My daughter loves to cut mushrooms with an egg slicer, and she loves to eat them almost as much. It's a win-win.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 pounds sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
2 tablespoons dried dill (or fresh dill to taste)
4 cups homemade broth
2 cups milk
1-1/2 pound potatoes, peeled (or not) and diced
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onions, mushrooms, and some salt. After a few minutes the vegetables will release a lot of liquid. Keep stirring. When most of the moisture has evaporated (10-15 minutes), add the flour, paprika, and dill and stir for a minute. Next add the broth, the milk, and the potatoes. Bring the whole thing to a bubble and let it simmer until the potatoes are cooked through. When the potatoes are tender, take the pot off the heat, stir in the sour cream, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
This post is about what happened to my chicken, what to do with a whole chicken, and of course a recipe for Chicken Paprikash. After what felt like an eternity of bleeding, hacking, dying, and disemboweling, we were finally ready to cook. I had considered freezing all the meat to give myself a little time to absorb and forget all the slaughter, but how many times in life does a girl like me get to taste fresh chicken? And how many times will I have a Hungarian in my kitchen offering to show me firsthand how to make Chicken Paprikash? I'm guessing only once. Here is a picture of what we were left with.
I know, I know. Me too. Yikes. You can imagine how I felt. But you will notice how red all the meat looks. The breast meat looks like dark meat. Everything had been rubbed down with salt and rinsed multiple times. The stomach had been cleaned out and then kissed (literally) to show that it was perfectly safe now. Into one bowl went the skin, the wing tips, the head, the back, etc, for making a soup. Into another bowl went all the pieces destined for the Chicken Paprikash. I lobbied for the feet to go toward the soup, but was overruled. Apparently feet are incredibly sweet. Same for the comb and the testicles.
There was a comic strip a few years back that shows a hen feeding her sick rooster chicken soup. "It's supposed to be good for you," she tells him. "And don't worry, it's no one we know." It's become something of a family joke, and it was a little difficult to eat someone we knew.
But the flavor was so much better than any chicken I have ever eaten before. It was a little tougher, but I don't think that meat should have the same texture as butter anyway. I must have had three helpings, and I sat there staring at the foot, thinking that if that was the best part, I was really missing out. So if you ever have the opportunity to try fresh meat like this, take it.
1 chicken cut in pieces with most of the skin and fat removed
3 tablespoons of Hungarian paprika
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup red wine
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup water
1/2-1 cup sour cream
Soup for the rest of the chicken...
I don't have all the pictures of this one, but I wanted to keep a record of it here anyway. Take all the rest of the chicken bits that seem a little exotic or unusable, like some of the skin, the head, back, etc, and put them in a stock pot. Add one unpeeled onion and fill it with water. Add about a tablespoon of salt, though you will need more later. Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for about an hour. Then add two peeled potatoes, two peeled carrots, a little broccoli, and a parsnip if you have it. When the vegetables are cooked through, remove them. Boil one pound of angel hair pasta, drain it, and toss it with a little of the broth so it doesn't all stick together. Season the broth and serve it with the vegetables and pasta in separate dishes.
This is the best dessert you've never tried. It's elegant and simple and can be made ahead. I had no idea what to expect when I tried it, but it's a delicate apple mousse. I never expected a dessert like this out of the land that produced goulash- no lard, no paprika, not even sour cream!
My first thought, since I had never baked apples before, was to figure out how much pulp I got from 2 pounds of apples and then substitute applesauce, but the pulp from the apples is a little thicker and I think it would change the outcome. However, I got just over 2 cups of pulp, so if you don't have a food mill or an easy way to peel and core the apples before blending it, it might be worth a try. The apples I used had some red on them which tinged the apples a pretty pink hue.
No, you don't cook the egg whites. Please don't let this stop you from trying this. It's wonderful!
This is again from Countess Morphy's Recipes of All Nations. I included a photo of the recipe at the end of this post.
2 pounds apples
juice from half a lemon
6 tablespoons sugar
1/3-1/2 cup whipping cream
optional: fruit to garnish
1. Wash the apples and put them in a baking dish in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes until they are very soft. Take them out and allow them to cool.
2. Quarter the apples and run them through a food mill, or peel and core them and puree them in a blender or food processor. Set them aside.
3. In a clean bowl, beat the whites of two eggs until they are foamy. Add the lemon juice and sugar and finish beating until stiff. Use a spatula to fold these into the apple puree.
4. Wash out the bowl from the egg white and pour in the cream. You don't need to sweeten it because the apple puree is so sweet. How much you use really depends on how much you love whipped cream. Beat it until it's nice and thick (but stop before you end up with butter!).
