Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Mango-lemon cheesake

Mangose, mangoes, mangoes.. And most of them are ripe and yammi, so what to do on a hot day between a visit to the Safari and dinner with friends better than.. well, baking is probably not the best idea, but thankfully with air conditioning everything is possible.
To make the sweetness more barelable I used lemons, mainly because they grow in my yard, but you can replace it with lime for a more characteristic taste.


8 graham crackers
75 g coconut oil (about 6 tbsp) or butter (3/4 stick)
1 tsp  sugar (optional)

Cream cheese - mango layer 
500 ml (2 cups) mango pure - obtained from 3 large mangoes
900 gr, 32 ounces of cream cheese (corrected! my mistake, I miscalculated the weight before..)
200 gr sugar (1 cup)
3 eggs + 2 yolks
1 tsp lemon zest (or lime zest), optional

Lemon layer
250 ml (1 cup) sour cream
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar

Prepare a 9"-10" round cake pen, by greasing lighlty the sides with butter.
Preheat the oven to 160 C, 325 F.
Crumble the crackers, mix with the butter butter and press tightly into the cake form. I used a ziploc to cramble the crackers, but a food processor might speed up your work.
Use the botton of your cup measure to press the crackers evenly in the bottom, and the sides of the form.
In a food processor puree the mango.
Blend the cream cheese with the sugar, add the mangoe pure and the lime yest.
Blend in the eggs one by one, starting with the yolks, incorporating each egg before adding the next.
Reserve some mango pure for decoration.
Pour over the cracker layer and bake at 160C (325F) for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Meanwhile mix the sour cream with the sugar and lemon juice, remove the cake from the oven and spread the sour cream mix over the cream cheese layer.
Add small teaspoons of mango pure in rows or randomly, as many as you please and find virtually appealing.
With the thicked end of a chopstik "cut" through the middle of the dots to create hearts :).
Bake for additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let it cool, and refrigerate uncovered overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Bon appetit!

Upps.. Sorry. I couldn't find the bottom of my cake form in the mess and hurry, so I used a half size foil pan, I'm sure you can do better :D.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Stíriai metélt or Styrian "noodles"

It's funny when you hear that a certain food is an "old" Hungarian dish but you've never heard of it.
Sure enough, when the recipe asks for 2 pounds (1 kg) of cottage cheese and another pound of sour cream, you kinda become dubious that it must be :D, and feel tempted to try it.
This is exactly what happened with the "stíriai metélt", and here is the outcome.
For my Hungarian speaking friends I'll just post the link for the original recipe on Coocpad, and for the English speaking the translation comes soon, well, after my master bath is ready, but I just had to post it for those who speak Hungarian to have a chance to try it, as it should happen ASAP!!!

The only way I can imagine this one to improve is to caramelize and saute the apricots in a bit of bourbon or plum palinka :D, but maybe next time.
Meanwhile enjoy! (at least the view!
Bon appetit!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Squash pottage

Uhh, one of the strengths of the Hungarian kitchen are the various kinds of vegetable pottages, called főzelék, which can be compared to a VERY thick American style vegetable soup.
It is usually served as a side dish with some meat stew, ribs, schnitzel, but it makes a very tasty vegetarian or diet dish as well with small twists.

Today I made some spaghetti squash pottage, but it can be made from zucchini as well, is equally tasty and probably faster, I just didn't have any home. If you use zucchini cooking time might be shorter than for the spaghetti squash.

Ingredients (serves 3)
1 larger spaghetti squash or equal amount of zucchini
1 small onion
1 branch of fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh dill
black pepper
1 flat tsp Hungarian powder paprika
4 tsp all purpose flour
3-4 tbsp oil
vinegar to taste
125 ml (1-2 cup) half-half

Cut the spaghetti squash in two and microwave for 10 minutes with cut side down, or bake for 30 minutes if you prefer baking. Scoop out the content into a bowl.
If you use zucchini, grate the zucchinis.

