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Category Archives: "Home-cooking"
Aranygaluska Recipe (Or, Surviving the Hungarian Winter By Baking)
Posted by Gabriella Andronyi on 15 December, 2016 in Cook ,

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Hungary is famous for its decadent Austrian-style pastries served in glamorous coffeehouses that make us feel as if time stopped somewhere at the turn of the last century. Travelers are often amazed by these elegant cakes in Hungary. Who can resist beauties like the seven-layer Dobos torta with its glistening caramelized top or the Esterházy torta with its rich walnut flavors? And then there is the annual National Cake of the Year to anticipate! Visiting a Hungarian patisserie can be a battle of wills as there’s such a selection of sugar-coated temptations that making a choice is difficult.

“Are there fairies in the Hungarian kitchens using secret recipes,” people ask after realizing how complicated these cakes are to prepare (and how delicious they taste). In fact, in Hungary our home cooks are like fairies in the kitchen. But they are not usually preparing fancy cakes like Dobos and Esterházy. Rather, they have a repertoire of simple and amazing recipes, and not all of them are secrets. Most Hungarian families have their own handwritten, well-worn cookbook inherited from mothers or grandmothers. It contains a long list of sweet pastries, cakes, dumplings, strudels, and pancakes, from the most simple ones to the very difficult-to-prepare ones, all are impossible to resist.

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Q&A with Gabó Bartha, One of Our Kitchen Heroes
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 11 March, 2015 in Cook ,Explore ,

http://www.winelover.co/events/event/winelover-week-in-hungary-and-austria-september-2014/

The first time we met Gabó Bartha and Ákos Szokolai from the Budaházy Winery in Mád it was over a fabulous meal that she had prepared for us in Mád, paired with Ákos’ wines, naturally. Before meeting in person we had been corresponding by email about shared interests in food, cooking, and Tokaj for a few months. Since then we have been lucky enough to enjoy their thoughtful approach to cooking (enhanced by their lovely wines) many times, and the winery is always a favorite stop for our wine-touring guests.

It was fitting that Gabó was one of the very first people to help us break in the new kitchen at The Tasting Table in September when we hosted a #winelover BYOB dinner there, and now she is back with Ákos. Together they are busy shopping at the market, unpacking their stash of ingredients that they carted from Mád, and preparing for the dinner that they are hosting tomorrow at The Tasting Table.

We took this chance to ask Gabó a few questions about her distinctive cooking style, which has incorporated many influences starting from her childhood in Transylvania, up until the past nearly four years that she has spend living in the tiny village of Mád, in the Tokaj wine region. Read More

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Birsalma Sajt (Quince Jelly)
Posted by Anna J. Kutor on 23 January, 2015 in Cook ,

Birsalmasajt (quince paste)

The knobby quince has never been one of the most popular fruits. But come autumn, even the humble quince turns into a riot of taste and texture when cooked into a firm jelly. With a consistent bumper harvest of fruits throughout the autumn, Hungarians have grown used to utilizing the season’s bounty in a myriad of ways—fresh, fermented, dried, cooked, and preserved. Even quince (birsalma or birskorte), a rather unattractive and under-appreciated fruit due to its bracingly bitter flavor, becomes a seasonal delicacy when stewed in sugar and water.

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Hungarian Paprika—The Essential Red Spice
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 21 January, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,Cook ,Shop ,

Hungarian paprika

If there is one ingredient that Hungary is undeniably associated with, it is, of course, paprika. Though peppers were not introduced to Hungary until the 16th century, the spice symbolizes Hungarian cuisine and is an essential component of some of the best-known Hungarian dishes, including gulyás, pörkölt (stew), chicken paprikás, and halászlé (fisherman’s soup). Paprika gives these dishes their brilliant orange color, and the intense peppery flavor and aroma so characteristic of Hungarian cuisine. “There is something about paprika itself that makes it synonymous with ‘Hungarian.’ ‘Fiery,’ ‘spicy,’ ‘temperamental’—all these adjectives suggest both paprika and the national character,” writes George Lang in The Cuisine of Hungary. “Paprika is to the Hungarian cuisine as wit is to its conversation—not just a superficial garnish, but an integral element, a very special and unique flavor instantly recognizable.” 

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Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken)
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 19 January, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,Cook ,

Paprikás Csirke (Paprika Chicken)

Paprikás csirke (pronounced paprikash cheerke) is one of the most classic of Hungarian dishes. Named for the large amount of paprika that goes into the sauce, the paprikás method can also be applied to veal, mushrooms, or fish. In fact, according to George Lang in The Cuisine of Hungary, it is one of the four pillars of Hungarian cooking (the others are gulyás, pörkölt, and tokány). “The chief difference between pörkölt and paprikás is that paprikás is usually finished with sweet or sour cream, sometimes mixed with a little flour, but always stirred in just before serving,” writes Lang. “You may never use cream of any kind for gulyás or pörkölt! Also, beef, mutton, game, goose, duck, and pork are most popular for pörkölt; veal and chicken for paprikás.”

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Sunday Lunch in Hungary
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 15 January, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,Eat ,Explore ,

Hungarian Outdoor Sunday Lunch

Sunday lunch is practically a sacred ritual in Hungary. This I learned soon after arriving on my very first visit. I found myself sitting at a table set under towering chestnut and walnut trees, eating the kind of meal that would have only been prepared on holidays in my family. It was the ideal introduction to this cuisine that was new to me. I had come to visit Gábor (now my husband) for the summer. He had already told me stories about his mother’s cooking, his epic family meals, and all the Hungarian dishes that he missed so much when he was away from home. Now, I would taste it all for myself.

