Amazing Menu

Chef Daria's Amazing Menu — Hungary

The authors of the remaining web sites are often quite charming, or at least amusing...
Like the Germans, our Hungarian friends have many English-language web sites relating to food. Most of them are trying to sell self-published cookbooks, however. The authors of the remaining web sites are often quite charming, or at least amusing, and one website author provides a good story with each recipe, and includes this Hungarian cold remedy. Meanwhile, I’m looking for some brain bleach, because the homepage for one the sites links to off-color items (many are harmless silliness, but there are a few explicit and, perhaps, pornographic pictures), yet the recipe links are to some pretty good recipes. Really, they are worth visiting. So now you’ve been warned – if you go off the grid here, don’t click on the underlined words in the alleged truck driver’s “story.”



Soups/salads:

Someone recently accused me of being overly fond of fruit soups. So by including this recipe for sour cherry soup we have more proof of that, I suppose – but it just sounds so good! And herb soup sounds like a nice change of pace. For something heartier, there’s an onion dumpling soup. These previous two seem a big egg-y. Not so this Hungarianized Ukranian recipe for tangy beef soup. And this barley stew seems like it would be enough for an entire meal.

As for salads, there’s a simple cucumber salad and a peasant’s salad. I’m guessing that the best cheese to use here would be a goat cheese.


Meat/fish:
Keep in mind that paprika loses its flavor after about six months, so you don’t want something from a tin that’s been in your spice cabinet since 1992.
Here’s a goulash recipe with funky spelling for your entertainment, along with a recipe for dumplings. Another traditional entree is chicken paprikash. I’d recommend getting “real” paprika imported from Hungary – it comes in sweet and hot, so you can tailor the flavors to your preferences. Keep in mind that paprika loses its flavor after about six months, so you don’t want something from a tin that’s been in your spice cabinet since 1992.

Porkolt is a meat stew that you can make with either beef or pork. Beef with carrot sauce and pepper marjoram beef are two other hearty entrees. Chicken galanta is another dish with dumplings.


Vegetarian:

We hope you like cabbage. This week, we have noodles and cabbage, and more noodles and cabbage, and cabbage with no noodles but cooked in dill and sour cream. Want something other than cabbage? There’s always spinach, Hungarian style.

Happily, there are two Hungarian recipes this week that seem to mesh well with the prevailing North American vegetarian style of cooking. This green pepper and tomato stew can be served over brown rice. And we have tempeh paprikas! This also marks the return to the Internet of the much-missed Food Down Under site, which has always been a great resource for vegetarian recipes.


Desserts:

Poppy seeds abound! They’re in poppy seed squares and poppy seed moon cake (which has a cool story behind it), or you can have a dessert of noodles with poppy seeds.

If you’re tired of poppy seeds, you can try plum dumplings or nut crescents, which might be a good addition to your Christmas cookie repertoire.


More:

I got an early Christmas present when the Food Down Under site came back! Yay! :::happy dance, happy dance::: And, as one would expect, it has lots of good Hungarian recipes. Two other reliable sites we include most weeks are the recipezaar and the recipesource.

The charming cookbook author June Meyer has an interesting story with each of her many recipes. And Anika’s site has funky spellings but lots of charm and good recipes. Our off-color friend has lots of excellent recipes – quit playing and open a restaurant, dude! And each week, it seems I come across an American university that has an extensive recipe collection for the country of the week. This week, we’re thanking the University of Vermont for filling that role.