Category Archives: HUNGARIAN CUISINE

CSERESZNYÉS LEPÉNY (HUNGARIAN SOUR CHERRY CAKE)

When researching what dessert to serve with a Hungarian themed meal for our JazzVox guests this past weekend, I stumbled on this recipe from Saveur magazine. Hungarian Sour Cherry Cake. It seemed, from all my reading on the subject of favorite Hungarian foods, that cherries were universally loved. Almost to the point of being part of the genetic makeup of the Hungarian people. Who knew? So why look any further? Then I saw a picture of the “cake” and I wasn’t terribly impressed.

Definitely not a thing of beauty. And flat. It looked much more like a bar cookie than a cake. But who was I to question a dessert that was absolutely adored by the population of an entire nation! So I decided to serve the cake in spite of its lack of visual appeal. And boy am I glad I did! After tasting the cake, I knew why the cake so richly deserved to be cherished. It’s wonderful. Not too sweet, full of cherries, (who doesn’t love cherries) and featuring whole-wheat flour which lends a unique texture and earthy taste to the cake. My friend Vicki suggested that using whole-wheat pastry flour would result in the same desired flavor, but with a more refined texture. So I plan to use whole-wheat pastry flour the next time I bake this simple to prepare dessert. (See which I prefer!) So then how to serve the cake?

Well I have long believed that sweetened whipped cream is the answer to the age old question of how to garnish any dessert. So I whipped up some heavy cream, added a couple tablespoons of powdered sugar, and a few teaspoons of syrup from a jar of specialty cherries* that Mr. C. uses in his Manhattans. Then when it was time to serve dessert, I dolloped each individually plated piece of cake with the concoction. Added much appeal to the presentation and tasted absolutely perfect with the cake. 

So if you need a simple dessert that serves 10-12 people, this is the dessert for you. Just don’t forget to make the whipped cream. Left over whipped cream? Add a dollop to your coffee the next morning. Ain’t nothin’ finer!

(BTW, for Mr. Cs recipe for a perfect Manhattan, enter “Manhattan” in the search box on this site.)

  • 2 cubes (16 T.) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing the baking pan
  • 1½ c. granulated sugar
  • 3 T. kirschwasser**
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1 egg, room temp.
  • 2¼ c. regular whole-wheat flour or whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 c. milk (preferably whole milk)
  • 2 lb. pitted frozen sour cherries, thawed and “drained” on paper towels
  • ¼ c. all-purpose flour

In the large bowl of your mixer, beat the butter, sugar, kirschwasser, and vanilla together until pale and fluffy. Add egg; beat until incorporated.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, alternately add flour mixture and milk in 3 batches to make a thick batter. Spoon batter onto a buttered 13″ x 18″ x 1″ (half sheet) baking sheet and smooth out with an offset spatula. Toss cherries with the ¼ cup flour. Set cherries evenly over the top.

Bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven until cake is golden brown and feels set to the touch, 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and cool at least 30 minutes before serving.

Great topped with whipped cream that has been sweetened with powdered sugar and vanilla, a wee bit of kirschwasser, or my favorite – the syrup from a jar of really good cherries*.  

*I use the syrup from either Luxardo Maraschino Cherries or Culinary Circle Amarena Cherries. Both are Italian products.

**According to Wikipedia – “Kirschwasser (German for “cherry water”) or simply kirsch, is a clear, colorless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of Morello cherries, a dark-colored cultivar of the sour cherry. However, it is now also made from other kinds of cherries. The cherries are fermented completely, including their stones. Unlike cherry liqueurs and cherry brandies, kirschwasser is not sweet. The best kirschwassers have a refined taste with subtle flavors of cherry and a slight bitter-almond taste that derives from the cherry seeds.”