5. You can serve everything together in one glass dish or make separate servings in individual glasses. Top with the whipped cream. Next time I will serve it either with shaved apple slices or raspberries if I can get them.
This is the second pork and cabbage soup recipe I've posted, but they couldn't be more different from each other. I am still working my way through Countess Morphy's Recipes of All Nations Hungarian section, and this was another winning recipe. This is good, easy, inexpensive winter food.
3/4 pound pork tenderloin cut in 1 inch cubes
2 pounds cabbage sliced and shredded
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2-3 chopped tomatoes
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons lard or butter or olive oil
4 cups water
1 teaspoon paprika
Heat up the fat or oil in a Dutch oven. Add the cabbage and onion and salt it lightly. Add the meat, paprika, tomatoes, and a little more salt. Stir it well and allow it to cook and simmer in the juices that come out for 30 minutes, being careful not to burn it. Add the 4 cups of hot water, bring it to a boil, and simmer for another hour and a half until the meat and cabbage are tender. (If you are in a hurry I think you can eat it long before then and you would be in no danger of shattering your teeth on tough meat and cabbage.) When you're ready to eat it, mix together a little sour cream with the flour and some of the hot soup stock. Taste it for salt. Return it to the pot and let it simmer a few more minutes before taking it off the heat and stirring in the rest of the sour cream.
It's simmering on the stove and it smells amazing. Must be the lard.
This was a very simple recipe. It simmers for nearly three hours, so it's better made ahead of time, but it doesn't take much effort once the vegetables are all cut up. You don't even have to brown the meat. I know next to nothing about sausage, so I bought Andouille, the only sausage that was smoked at Trader Joe's. It was pretty fiery but it tasted great- though I wish I could have tried the recipe with a more authentic sausage, whatever that would have been. I used the meat that I had, which was just over 2 pounds of a cut I think was called rib steak. It was tough with lots of connective tissue, but after the long simmer it was completely tender.
Another winner from the Countess.
2 pounds of beef cut into 1 inch cubes
1 or 2 smoked sausages, sliced
3 medium onions sliced thinly
2 diced tomatoes
2 red or green bell peppers, peeled if you like and thinly sliced
2 or 3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons paprika
6 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons lard, olive oil, or butter
Heat up the lard, olive oil, or butter in a large pan. Fry the onion in it until it is light golden. Add the cubed beef, the tomatoes, the chopped bell peppers, the paprika, and some salt. Simmer it very gently for 45 minutes. The salt will draw out moisture from the vegetables and it will create enough juice to simmer in. Slowly add the 6 cups of hot water, cover the pan, and let it continue to simmer for another 2 hours. Half an hour before serving add the potatoes, and 10 minutes before serving add the sausage.
Recipes of All Nations by Countess Morphy is one of my most treasured possessions. Published in 1935, it was written for the "modern housewife" in America to show her how middle class women from other countries cook with economy, and to lighten the burden of figuring out what to eat every day.
Most surprising to me is the variety of recipes she (Mrs. Morphy? the Countess?) was able to procure. In addition to most of the European countries, there are recipes from Russia, India, China, Japan, Arabia and Persia, Turkey and the Balkans, Greece, Africa, the French West Indies, and South America. There is even a recipe for Pho. She explains that nuoc-man is made from "a kind of brine exuding from decaying fish". Accurate, if not appetizing.
There is so much to try, but last night I began with the section on Hungary. The recipes all seem to hold certain key ingredients in common- paprika, lard, cabbage, sauerkraut, sour cream, potatoes, bell peppers (pimientos), and meats like pork, chicken, and beef. So I bought all those things and tried my first recipe last night.
It was very easy, and everyone liked it. No exceptions. My husband looked up at me with sad eyes, and said, "Will I ever see this again?" Yes. This deserves a spot in the rotation. It wasn't much to look at, however. Sorry the picture is so uninspired, but it would have taken an army to make it look even half as good as it tasted, and I still had dishes to do.
I know Hungarian food doesn't have a reputation for being particularly healthy, and it certainly isn't light, but there are a few features of this meal I feel worth pointing out. Not only was it gluten-free, but the sauerkraut and sour cream are both cultured products if you make them yourself, and sauerkraut is loaded with vitamin C. So no, it's not raw juiced kale, but I promise it tastes better. I served it with boiled buttered potatoes.
Fry the onion in the butter or olive oil. When it has browned, sprinkle in some paprika and the cubed pork. Add just enough water to cover the meat and simmer it until the water has evaporated. Add water repeatedly until the meat is tender it you need to, but I didn't. The point seems to be to make the meat tender without turning this into a soup. Once the meat is tender and most of the water has evaporated, stir in the sauerkraut and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I added in more paprika just to make the color richer. I think up to a tablespoon would be fine.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!