In a medium pot heat the 4 tbsp of oil, and add the chopped onions, ans saute until lightly transparent.
Add the powder paprika, mix with the oil and immediately add a dash of water to prevent the bruning of the paprika powder as it becomes bitter.
Add the squash/zucchini and let saute for 1-2 minutes. Add watr until it covers the squash.
Add salt, pepper, thyme and dill, and under a lid simmer for 10 minutes, or until you like the crunchiness.
Mix the half-half with 3 tbsp of flour, and after the 10 minutes add it to the squash. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes. If you feel it too runny, sift in the additional tbsp of flour.
Remove from heat, let it cool slightly, and add 2-3 tbsp of vinegar, or more if you are a vinegar addict as we are.
Serve as a side dish, or just eat it as is.
Goes very well with smoked and barbecued or oven fried ribs or steak.
This time we served with the pork ribs we prepared earlier. The minor change on the rib prep was that I exchanged part of the aivar with minced chili peppers, known in Hungary as Erős Pista.
Bon appetit!

Rolled oats with a twist

The family loves the traditional Hungarian tejbegríz, alian grits boiled in milk, but I always tried to sneak in some more rough parts. I suppose I just like to chew a little more :D.
This proportion seemed to please everybody who enjoyed it for our 4th of July breakfast, so I thought worth making some notes for the future generation.

Ingredients (for 2-3 poeple)
1 liter (4 cups) milk
250 ml rolled oats
60 ml grits
pinch of salt
1 dash of vanilla 
2 tbsp sugar

1 tsp sugar / plate
1 sliced strawberry 

In a medion pot heat the milk until starts boiling, while also adding the sugar, salt and vanilla.
When boiling add the grits, boil for 2-3 minutes on low heat, than add the oats and boil for an additional 8 minutes.
Serve while hot, first sprinkleing the cinnamon, than the 1 tsp sugar. Decorate with sliced straberries.
Bon appetit!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mákos nudli - alias gnocchi with poppy seeds and sorbet

Lazy, lazy, lazy..That kinda sums up my summer cooking on most of these incredibly hot days, but that doesn't stop my teenagers from being hungry.
My summer project is to rehabilitate some of the old fashioned Hungarian dishes, maybe with a modern twist, and let my boys get usedto my childgood favorites.
Today again one favorite, the gnocchi, was served with poppy seeds and sorbet on the side.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)
1 bag home made, or some store bought gnocchi
1/2 cup poppy seeds
1/2 cup sugar

raspberry sorbet 
lemon sorbet
if you are in Finland, lemon ice cream with liquorice was tried, and matches heavenly

Mince the poppy seeds by themselves or together with the sugar.
Prepare the gnocchi according to the instructions, or prepare some homemade if you please. Toss them in 1 tbsp of your favorite tasteless! oil, or butter while hot.
Sprinkle generously on the gnocchi, and serve while hot with the cold sorbet on the side.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

German apple pancake

Uhh, I was thinking of trying these for a good while now, and finally got around it.
It disappeared in khhmmmm.. maybe 5 minutes.
Will be made again this summer, for sure!

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

4 medium eggs, room temperature
¾ cup whole milk, room temperature
¾ cup all-purpose flour 

1/2 tsp salt
dash of vanilla extract 

1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tablespoons ganulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 400F, 200 C.
In a skillet heat the butter. Add the thinly sliced apple, sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon, and cook for 5 minutes, until lighlty sauted. Do not overcook.

Divide the apples between two 9" round pans. Add some parchment paper at the bottom, it will be easier to slide it out, but you can also just generously butter the bottom of the form.
Beat the eggs until foamy, add the milk, salt, vanilla extract and lightly combine in the flour.

Pour the batter, again divided between the two pans) on top of the apples, sprinkle with the usgar/cinnamon topping, and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
Let it cool for a very short while not to burn you mouth with the apples, but for the best taste enjoy while warm.
If you want to take it to a whole new level, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream! Yammmiii..
Bon appetite!

Gnocchi with butternut squash and gold beet

It's summer, and a verrrrrry hot one, no good (by Trump :D).
It means we don't really feel like eating all the meaty meals, but would rather stick to a lighter one. 
Speaking for myself, I was also in for something new.
Gnocchi is known as an italian potato dumpling, but it is actually a Hungarian pasta as well that's running under the name of nudli.
It is one of my childhood favorites with nothing but tossed in roasted bredcrumbs and a pinch of salt.
Today I was in for some boost from those beautiful butternut squashes I found, as well as the bunch of fresh golden beets. The outcome got a thumbs up from every family member.