 

CARAWAY RYE PEASANT BREAD

I glommed this recipe together to serve with a Hungarian themed meal. I wanted to serve rye bread, but in an easy to eat little piece since I was also serving Dilly Casserole Bread (recipe coming soon) that would be baked in a loaf pan. (I always try to keep food visually interesting as well as delicious.)

So I decided to pat the bread dough into a half sheet pan (13x18x1-inch) and see what happened. Well the bread turned out delicious, really chewy, and just tall enough to make a perfect size piece of bread when cut into squares or rectangles. And easy to prepare? Oh-my-gosh yes! This would be the perfect bread to fix if you were considering giving bread baking a try.

And don’t worry about the caraway seeds. They are there, but not in your face crazy. Just subtle and splendid.

So give this easy bread a try. We had some toasted for breakfast this morning, and what a treat to go along with our eggs and sausage. Yum, if I do say so myself!

  • 2 c. warm water
  • 2 pkgs. or 2 scant T. active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 T. kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 4 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1 c. rye flour
  • 2½ c. whole wheat flour
  • ¾ c. bread flour, or more as needed
  • olive oil

Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add the salt and caraway seeds. Mix using your dough hook.

Add the rye and whole wheat flours and mix until well combined. Add as much of the ¾ cup bread flour as needed to make a stiff dough. (The ball of dough should completely pull away from the bowl.)

Pour a little olive oil over the dough, and using your hands, form dough into a ball and spread the oil all over. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.

Pour a bit of olive oil on a 13x18x1-inch baking pan. Spread the dough out with your fingers. Slather a bit more olive oil over the dough and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

Let rest again for 30 minutes.

Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and crusty. Let cool completely before cutting into squares or rectangles.

Note: If in doubt whether or not your bread is done, stick it with an instant read thermometer. If it registers 190-200 degrees, your bread is baked to perfection. Take it out of the oven – immediately!

   

MARHAPÖRKÖLT (HUNGARIAN BEEF STEW)

Hungarian food entrances me because I have always loved the key ingredients in this delightful cuisine – sour cream, paprika, potatoes, pasta, onions, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, cabbage (including sauerkraut), and a wide array of sausages. I mean truly, what’s not to like?

So when I recently decided to prepare a beef stew, I decided to forgo my usual recipes in favor of something new. And almost any time I think “something new”, my thoughts automatically drift towards the Carpathian Basin.

I found plenty of recipes during my internet search. But I quickly realized, like American beef stew, there are as many recipes for this Hungarian standard, as there are cooks. And not just Hungarian cooks. I found recipes from cooks from almost every ethnicity, as well as recipes from magazines as disparate as Saveur and Women’s Day.

So I glommed together what I thought would work, and got out my largest LeCreuset Dutch oven. Following what I thought to be the key ingredients in most of the highest rated recipes, I came up with this mix. I had a few trepidations about using a whole green pepper, but in the final analysis, it’s the green pepper that sets the stage so beautifully for the paprika and caraway to work their magic. These three ingredients were obviously meant to be together. They set the flavor base for this incredible dish. The funny thing is, unless you have truly amazing taste buds, (of which I am not blessed), it is difficult to ascertain where the green pepper flavor leaves off and the paprika and caraway take the forefront. And really, isn’t that the essence of good cooking? Achieving a blend where no one ingredient hogs the stage. (Kind of like a good band. Every player in sync with every other player to form a blend rather than a cacophony of individual sounds.)   

So please give this recipe a try. It is the essence of comfort food, even before you place it on the table. The smell alone is worth the effort. All you have to do is read the first two ingredients to know of what I speak. 

  • 4 slices thick cut lean bacon, diced
  • 1 lg. onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (don’t even think of leaving the green pepper out)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. cubed lean beef (I use round steak because it’s inexpensive and very lean)
  • 3 T. sweet (mild) Hungarian paprika (yes, 3 tablespoons), or more to taste
  • scant ½ tsp. caraway seeds, coarsely crushed (don’t leave the caraway seeds out either!)
  • 1 lg. bay leaf
  • 8 oz. can diced tomatoes (preferably Italian)
  • about 2 c. beef broth
  • ½ lb. thick egg noodles
  • 1 T. chopped fresh parsley, garnish
  • sour cream, garnish, opt.

