wax beans will be as widely available here as green beans. I never actually saw green beans or green peppers until I came to Canada. Back in the old country there was the occasional faintly green pepper, but all I ever saw was masses of fleshy, sweet yellow Hungarian or the small, skinny hot peppers. [Paprika is made from the yellow pepper turning red.] And why is the pepper called the same name as the pepper? The only way to distinguish between the vegetable and the spice is you tack a colour to it and call it yellow, green or red. Ah there is purple now too. Except the spice is not only black, there are also white and green and red... Were there not enough words in English? This was all very confusing for a newcomer. 

 all day long

never in 40 years

Paprika Wax Bean Stew

2 cups of yellow wax beans
1 cup green beans
3 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 garlic, minced
salt to taste
1 yellow Hungarian pepper, quartered, optional
2 Tbsp flour
1 cup cold stock or water
2/3 cup 14% sour cream*
few sprigs of chopped parsley
additional sour cream for serving

*Cooking low fat sour cream into the stew tends to break apart into floating white bits. So if you insist on using low fat sour cream, add it at the table. 

  • Remove the bean ends and pull off the tough stringy bit from the sides. 
  • Rinse beans under cold running water.
  • Chop into 1-1/2 inch lengths. 
  • In a wide bottomed pot sauté the onions on oil until transparent.
  • Remove pot from heat and stir in the paprika.
  • Add the chopped beans, minced garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the yellow Hungarian pepper pieces.
  • Finally add enough water to the level of the beans.
  • Bring everything to a boil, reduce heat for simmer and put a lid on the pot.
  • Cook the beans tender. 
  • Meanwhile make up the slurry. Add the flour to a small bowl and gradually stir in 1 cup of cold water or cold stock.
  • Stir it smooth.
  • To thicken with the slurry, whisk the cold slurry into the simmering pot.
  • Bring everything back to a simmer and continue in to simmer for 2-3 minutes or until the starchy taste is cooked away. Don't cook it longer, because the starch will break down and the liquid will turn thin again..
  • Remove pot from heat and stir in the sour cream and the chopped parsley. 
  • Serve the stew with extra sour cream on the side.

it will be summer soon



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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!