Mar 262012

When I was growing up, despite being immersed in Hungarian cookery, no one in the family ever made Hungarian Goulash. I guess it wasn’t part of the Northern Hungarian cuisine.

When Jared and Izabella went to Hungary a couple of years ago, Jared had Gulyas cooked over an open fire at the farm of Izabella’s uncle. The next Christmas, Jared asked for a Bogracs (cooking pot) and a tripod, which he received. We finally tried it out with Jared and Izabella making us Gulyas Leves just as Izabella’s family made it in Romania. The recipe is a bit loose so adjust the quantities according to your taste. You don’t have to cook it over a fire (but that’s the fun part), a pot on the stove will work , but you’ll lose the smokey flavor that comes from the fire. Enjoy!

Gulyas Leves (Goulash Soup)

Prep Time: PT1/2H

Cook Time: PT2-3H

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 5 or 6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 1 large onion
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp.caraway seeds
  • Olive or Canola oil
  • 1-2 lbs. of beef roast, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika or more (Don't skimp!)
  • Water
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 4 or 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 or 2 parsley roots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 small bunch of parsley, tied together
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 lbs. of potatoes, peeled and cubed


  1. Cook the bacon in the pot over high heat until the grease starts to render.
  2. Add the onion, parsley root, garlic, and caraway seeds and cook for a couple minutes until the onion begins to brown.
  3. Add the meat and brown on all sides, adding a bit of oil if necessary.
  4. Remove from heat and cover with thin layer of paprika and stir (IMPORTANT!!! Heating the paprika too much will cause it to turn bitter, so make sure to remove the pot from the heat. Don't skimp on the paprika, it is what makes this dish red and gives it its flavor)
  5. Add water to cover the ingredients and place back on heat.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add the small bunch of parsley, tied for easy removal later, and the bay leaves.
  8. Add the carrots.
  9. Cook for 2-3 hours.
  10. Finally add potatoes and cook until the potatoes are done.
  11. Remove parsley and bay leaves and serve.


Can be served with hot Hungarian peppers added as a garnish.

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Feb 212012

This was one of my favorite foods as I was growing up. In my family, it was one of the few traditional Hungarian foods that we ate on a regular basis. It’s still one of Jeff’s favorites, as well as mine, and he makes it more than any of us.

I’ve never been able to find this in Hungarian cookbooks, but when Jared went to Hungary, he figured out that the recipe was North Hungarian or Slovakian. This made sense as the town that my family originated in, Batyan, is now a few miles across the northern border of Hungary, in Slovakia. Wherever it’s from, we love it.  Here is my mother’s original recipe.

Krumpli Galuska (Potato Dumplings)

Prep Time: PT15-20M

Cook Time: 45 minutes

We like this so much that we eat it as a main dish. We use it as a side on holidays.


  • 3 large Potatoes
  • 2 or 3 cups of Flour
  • 1 large can or jar of Sauerkraut (without Caraway seeds)
  • 1 Egg
  • Oil and butter
  • Salt


  1. Peel and dice the potatoes.
  2. Use a blender or food processor to grind them to pulp.*
  3. Add 1 egg, a couple teaspoons of salt and enough flour to make a very stiff dough.
  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and put some of the dough on a small cutting board which you can rest on the edge of the pan.
  5. Use a paring knife to cut off small (1"x3/8") pieces of dough and drop them into the boiling water. Dipping your knife in the water after every few cuts will help keep the dough from sticking to it.
  6. Cook slowly for about 10-15 minutes, then remove each batch with a slotted spoon.
  7. Rinse well and drain.
  8. Wash the sauerkraut well and squeeze to remove as much water as possible.
  9. Brown the Sauerkraut in 1/4 cup of Canola oil.
  10. Mix the dumplings in with the Sauerkraut and add butter if desired.
  11. Heat through and serve.


*You can grate the potatoes by hand with a grater if you don't have a food processor. This is probably the more traditional way of making it. I've done it both ways and don't see much difference in the results.

Krumpli Galuska freezes very well. Just reheat it in the pan with a little more butter.

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Dec 112011

This is the recipe for Hungarian dessert crepes. Make the crepes from the crepe recipe and prepare as shown below.



  • 1 Pt Dry curd cottage cheese.
  • 1 Egg, well beaten
  • ¼ c Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla


  1. Mix all ingredients together and spread thinly on crepe.
  2. Roll up the crepe jellyroll style.
  3. Arrange in buttered baking pan and pour sweetened sour cream over the top.
  4. Bake ½ hour at 350°.
  5. They are best served warm.

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Dec 102011

This is an old Hungarian recipe that I learned from my mother. Natalie and I were campers before kids and kept up the tradition after kids. We always tried to prepare simple, good meals and it was a bonus if the ingredients didn’t need any refrigeration. We cooked this recipe many times on our hand-pumped Coleman stove, sitting on a picnic table, often by the light of a gas lantern. Cooking and eating it now always takes me right back to those fun family vacations.

Cabbage and Noodles

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


  • 1 Large package broad noodles (egg-free for Vegan)
  • 1 Head Cabbage
  • 1 Large onion
  • Olive or Canola Oil.
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Boil noodles in water per instructions on the package.
  2. While they are cooking, chop the onion and cabbage into fairly small pieces.
  3. Brown the onion and cabbage in oil.
  4. Add in the cooked noodles after they have been drained and mix well.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste.

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