In a large covered Dutch oven or soup pan, fry the bacon until it is crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion and sauté for about 8 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, green pepper, salt, and pepper. Continue to sauté for another 5 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant and the bell pepper is tender-crisp.

Add the beef to the pan. Cook for 5-6 more minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is brown. Add the cooked bacon, paprika, caraway seeds, bay leaf, and diced tomatoes to the pan. Pour enough beef broth into the pan to almost cover the meat. Stir and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pan. Let the mixture simmer slowly for about 90-120 minutes, stirring occasionally, and adding more broth as needed to keep the stew from getting dry. (If too much liquid, remove the lid the last 30 minutes or so of cooking time, thus allowing the excess liquid to evaporate.)

The stew is done when the meat is fork tender and the sauce is thick. Adjust seasoning.

Just before serving, cook the noodles to al dente and drain.

To serve, cover the bottom of a soup bowl with noodles, and ladle on the stew. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and offer sour cream at the table.

Can substitute mashed potatoes or steamed rice for the noodles.

Pairs very well with Hawaiian Won Bok and Carrot Slaw. (on blog)

 

    

HUNGARIAN GROUND BEEF SOUP

As you can see, I am still on my ground beef kick. And why you might ask. Well – lean ground beef is versatile, relatively inexpensive, relatively low in fat, a good protein source, and tasty. (Really, what more can you ask from a simple, easy to obtain food product?) And when combined with other healthy ingredients, ground beef is the base for many quick and easy dishes including this wonderful soup. (I call ground beef “wonder meat” because it is the perfect meat for all the working mothers and fathers (can’t forget all those guys out there who are the family cooks) who rush home from work and are greeted with those 3 little words all parents hear upon entering their home. And no, it’s not “I love you”. It’s “what’s for dinner”?) So this is yet another recipe to help you prepare an easy, healthy dish that is on the table before your kidlets have time to declare that they are about to expire from hunger. As if?? (And yes, this recipe is great for seniors too. Healthy, easy to prepare, and basically a one dish meal.)

So yesterday when I was deciding what to do with the pound of ground beef I had taken out of the freezer, I decided to search for a goulash style soup that featured ground beef. (I love Hungarian food, so I often start a search with the word “Hungarian”.)

This soup recipe is out of the Food and Wine magazine. (I did use noodles instead of potatoes, added some sour cream, and used less salt than originally called for, but the rest is straight off the Food and Wine magazine web site. Great recipe site BTW!)

So do yourself a favor and make this soup next time you want to use ground beef in a less than traditional way. And I know, spaghetti, tacos, chili, and hamburgers are delicious too. But often, a new dish is as welcome to your family as fixing a new recipe is for the cook. And always remember, it’s all about you – the cook. If you’re happy in the kitchen, your family are going to reap the benefits. And since the kitchen is the heart of any home, who knows, you might even hear “I love you” more often. Stranger things have happened in the name of good eating.

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 lg. onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 T. Hungarian paprika (sweet, not smoked or hot)
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1¼ tsp. caraway seeds (don’t even think about leaving them out!)
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper (small amount)
  • 1 T. tomato paste
  • 3 c. beef broth  
  • 3 c. water
  • 1½ – 2 c. egg noodles
  • ½ c. sour cream, plus more for the table

In a heavy covered soup pan, lightly brown the ground beef over medium high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add the paprika, cayenne, marjoram, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, tomato paste, broth, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, stir, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the noodles and cook just until al dente. Stir in the sour cream, adjust seasoning, and serve with additional sour cream if desired.

