Hungarian cuisine

A number of top Hungarian chefs and pâtissiers will be hosted at leading Israeli restaurants across the country, where they will conduct cooking and baking workshops.

(photo credit: MICHAL REVIVO)
A Hungarian Culinary Festival will take place April 7 to 12 as part of the Year of Hungarian Culture that was announced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
A number of top Hungarian chefs and pâtissiers will be hosted at leading Israeli restaurants across the country, where they will conduct cooking and baking workshops. In addition, there will also be exhibitions, movies and lectures that focus on food culture.
Hungarian cuisine has undergone substantial transformation in recent years, with young and talented Hungarian chefs creating ways to prepare traditional Hungarian dishes utilizing fresh and seasonal ingredients.
Yonatan Carmi is in charge of the 2019 Year of Hungarian Culture in Israel, in cooperation with the Hungarian Embassy. Ofer Vardi is running the weeklong festival, and Galia Ornan and Shani Mador are the culinary supervisors. Below are four recipes that represent a taste of the delicious Hungarian cuisine.
(plum and apricot balls)
Makes four servings.
1 kg. light-brown potatoes
200-300 gr. flour (depending on type of potatoes – if they’re very hard, you won’t need as much flour)
2 Tbsp. oil
1 egg
Pinch of salt
¼ kg. Sagiv pitted plums or ¼ kg. pitted apricots
12 sugar cubes
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
4 liters water
1 tsp. salt
4 cups bread crumbs
100 gr. butter
Serving suggestion:
Powdered sugar, cinnamon
Cook the potatoes in their skins until they’ve softened. Peel them, let them cool and then mash them.
Add the oil, flour, salt and egg. Mix well (should feel like gnocchi dough). Let rest in the fridge for 30 minutes so that it’ll be easy to roll out.
Roll out dough to a thickness of ½ cm. and then cut into squares with edges of 8 cm.
Place a half a plum or half an apricot in the center of each square. In the hollow where the pit used to be, place a sugar cube and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Fold in the corners of the square and seal to form a dumpling. Heat a large frying pan over a low flame and add breadcrumbs and butter.
Heat the water and salt in a large pot and boil dumplings until they float. Let them sit for another 2 minutes in the boiling water and then remove them. Place the dumplings in the frying pan with the breadcrumbs and toss gently until they are completely covered. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon just before serving.
RAKOTT PALACSINTA (little omelettes)
Makes 25 omelettes.
4 eggs
2 cups flour, sifted
2 cups milk
1 cup soda water
3-4 Tbsp. oil
Pinch of salt
Jelly filling:
200 gr. apricot jam
1 tsp. rum or amaretto liqueur
Chocolate filling:
200 gr. bittersweet chocolate
1 Tbsp. sweet cream
10 gr. butter
Nut filling:
200 gr. ground hazelnuts
½ cup milk or sweet cream
1 packet vanilla sugar
2 Tbsp. sugar
Orange or lemon zest
Oil for frying
Powdered sugar
To prepare the omelettes, mix together the eggs, flour, milk, soda water, oil and salt until smooth and there are no lumps left (consistency should be similar to the tehina offered at falafel stands). Let batter rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Heat a little bit of oil in a 22-cm. diameter frying pan. Mix the batter again (and a few more times throughout the frying process) and then ladle out a little bit of batter onto the frying pan so that it spreads out evenly. Fry and then flip over to cook on the other side, too.
To prepare the fillings, blend the jelly so that it is completely smooth and no pieces of fruit remain. Add a little water to make it easier to spread on the omelettes. Add the rum or amaretto liqueur.
Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Add the sweet cream and butter. Mix until smooth.
To prepare the nut filling, boil the milk with the sugar and vanilla sugar. Add the nuts and cook until mixture thickens. Just before it’s done, add the lemon or orange zest.
Pile the omelettes on top of each other, with one of the three fillings between each layer. Make sure none of the layers is sliding off. Heat in an oven that has been preheated to 120°. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top and serve.
Makes four servings.
½ kg. flour, sifted
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. oil
1½ cups water
Pinch of salt
4 liters water
1 tsp. salt
Place the flour in a bowl and form a well in the middle. Add the eggs and oil and mix well.
Slowly add the water and mix the dough. It should be sticky but not too watery.
Boil water with a little salt in a large pot. Place the dough on a cutting board and, with a spoon or knife, chop into little pieces so that they fall right into the pot of boiling water.
Cook until the pieces float in the water. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Prepare the pasta just before sitting down to eat; otherwise, they will have time to harden. You can also boil them in milk.
A device called Nokedli Szagato with which to chop the pasta pieces can be purchased in specialty stores.
Makes four servings.
½ kg. beef shoulder, cut into 2-cm. cubes
1 onion, cut into small cubes
½ kg. potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-cm. cubes
1 green pepper, cut into cubes
1 tomato, peeled and cut into cubes
3 carrots, cut into rings
1 heaping Tbsp. of sweet paprika
Salt, to taste
1 tsp. caraway seeds
3 liters water
For frying: 3 Tbsp. oil
In a large pot, fry the onion cubes until they become translucent. Remove the pot from the flame and add the paprika.
Turn the flame back on and add ½ cup of water, so that onion absorbs the paprika flavor but doesn’t burn. Stir the onions and then add the caraway seeds and the beef. Keep stirring the meat cubes so that they brown on all sides.
Add the water and then the tomatoes and pepper. Season with salt and cook until the meat is almost completely cooked. Every once in a while, skim off the foam that gathers on the surface.
Add the potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook over low flame until the potatoes are soft. Serve hot.
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Translated by Hannah Hochner.