Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Dollop of Sour Cream

Chicken paprikash with additional sour cream when plated
Cooking Hungarian

Like many cultures, food can be a central theme. But for Hungarians food is an expression of love, camaraderie, and celebration. It is quite unexplainable.

My favorite Hungarian recipes can be found on any internet if you Google them... but there are nuances and differences of ingredients, measurement, or cooking styles. But the one thing that is common in most Hungarian dishes is sour cream either mixed into the sauce while cooking or topping the dish when plated and served.

The following are few of our family's Hungarian dishes with their nuances.

Chicken Paprikash
 All Hungarian dishes start by cooking several chopped onions until soft.  Take the pot with the onion off the fire and add the paprika (paprika will burn and taste bitter).
Add chicken, chicken broth or water and heat
Stir in 1 cup of good sour cream.

Chicken Paprikash sour cream added to sauce
Additional sour cream can top the paprikash if desired when plated (see at top of post).

Cabbage Rolls
Sour cream is added to the cabbage rolls when they are served.

Stuffed cabbage before cooking
The rolls filled with an onion, beef, pork, rice mixture and wrapped in blanched cabbage leaves are then covered 1/2 way up the pan with water. I top with sauerkraut. Top the entire dish with tomatoes or tomato juice and then a few peppercorns.  Stuff a few pepperoni into the crevices of the cabbages. Cook 1-2 hours until rice is cooked.

 Cabbage rolls plated with sour cream. Many Hungarians do not top this dish with sour cream.

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Goulash while from Paprika
Goulash is usually cooked with beef. Use a top sirloin rather than stew beef so that the beef is very tender. The sour cream is added to the plated goulash.
There are two kinds of goulash. One is served over a homemade noodle or "nokedli" (spaetzel) and the other is like a soup made with potatoes and more liquid.

Other Hungarian Food served with sour cream

Langos is a fried puffed bread that should be sprinkled with cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Picked up and eaten by hand.

Uborka Salat is a cucumber salad. The cucumbers are sliced thin, salted and left to drain of their natural liquid.
They are to be cured in the refrigerator with a vinegar, garlic, salt, sugar dressing overnight. Before serving, sour cream is mixed into the salad. Add a dash of paprika just before serving. If you leave the cucumbers unpeeled the dish with the paprika on top reflects the colors of the Hungarian (paprika) and green (cucumbers).

Rakott Krumpli  is cooked sliced potato, cooked sliced eggs, layered with sour cream. Stuff kolbas, sausage, pieces of thick bacon, or other spiced Hungarian meats in between the layers. Top with a sour cream mixture. This dish resembles scalloped potatoes. 

Hungarian Summer Squash is grated summer squash (or zuchinni or spaghetti squash) sauted with a bit of flour and cream added and then sour cream. Top with lots of fresh dill!

Cheese Dip Farmer's cheese or an America unsalted feta cheese with sour cream, paprika, caraway seeds.

The following are Hungarian Dishes Made Without Sour Cream
There are many dishes served without sour cream. Desserts like Dobors torte, walnut cake, poppy seed strudel, and palachinka are just a few.

Palachinka is like a crepe and can be prepared sweet or savory.

For a sweet palachinka:
A ladle of mixture into a frying pan. Tip the pan to spread the mixture all around the pan and then flip to the other side.
It can be served rolled up with apricot jam inside. 

For a savory palachinka:
You can use the crepe for savory dishes also. Roll chicken inside and serve with a paprika cream sauce...then sour cream can top this savory dish. 

Please see one of my favorite websites for Hungarian cooking (below).

Also Facebook: Hungarian Cooking.

See online June Meyer's website.

If you enjoy Hungarian Food and wanna swap recipes,  just write me.

See ya down the road, 

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