 

TÖLTÖTT KÁPOSZTA (HUNGARIAN MEAT AND RICE STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS)

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There are several ingredients seemingly indigenous to Hungarian cuisine that are among my favorites. I love the flavor of paprika, adore sour cream and dill, and think caraway is fabulous. So when I can prepare a dish that contains all of these favorites, I know I am going to be in culinary heaven.

So when I decided I wanted to update my 40 year old recipe for stuffed cabbage rolls, I kept each of these ingredients in mind as I concocted my new version of this Hungarian classic.

While I was at it, I also wanted my cabbage rolls to be low in fat and reasonably easy to prepare. And to be made with fairly inexpensive ingredients. I also wanted a dish that even people like my husband, who are not as fond of cruciferous vegetables as I am, to be able to enjoy the dish and even look forward to eating it again.

So this recipe is my take on Töltött káposzta. And for all of you out there who have lovely Hungarian grandmothers who would be deeply offended by my use of sour cream in the sauce rather than as just a garnishment, who would not be caught dead not including sauerkraut or smoked pork shank in their version, I humbly offer my apologies. But as in all things, it’s really just all about me. And of course, what can you expect from a person who has only French and German blood running through her veins? Remember: not everyone is lucky or smart enough to be born with a Hungarian grandmother. (Next time around, I will be smart enough to get my request in early for an Italian mother and a Hungarian father. Or visa/versa would be fine too.)

If you need more apology than the aforesaid, please ask your grandmother to contact me personally! Speaking of which, don’t hesitate to “leave a reply” if you like a recipe or want to share some insight into the recipe with me. If your comment is not too derogatory, I will gladly add your comment to the blog for all the world to see. Thanks and I hope you enjoy this recipe. Oh, and also – Happy Spring! Yea sunshine!

  • 1 small head green cabbage
  • ¼ c. long grain rice
  • 1 c. water 
  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. marjoram
  • ½ tsp. caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper  
  • 3 T. sweet Hungarian paprika, divided (and yes, use real Hungarian paprika)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lb. ground pork*
  • 1 lb. ground beef*
  • 1 small can (14-oz.) chopped skinless tomatoes plus juice (canned Italian tomatoes are the best)
  • 1 c. sour cream, plus more for passing at the table
  • fresh dill weed, garnish, opt.

Remove core from cabbage with a paring knife. Place whole head in a large pot filled with boiling, salted water. Reduce heat and simmer the cabbage until leaves are softened enough to pull off individually. Then using a pair of tongs, gently remove the leaves as they become tender and set aside to drain/cool. (Don’t worry if you tear a leaf. It will mend during the baking process. Well, it won’t really mend, but once anyone takes a bite, believe me, no one will notice any tiny presentation imperfections!) Save the cabbage water for use later on in the recipe.    

Meanwhile place the rice and 1 cup of water in a small covered pan and bring to a boil.  Stir, reduce heat, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, remove lid, and set aside to cool. (If you have leftover rice, by all means use it.)  

While the cabbage leaves cool, place the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and gently sauté for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool. When cooled, add the marjoram, caraway seeds, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon of the Hungarian paprika, and the eggs. Mix thoroughly. Add the partially cooked rice, ground meat, and combine just until the spice/onion mixture is evenly distributed throughout the meat. (Clean hands are your best tool for this process. Note: take your rings off first!) Place a handful of the meat mixture inside each cabbage leaf and wrap up like a burrito. Place folded side down in a lightly greased deep sided casserole or baking dish.

In the empty frying pan (I hate to make more dishes dirty than necessary), whisk together the tomatoes, remaining 2 tablespoons of paprika, 1 cup sour cream, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 cup of the reserved cabbage cooking water. Pour over the cabbage rolls and tightly cover the pan with foil. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 90 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 45-60 minutes or until the sauce is almost gone. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before serving with a nice rustic bread, baked Yukon gold potatoes or garlic mashed potatoes, and additional sour cream and fresh dill as garnishes.

