Tales of Hungarian Cooking

After my first bites of authentic Hungarian food, I mentioned wanting to make Hungarian friends and plead for some homemade cooking. This mission is pretty outdone because of my friends Gréti and Kata, who are not just lovely people but also nutrition majors. Divine cooks, in other words.

They came over last weekend to cook dinner for what grew from a party of three to a daunting fifteen people. This translated to three kilos of chicken, five bags of turo,and lots and lots of paprika–all minced and mixed and mashed together into a delicious meal that fed not only our whole group but a few of my neighbors, too. And I still have leftovers somewhere in my fridge.

The classic paprika chicken–served in a sour cream sauce with Disney princess pasta from the Azsia store –was Gréti’s masterpiece. She somehow finds time between school and work and commuting from Pomaz to regularly make this for her family, and the practice has definitely paid off. I barely had time to sneak some for next day’s dinner before we scooped up every last delicious spoonful.

The most memorable part of the meal was definitely the túrógombóc, a cheesy-sweet dessert of cottage cheese rolled into balls, boiled, and covered in toasted breadcrumbs with sugar. Eaten–wait for it–with sour cream. I thought they would taste pretty good with honey or jam, but the looks on Kata’s and Gréti’s faces suggested that this was probably against a national law or two.

I left the cooking to the experts, but it actually looks like an uncomplicated dessert to make. Just lots of gooey mashing and rolling involved.

Gréti and the neverending cottage cheese.

We’d actually grossly overestimated the collective appetite of fifteen people, so the túrógombóc was neverending. After giving them away to all those willing and taking a bowlful to my neighbors, there are still about 30 waiting in my freezer. Default dinner for lazy nights.

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