First there were shots of homemade pálinka, walnut liqueur, and other spirits poured unceremoniously from used plastic water and soda bottles into stout shot glasses. The meal began with húsleves, a rich consommé which was a staple at welcome meals prepared by Gábor’s mom, Kati, I would later learn. Prepared with beef or poultry, húsleves is made by slowly simmering bones and meat, and adding whole root vegetables and homemade pinched pasta when it is nearly done. For me, it has come to typify Hungarian cuisine more than almost any other dish. At the table, everyone added their own hot paprika. And a long hot green pepper was passed around the table from which everybody cut thin slices directly into their bowls.

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Taste Hungary’s 100 Essentials List
Posted by Carolyn Bánfalvi on 01 January, 2015 in 100 Essentials ,

Essential Food, Wine, and Dining Experiences 

When in Hungary, be prepared to eat and drink … and then do it some more. To fully experience Hungary there are some food, drinks, and experiences that cannot be missed. We have compiled what we think are the most essential (and tastiest) ones. We could go on…but this is enough to get started! We have stories to match some of these “essentials” (which you can get to by clicking on links in the list below the photos), and in the coming months we will add stories for each one of them. You can download the entire list here (pdf). This list is in no particular order, and will update it from time to time.

1. Lángos | 2. Unicum | 3. Gulyás (Goulash) | 4. Neighborhood Markets | 5.  Pezsgő (Sparkling Wine) | 6. Mangalica (Mangalitsa) | 7.  Nagy Vásárcsarnok (Central Market Hall) | 8.  Római Part (Romai Strand) | 9. Picnics | 10. Coffee: Historic Coffeehouses, Retro Eszpresszos, and 3rd Wave Coffee | 11. Rétes (Strudel) | 12. Nose To Tail Eating | 13. Fröccs (Spritzer) | 14. Zsíros kenyér (“Fatty” Bread) | 15. Szalonnasütés (Bacon Roasting) | 16. Szódásüveg (Soda Syphons) | 17. Michelin-Starred Restaurants | 18. Romkocsma (Ruin Bars) | 19. Dobos Torta | 20. Pálinka | 21. Túró Rudi | 22. Jewish Cuisine | 23. Velőscsont (Bone Marrow) | 24. Tokaj | 25. Indigenous Grape Varietals | 26. Liba/Kacsa Máj (Foie Gras) | 27. Kacsa (Duck) and Goose (Liba) | 28. Szilvás Gombóc (Plum Dumplings) 29. Szörp (Fruit Syrup) | 30. Taste Hungary Tours |31. Étkezde (Lunch Rooms) | 32. Cukrászdas (Patisseries) | 33.  Fagylalt (Ice Cream) | 34. Mák (Poppy Seeds) | 35. Dió (Walnuts) | 36. Húsleves (“Meat Soup”) |  37. Hideg Gyümölcs Leves (Cold Fruit Soup) | 38. Töltött Paprika & Töltött Káposzta (Stuffed Peppers & Stuffed Cabbage) | 39. Palacsinta  (Pancakes) | 40. Furmint | 41. Holiday Traditions | 42. Paprika and Peppers | 43. Disznótor (Pig Slaughter) | 44. Drinking From Unmarked Plastic Bottles | 45. Házi Barack & Szilva Lekvár (Homemade Apricot and Plum Jam) | 46. Hungarian Wine Country | 47. Artisan Cheese | 48. George Láng’s The Cuisine of Hungary | 49. Lake Balaton: Corn on the Cob, Lángos, and Artisan Products | 50. Craft Cocktails | 51. Bogrács (Cauldron) | 52. Savanyúság (Pickles) | 53. Craft Beer | 54. Tökmag (Pumpkin Seeds) | 55. Fresh-Picked Fruit | 56. Meggy (Sour Cherries) | 57. Gomba (Mushrooms) | 58. Halászlé (Fisherman’s Soup) | 59. Házi Fánk (Homemade Donuts) | 60. Krémes | 61. Hidegtál (Cold Plate) | 62. Yeast-Raised Desserts | 63. Flódni | 64. Fried Food (with Homemade Tartar Sauce) | 65. The Tasting Table | 66. Gyula Krúdy’s Novels | 67. Etyek | 68. Budapest’s Natural Springs | 69. Bor Mámor Bénye | 70. Budapest Wine Festival | 71. Sólet (Cholent) | 72. Lecsó | 73. Maximilian | 74. Rozé (Rosé) | 75. Tokaji Esszencia | 76. Rákóczi Túrós | 77. Kürtöskalács (Chimney Cake) | 78. Leves (Soup) | 79. Seasonal Eating | 80. Pogácsa | 81. Red Wine from Southern Hungary | 82. Sörözős and Borozós | 83. Hungarian Breakfast | 84. Kovászos Uborka (Fermented Cucumbers) | 85. Tészta (Pasta) | 86. Paprikás Csirke (Chicken Paprikás) | 87. Lunch at a Butcher | 88. Pork: Sausage, Bacon, and More | 89. Főzelék | 90. Zsír (Fat) | 91. A Spájz (The Pantry) | 92. Home-cooking | 93. Túró (Curd Cheese) | 94. Poncichter Ragu (Soproni Bean Stew) | 95. Pörkölt (Stew) | 96. Bodzalé (Elderflower Juice) | 97. Wine from Somló | 98. Téliszalámi (Winter Salami) | 99. Gesztenyepüré (Chestnut Puree) | 100. Sunday Lunch

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