*If you want to use another pound of ground beef instead of ground pork – go for it. You could also substitute ground chicken or turkey with wonderful results.

 

PALÓCLEVES (HUNGARIAN LAMB SOUP WITH SOUR CREAM)

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Those who know us personally know that we love to travel. And what I’m sure our friends realize almost intrinsically about our whole “travel thing” is that not only do we love to see the world for the cultural heritage and the natural and manmade sites that appeal to us and every other tourist, we love to travel to experience the food! (Well of course we do.)

So we tend to choose countries based on what we know about the cuisine. I visited England, Scotland, and Wales in the late seventies, and have never returned. (Lesson learned.) I first visited Italy in the mid eighties, and have since been back three times. We also have loved the food in other European countries we have visited. But one of the countries we have yet to visit is Hungary. (We have traveled in the neighboring countries of Croatia and Slovenia and eaten like kings, so now it’s simply time to go to the land of sour cream, paprika, and caraway seeds.) And of course, while we are touring the country we absolutely must stay a few days in Budapest. We have several friends who have spent time there, and they consider Budapest to be one of the loveliest cities on earth.

So, until we can visit this amazing country in person, I am going to have to be content to research the many culinary offerings Hungary has to offer via the internet. (Actually, I have been making Chicken Paprika for years. And truly, it is one of Mr. Cs favorite dishes. But until I prepared this soup last evening (thank you Saveur Magazine), Chicken Paprika was the only Hungarian dish I had ever prepared, that I’m aware of that is.)

So hang on folks, in the next few weeks we are going to visit one of the oldest countries in Europe (founded 897) together.

So here’s to a fun new adventure learning about the birthplace of the Rubik’s Cube (inventor Erno Rubik), Béla Bartók and Franz Liszt. And to a country with a 99% literacy rate. And to the home of Europe’s largest natural grassland. (Complete with real life cowboys (csikos) I might add.) Wee ha!

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil or more as needed
  • 16-20 oz. lamb shoulder, trimmed of all fat and sinew and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ¼ c. Hungarian sweet paprika
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 6 c. water
  • 1 small russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 8 oz. yellow snap or green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1½ c. sour cream, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ c. flour
  • 4 T. roughly chopped dill, divided

Heat the oil in a 6-qt. covered saucepan over medium-high heat. Dry lamb off with paper towels and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Add lamb to the pan, and cook until browned all over, about 8 minutes. Add onions, garlic, and bay leaves to the pot. (If necessary, add a little more oil to the pot.) Cook until the onions are soft, about 15 minutes. Add paprika, cayenne, and water; bring to a boil, cover pot, reduce heat and cook until lamb is just tender, 40-60 minutes. Add the potato and beans, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk the cup and a half sour cream and flour together until smooth. When the meat and veggies are tender, whisk the sour cream mixture into the soup, and stir until smooth and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Just before serving, add 2 tablespoons of the dill to the soup and adjust seasonings. To serve, ladle soup into bowls, dollop with additional sour cream, and garnish with remaining dill.

HUNGARIAN PAPRIKÁS CSIRKE (CHICKEN PAPRIKA)

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This is one of Mr. Cs favorite dishes. The original recipe came to me from my dear friend Dodie. Her in-laws had immigrated to America from Hungary. And apparently Dodie’s mother-in-law was an amazing cook. I of course had to mess with the recipe to get it down to a manageable size, since the original recipe started off with 12-14 meaty whole pieces of chicken. All the original ingredients are still in my version, but several steps have been eliminated to allow for a more manageable preparation time. But my dear husband, whom I regard as a “chicken paprika connoisseur” is adamant that none of the flavor demonstrated in the original recipe has been sacrificed in the reconstruction.

So ladies and gentlemen, I give you a very easy and delicious recipe for the Hungarian classis – Chicken Paprikash. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as we do.

