Fr. Z’s Kitchen: In honor of St. Stephen

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 thinkAgain, 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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Zephyrinus says:

    Köszönöm. Kedves tisztelend? atya.

    Nagyon jó.


  2. Zephyrinus says:


    Köszönöm. Kedves tisztelendö atya.

    Nagyon jó.


  3. Jim Dorchak says:

    Wow. Man that looks so yummy. I am going to give this a go.

    I will say for contrast that since I have lived in the campo for the past 8 years, it is an interesting thing now for me to see veggies or meat wrapped in styro-foam, plastic or paper. I totally forgot what that was like. I have to do a double take!

    We grow most of our own veggies and meat. What we chose not to grow, we purchase from our neighbors or the local mom and pop market. Even Lemons are grown in our greenhouse now as well as palta (avacados). Always fresh is always good.

    It kind of makes me sad to see how bad the rest of the world has it. We take for granted all of our fresh ingredients and our canned goods that we produced on our own and the rest of the world, with some exceptions, are consuming chemical slathered gene engineered excuses for food.

    Fr. Z I think if you came here to visit you would not want to stop cooking with the fresh veggies and meats we grow here. We put up 50 broiler chickens each year and countless sheep and beef.
    Love the good food posts. Please keep it up.
    Jim in Chile.

  4. Jim Dorchak says: meat wrapped in styro-foam

    I know. I would really like to have had better chicken and better beef for these dishes.


    I can get it. It is available. But I have bills to pay, too.

  5. Gab says:

    Hát ez milyen jó !

  6. Jim Dorchak says:

    I feel for you Fr. Z.
    I mentioned that we put 50 broilers in the freezer every year. They actually end up being a little more expensive and we debated not doing them since it is a lot of work too, but when you have a home grown broiler it will quickly change your mind. The flavor is just so much richer and just mouth watering. I appreciate the expense side of buying them in the former USA.
    I wish I could send you one in the mail or some of our home made sausages or smoked hams or jams and jellies, but it would cost me an arm and leg.
    I think it is better you just come visit us!
    Thanks Fr. Jim

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    That hot paprika looks like powdered lava. While the Chilean Carmenere was no doubt good, another option is a Magyar ‘hoszu lepes,’ wine splashed with iced soda 1:2.

  8. Semper:


    okay…. yut

    I don’t offer this often, but if you want to bring some, I’ll cook and we will test the theory.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    Sure, Fr. Z, count mein. I’ll invite a few guests from history for dinner: St. Paul and Byron, and for music Marta “Szelerem, Szelerem” Sebestyen.

  10. Semper Gumby says: count mein

    Hmmm… Chinese Hungarian fusion. Instead of Nokedli with our Paprikás Csirke we could have Lo Mein… or should that be Lö Mein?

    Your comment reminds me of a post from many years about about whom one would invite to supper. The great Vincenzo made it happen, virtually. It was amazing.

  11. Semper Gumby says:

    Fr. Z: Argentinian-Chinese-Hungarian fusion: Hagan lo mein.

  12. Semper Gumby says:

    In the kitchen the chefs are getting a little carried away.

    Argentinian-Chinese-Hungarian-Justin Wilson’s Shrimp Salad Sandwich Food Truck fusion: Hagan lo mein street.

  13. FOOD TRUCK?!? Great Caesar’s Ghost, man! Where does it end?

    Add the Cuban Sandwich Truck dimension and we now also have yellow mustard and pickles and then toasted in a plancha.

    Argentinian-Chinese-Hungarian-Justin Wilson’s Shrimp Salad Sandwich CUBAN Food Truck fusion: Hagan lo calle mein street.

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    *chuckle* Good one.

    Argentinian-Chinese-Hungarian-Bavarian-Justin Wilson’s Shrimp Salad Sandwich Food Truck fusion: Hagan lo Haus call mein street.

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Well, after a feast like that only a godless Commie refuses dessert.

    Bronx-Argentinian-Chinese-Hungarian-Bavarian-Justin Wilson’s Shrimp Salad Sandwich Food Truck fusion: Haagan lo Haus call mein street.

    “How sweet it is.” – Jackie Gleason. God bless ‘Merica.

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