The nudli (gnocchi) could be home made, but I was way too lazy and settled with some store bought ones, more precicely some Costco bought gnocchis. Worth every penny, not to mention that $5.9. A steel..
The topping is also very simple, and could be a side dish on its own.

Butternut squash topping (baked for 30 min at 350F/180 C)
1 medium sized squash
4 garlic heads
salt (about a small teaspoon, but alter based on your taste, try with less and add salt as needed)
freshly grated peppercorn mix
olive oil (2-3 tbs)

Gold beet topping (baked for 20 min at 350F/180 C)
2 large gold beets, peeled
2 garlic heads
salt (a large pinch, but alter based on your taste, try with less and add salt as needed)
freshly grated peppercorn mix
olive oil (2 tbs)

1 bag home made, or store bough gnocchi

Fresh leaves
Fresh beet leaves, thinly sliced (try other salads, too, I think a rucola could work well)
or pea shoots

fresh-fried bacon slices

Preheat the oven to 350F, 180 C. Lay parchment paper in two smaller, or one large tray. I used two smaller ones because I removed the beets a bit earlier from the oven, and it was way more convenient to remove the whole tray than scoop them out from the larger one. However, if you have one large tray, go for it, it might be a bit of inconvenience, but all worth it.

Peel the butternut squash, slice and chop into about 1"x1" cubes, maybe a bit smaller, like 2x2 cm.
Slice the gold beets as well into 1/6" thin slices, about 2-3 mm thin.
Place a parchment paper in both trays and spread the squash cubes into one, and the gold beet slices into the other. Sprinkle with salt, ground a little peppercorn on top, and drizzle with olive oilt, until they are lightly coated.  Mix with your fingers, or just joggle the trays to coat them.
Place them uncovered in the preheated oven, and bake for 10 minutes.
Turn the beets, mix lightely the squash, and bake for additional 10 minutes.
Now you can remove the beets, and leave the squash for additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven.
Prepare the gnocchi/nudli according to the instructions, and serve while hot, topped with some bacon and beet leaves.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Finom túrós - light farmers cheese cake

OMG.. This roughly describes how we feel about this cake.
The whole family just LOVES it! It is light, not too sweet, full of eggs, cheese, butter and everything that's healthy.
On top of that, it's ready in less than an hour (unfortunately it is also gone in less than in hour :D), so what not to love about it? The 45 minute preparation time includes preps and baking, making it one of my favorites.
This time I spiced it up with sour cherry (Moreno cherry) compote to make hubby even happier, however, the original recipe doesn't ask for any.
Summery, fresh, healthy, and nothing else! Enjoy!

300 g (2 cups) all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
100 g butter (1 stick)
1 egg
150 g (3/4 cup) sugar (I alway add 100g or less, that'd be 1/2 cup)
4 tbs sour cream
1 egg for eggwash

5 eggs
100 g (1 cup) powdered sugar (again, I tend to stay below the suggested amount)
1 tsp vanilla extract
500 g farmers cheese (unsalted old fashioned farmers cheese), again, they sell the 16 oz, 1 pound packages, and that's what I'll use

3 tbsp breadcrumb, or grits

1-2 tbsp powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
In a medium bowl mix the flour with the baking powder and sugar, then with the butter and finally with the egg. Add as much sour cream as needed to get a soft, smooth, but workable dough.
Divide in two, and roll out in two sheets with the help of some parchment paper and/or flour, and place one sheet at the bottom of a 8"x10" (20cmx30cm) 2" high tray.

Spread the bread crumbs / grits on top of the pastry layer, evenly.

Mix the egg yolks with the sugar, vanilla extract until foamy, and finally add the cottage cheese. Optionally you can add some raisins, as well.
Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat.
Mix it slowly, by first adding only a few tbsp to lighten the egg batter, and then mixing it in fully, but try not to "break" the egg whites.
Pour the filling into the tray, and cover with the second pastry sheet. This is the point when I dropped in the sour cherry.
Poke holes in the pastry (to make way for the steam and get a nice and even cake), dabble the top with the eggwash and bake the cake for 25 minutes on the middle shelf, or until light golden brown.
When ready cover with a kitchen cloth, let it cool and serve with powdered sugar sifted on top.
Have a happy Rooster year!