Friday, May 21, 2010 Rockin' Recipes from Hungarian Night!

When one is searching for Hungarian recipes one is reminded of a dark, dark time in human history. When folks had to resort to eating liver, hare and calf's lung. As I searched my Hungarian cookbook my mind quickly began switching out ingredients for more appetizing ones. The Headbanging Hostess rarely follows a recipe as written. Now, more than ever, this was necessity more than whimsy. I'm not about to eat a pigs foot.

I ate pigs ears as a child. But I'll save that for another post.

The cookbook I have is 38 years old. One year older than me. My Dad went through it and turned down the corner of some pages, those must be the tasty ones! The ones that reminded him of home.

My Dad died when I was 16. I had little interest in the food from his home country back in those days. I was 16, I had little interest in anything my Dad had to say. So now, when I'm leafing through the cookbook and stumble upon one of his handwritten notes concerning a recipe, there's a wave of frustration with my teenage self that comes over me. The only cure? Paprika.

So here's a recipe I tweaked the hell out of. The original called for pigs feet, smoked pork ribs and smoked pork sausage. I went with ham hocks and kielbasa.

Ham Hock and Bean Soup

6 Smoked Ham Hocks
5-6 stalks of Celery
2 cans of White Beans
1 Onion
Bacon Grease
Tablespoon of Fresh Parsley
Tablespoon of Flour
Hot and Sweet Paprika (to taste, about a Tablespoon of each)
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Kielbasa
Serve with Sour Cream

-Cover the ham hocks in water in a large pot and cook for 3 hours, until meat is falling off the bone. Take hocks out of the water and remove the meat.
-Rinse beans and add to stock.
-Chop celery and add to stock.
-Cook onion in bacon grease until translucent. Add parsley, paprika, garlic and flour to make a roux. Add one cup of water, whisk and add to stock.
-Chop kielbasa into bite size pieces and add to stock along with the meat from the hocks.

This was on the stove all day, 10 hours easy. Low and slow is the key to most Hungarian cooking.

Serve it with homemade noodles. I have a spaetzle maker, which makes it easy. I bet you could pour the batter into a ziplock, cut off a corner and have similar results.

Homemade Noodles

2 cups Flour
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon Sweet Paprika
1 3/4 cups water (plus)

Combine ingredients until a batter is made. A few lumps are okay, but it should be more liquid than the average pancake batter. Using a spaetzle maker or bag pour into boiling water, stir. Noodles are ready when they rise to the top.

Put some noodles at the bottom of a bowl and spoon the soup over them. Dude. I'm not lying. This is freakin' delicious!

Dessert was the biggest hit of the night. Potato Pancakes with Sour Cream Ice Cream and Hot Apple Topping. OMG. Outstanding. And all from my pretty little head! But I'm not giving you that recipe. You'll have to wait for the cookbook! Anticipation :)

Bang on, my peeps!



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