And about the 1 hour of letting the finished dish sit before re-heating and serving it. Well the only thing I can say is that I have always adhered to this step offered in the original recipe and have no idea what the results would taste like if I served the dish before it had that hour to sit and mellow. I suppose it would be alright if you chose to give it a go before the resting period. But for me, I’m not going to mess with the original recipe any more than I already have. I’m not so sophisticated as to believe that spirit’s might not actually exist. So the last thing I want to experience, if only in a dream, is the spirit of the fine woman who’s recipe I have altered to come after me with a live chicken in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other. I’m sure even spirit’s have their “that’s it” point.  So needless to say, I do not wish to garner any more disfavor by eliminating even one more tiny little insignificant detail from the original recipe. Enjoy!

  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized cubes
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1/3 c. milk or more
  • 2 T. flour
  • 1 T. Hungarian paprika, or more to taste
  • ¾ c. sour cream, or more to taste

In a heavy sauce pan, fry the bacon until very crisp. Remove from pan and place in a small bowl. Add the onion to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes or until the onion is translucent. Add the chicken pieces and sprinkle very lightly with salt and a goodly amount of fresh pepper. Stir fry until the chicken is just done. Remove to the same bowl with the cooked bacon.

Meanwhile whisk together the chicken broth, milk, flour, and paprika. After removing the chicken and onion, pour the liquid mixture into the pan, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let gently burble for about 5 minutes, stirring the whole time. Whisk in the sour cream. (If the sauce seems too thick, add a little additional milk.) When thoroughly heated, but not boiling, add the reserved bacon, chicken, and onion mixture. Adjust seasoning. Continue to heat until just before ingredients reach a boil. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour. Reheat and serve over rice or wide egg noodles.

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Perfect with fresh green beans, a chunk of hearty bread, and a chilled Fume Blanc.

Note: This recipe doubles, triples, etc. beautifully.

 

VIENNESE LIPTAUER

 

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Ok, here’s the deal! If you like wimpy spreads with hardly any flavor or personality – do not try this recipe! In fact, I absolutely forbid you to try this recipe! However, if you like a spread that screams sophistication, European tradition (check out the name again), and good breeding, not to mention tastes like nothing you have ever had before (and I mean that in a good way), then work up your courage (don’t let the anchovy paste and caraway scare you) and make this for your next get-together. It is absolutely addicting.  And I know, some of you may be saying to yourself “I had Viennese Liptauer in Vienna and it was just ho-hum.” And you would be right if you ordered it in the same restaurants we did. But I promise you that once you have tasted this version your memories of ho-hum will disappear forever.

Note: Liptauer is also found throughout Hungary.

  • 1 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ c. unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 T. sour cream
  • 2-3 tsp. anchovy paste
  • 1 tsp. capers, drained and finely minced
  • 1 T. grated or finely chopped onion
  • 1 T. Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Thoroughly blend all ingredients together. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. Serve at room temperature with Finn Crisp, a thin rye crisp bread with caraway. Finn Crisp comes in a small, mostly red package and can be found at most grocery stores.

 

CUCUMBER AND RED ONION SALAD

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There are just those evenings when the last thing I want to do is make a salad. Salads are perhaps my least favorite food to prepare. It’s not the salads fault. Lettuce is boring to wash and cut. Then there are all the other veggies that have to be cleaned and chopped. Again – yawn. But I like salads, so this combination of ingredients is a nice change from the ones that require a salad spinner. It’s also very easy to prepare, and can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.  But the best reason to make this salad is because it is really good. It’s tangy and crunchy and creamy all at the same time. And what it does for your breath! Absolutely nothing can do as good a job at warding off vampires. Yea red onion and garlic!

  • ½ c. plain Greek or regular yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T. fresh or 1 tsp. dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/3 c. thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 English cucumber

Combine yogurt, garlic, dill, salt, pepper, and vinegar in a small salad bowl. Add red onion and cucumber which has been partially peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, then sliced into ¼-inch thick half-moons. Adjust seasoning and serve cold.