töltött káposzta

Today i prepared töltött káposzta (stuffed cabbage, but i did it Beáta Stanicsné Bödő-style and i layered it). Balázs thought it would be a good welcome back meal for Nick and Rosemary, so i agreed to cook it. It is one of my favourite Hungarian dishes.

Please do not tell me that i prepared it the wrong way because there are as many ways to prepare it as there are families in Hungary. Some families make it with another spice, so it is sweeter, some like to make it more sour, others like to add more meat and others like to add tomatoes. i suggest to try it different ways.

Here is the recipe in pictures.

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Thick bacon cut into chunks.

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Sauerkraut on top of it.

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Paprika sprinkled. i used the regular, not the spicy one and add some flour.

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In a separate bowl mix together 1 kilo ground pork, 1/2 to 3/4 kilo uncooked washed rice, black pepper, salt, paprika and 1 egg. Mix and make balls.

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Add meat balls.

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More sauerkraut and paprika.

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Now add a layer of pork sausage, i was fortunate to have some homemade Hungarian sausage, so it was filled with paprika.

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Another layer of sauerkraut.

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More flour and paprika., then fill with water to cover it all. Cover, cook for 2 hours or so. (Sometimes i like to add tomatoes (fresh or stewed) to this layer, but some people do not like tomatoes).

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It will look like this, but the photo is a bit brighter than it actually was when it was done.

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i usually serve it in a bowl topped with sour cream, then mix it in the dish. It is good to have some of the juices in your bowl. Grab a thick piece of fresh bread, maybe like a baguette. Eat.

And to top off my day, i received my driving license in the post today. They also send a copy of the actual permit too. i guess they are not too organised.

Tamale Pie and Good-byes

Many people ask me for my recipes and i agree to give them it, but i am terrible at follow through. i do not mean to be difficult, but i am when it comes to writing recipes. i do not actually use recipes to cook; i do most of it from instinct and sometimes i use three different recipes to create my dish.

This is my first recipe and i decided to share it because it is quite possible that somebody that i used to know deleted me from their friend list on Facebook because i had promised to give it to him several times and failed. Of course there could be another reason, but it will remain a mystery to me.

At times i think about deleting my Facebook account and this blog because i take it very hard when people remove me from their friend list. i can get really down and it takes me time to recover from loss, but one of the things i find comfort in, is food. i made this for my Mexican roommate and she gave it her approval, so i think it is great.

Here is the recipe that i promised someone a year ago; hopefully he will find his way to forgiveness or at least to a full stomach.

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Unfortunately the oven here does not work, so almost everything burns. On one side i added cheese and peppers, but the other i did not because of the delight French palate cannot handle spicy flavours.

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Not the best photos, the flat is dark, but i will replace these when i prepare this dish again.

Tamale Pie

1/2 – 3/4 kilo ground pork or beef

2 finely chopped onions

1 large spicy green pepper (chopped)

1 large red pepper (chopped)

Cook until all the meat is cooked and the vegetables are soft. Drain out excess oil and water.

Add to the cooked meat:

1 small jar black pitted olives (drain the liquid, chopped)

1 can stewed tomatoes (chopped, use the liquid)(or use fresh tomatoes if you have time to cook)

1 can corn (drain the liquid)(save a little for the topping)

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 or 3 cloves fresh garlic (or more if you like, i do)

Salt to taste

1/2 cup water

1 cup or 2 cups Enchilada Sauce (i make my own sauce, but Americans can buy it, i will write my recipe later)

Cook together for 20 minutes on low heat.

While it is cooking, prepare the cornmeal topping.

Cornmeal Topping Recipe

There are many ways to make the topping, but this is my way. i use the same recipe that i use to make cornbread, but i change it a bit because it is sweeter as cornbread and i prefer the topping to have a little punch to it.

In a small bowl add:

1 cup milk

1 large egg

Mix

Add 1/4 cup of melted butter, but do it slowly, so the egg does not cook.

In a larger bowl mix:

1 cup flour

1 1/4 cup Cornmeal

1 tablespoon Baking Powder

1/4 cup Sugar (or less)

A little salt

Be sure to sift together, then add the egg mixture to it and stir until blended. Do not over stir.

Put a very small portion on the bottom of a 9×13 (or bigger) lightly greased or buttered baking pan. Spread over the entire bottom.

Then pour meat mixture over the thin layer.

Add jalapenos and a little corn to the rest of the cornbread batter. (You can also add grated cheese, if you like).

Put the cornbread batter over the meat mixture in the baking dish. Spread it evenly.

Bake about 35-45 minutes on low to medium heated oven. Cornbread top will turn golden brown.

Let it cool a little, then eat.

You can add toppings. Sour Cream or Salsa can enhance the flavours.

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more to come…