The state of things is so awful that I needed a pick me up. And since recently a few people have really picked me up by sending things from my wish list, including a lot of really good paprika, there was only one thing to do.
It was time to honor St. Stephen of Hungary, whose Feast it is in the ever-living, ever-green TRADITIONAL Roman Calendar that they will never be able to suppress.
Calendar… well. Calendars can change. But they won’t destroy the Roman Rite.
I made Paprikás Csirke the other day. Today I made the other famous Magyar dish, Gulyás (Gulash, pronounced GOO-yash) and Uborkasaláta (OO-borkashalata).
First, thank you to the kind soul who sent San Pellegrino Bitter from my wishlist. Here’s to you, BA!
By the way, when I use something that was sent by a reader, I pray for that kind person. It is my duty and pleasure.
The mise en place for Cucumber Salad, which is to be eaten along side the Gulyás… to put out the flames, I think. Again, this is not the “weak ass” garlic I complained about. This was sent be a reader who grows it. It’s another thing entirely.
The recipes agree that the cucumber should be sliced as thinly as possible. That spurred a hunt for my mandolin through boxes in the garage, in WWII Pacific Theater enemy torture box conditions. But I found, it, a gift from a friend. Thanks.
Mix through with salt and press it down to get moisture out. Later I will still have to pick up the mass and squeeeeeeeeeeeze it for greater effect. I think I’ll extract the seeds next time before slicing.
While that’s going on, the mise en place of the Gulyás.
The recipe called for hot instead of sweet paprika, used with the cukes. Note the garlic cloves. The recipe asked for five, but these are huge and far more effective than the usual stuff just about any recipe written in English could fathom.
Get the onions going…. in the Dutch oven (for the sake of the reader who wanted more Dutch oven meals. For fat I used salt pork and some left over pancetta, which I left in.
Here’s where I would improve the recipes I looked at. I would take a page from the French and give the beef, cut into small pieces, a dusting of flour, so that the stew could make its own roux and tighten up a little in the final stages.
What happens to garlic.
Starting to combine.
Next, bell peppers, carrots, tomato, and PAPRIKA, the hot kind. That’s about a quarter cup. It turned out to be enough, for sure. This paprika, a gift from the reader, is not the “weak assed” stuff in the grocery store.
Those carrots needed to be used. Note the bay leaves.
Meanwhile, back to the cucumber salad. Combine some sugar, salt, vinegar and minced garlic to macerate. After a while add a little water and adjust the balance. Stir through your slices cucumbers and give it dill and sweet paprika.
The result after about an hour of simmering.
Gulyás and Uborkasaláta.
I had a Chilean Carmenere with this. For dessert… a few peanut M&Ms.
Now, back to office, working chess problems and my daily Hungarian lesson.