Semolina Porridge (Cream of Wheat) – A Beginner’s Guide

Tejbegríz, semolina porridge, semolina pudding, Grießkoch, Grießbrei, griesmeelpap, mannagrynsgröt, and sometimes “Cream of Wheat”, this is a porridge dish commonly eaten for breakfast in Europe, especially by children, and sometimes as a dessert in both Europe and outside of Europe.

All these different names and regional variations are confusing… I actually used to think this was a Hungarian dish because my mother used to make it for me for breakfast when I was a kid, and so I grew up thinking it came from Hungary because it was called tejbegríz and we never called it anything else. Turns out it’s a type of porridge; very similar to grits or polenta, except it uses semolina instead of cornmeal. In fact, outside of the US, grits is referred to as semolina with no distinction between the type of grain unless explicitly specified. This is way too confusing and so I’ll stop talking about it. Let’s keep things simple… A rose by any other name, this dish is made from semolina; the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat used to make Italian pasta, commonly enriched and packaged as a hot breakfast cereal in North America under the name “Cream of Wheat”. (´・ω・`)

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Sólet (Cholent)

Bean stew topped with smoked duck breast, beef, and a halved egg.

Bean stew topped with smoked duck breast, beef, and a halved egg.

(Pronunciation: “Sho-let”)

Sólet, which apparently is the father of cholent, is a Jewish-Hungarian dish usually prepared on Friday nights before the sabbath, simmered overnight, and then eaten the next day for lunch. This was done to conform to Jewish laws that prohibit cooking on the sabbath. Now I’m not Jewish, but this was something I was pretty curious about because it involved cooking on very low heat in an oven for a long period of time, something I haven’t really done before.

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Jókai Bableves (Bean Soup with Smoked Ham Hock)

Bean soup with smoked ham hock, smoked sausage, egg noodles, carrots, topped with some sour cream.

Bean soup with smoked ham hock, smoked sausage, egg noodles, carrots, topped with some sour cream.

(Pronunciation: “Yo-kaw-ee Bob-leh-vesh”)

Well actually the translation for Jókai bableves is “Jókai’s bean soup” as it was named after Jókai Mór, a Hungarian writer whose favourite soup included beans, egg noodles, smoked ham hock and smoked sausage, and topped off with a heaping spoonful of sour cream. Whoever this guy was, he certainly had good taste. This dish can also be called “csülkös bableves” which literally means ham hock bean soup.

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Kókuszgolyó (Coconut Rum Balls)

Chocolate cherry-filled rum balls rolled in shredded coconut.

(Pronunciation: “Koh-koos Go-yo”)

Coconut rum balls; a popular treat commonly given away in Hungary during the holidays!

While coconut rum balls aren’t necessarily Hungarian, they are the most popular type of rum ball in Hungary so they qualify as something I could add to the Hungarian section of my cookbook which I think is starting to hold me back culinary-wise because Hungarians are basically wannabe French cooks. I suppose that applies to me as well…? ;-;

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Food Talk – Dishes for the Post-Holiday Dieter

If you’re like me and you ate like a pig this season, then this post is for you! Here’s basically all the recipes I’ve come up with for the last 4 days, keeping into consideration that while on a diet, only “substantial low-calorie foods” should be consumed. Hey, I’m not just a cook, I’m also a nutritionist, which means absolutely nothing! If I were a dietitian though…

Anyways, I don’t know who came up with the whole “NO LESS THAN 1200 CALORIES A DAY” bullshit. I’ve been eating around 300-600 for the last 4 days and I feel fine. And thus, all my meals have been around 100-200 calories each and made as nutrient-dense as possible. The trick is to keep it 3 ingredients or less, and enjoy the shit out of every bite…

This was also a great way to test out my new artificial lighting setup… my life is going to be so much less stressful thanks to this thing. ;-;

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Food Talk – The Aftermath of Christmas Season

Ey.

I hope everybody had a lovely Christmas! I know I did, and I got 8 pounds of new body fat to prove it! (´・ω・`)

In the end I couldn’t get through all the recipes I had planned. It’s a real pain in the ass when you don’t have an artificial lighting setup and pretty much rely on sunlight to get the perfect lighting for food pictures, but thankfully that’s not a problem anymore because GUESS WHAT I GOT FOR CHRISTMAS. (๑◕ฺ‿ฺ◕ฺ๑)

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Eggnog – Raw vs Cooked

Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum.

Eggs, milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum.

Alright, eggnog! Let’s do this!!!

So let me start off by saying that I’m not scared of salmonella and I’m perfectly fine with consuming raw eggs. After looking into the history of eggnog a little, I found out that traditionally it is made using raw eggs. Also, look up “raw eggnog” and I guarantee most of the results will be by vegans, many of which who deliberately left out the word “vegan” from the title of the post with the chance that non-vegans may click on it and get tricked into making a vegan eggnog using carrageenan, guar gum, natural and artificial flavorings, spices, monoglycerides, and colorings… Wait sorry, those are actually the ingredients found in store-bought eggnog. Raw vegan eggnog is actually pretty good stuff, however, that’s not what I do here. I’m a traditionalist, so if you’re vegan, look for an eggnog recipe elsewhere. And most importantly, regardless of your dietary preferences, don’t buy eggnog from the store, please. Make it yourself, it takes literally 5 minutes and tastes that much better. (´・ω・`)

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Csirkepaprikás (Chicken Paprikash)

Chicken served with nokedli and a sour cream sauce.

Chicken served with nokedli and a sour cream sauce.

(Pronunciation: “Cheer-keh Paw-pree-cash”)

I have a feeling somebody out there was waiting for this one. “Hey, this guy does Hungarian recipes! Where’s the friggen’ chicken puh-pree-kash?!!!”

Well sir, here it is. Delayed because I like coming up with the best recipes ever before releasing them, and to be honest, this did take me awhile to make exceptionally tasty… I’ve tried several other people’s recipes, most of which were simply waaaay too bland for my tastes. And while drumsticks may look the best presentation-wise, they simply aren’t meaty enough.

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Octopus in Red Wine

Octopus, tomatoes and onions , cooked with a red wine reduction.

This is a Mediterranean inspired dish that I have been cooking ever since I discovered my love for octopus. It also used to be my signature dish until I discovered my love for veal, and crêpes, and veal-stuffed crêpes. (´・ω・`)

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Meggyes-Mákos Rétes (Sour Cherry & Poppy Seed Strudel)

A puff pastry strudel filled with sour cherries and poppy seeds.

(Pronunciation: “Meh-dyesh Mah-kosh Rey-tesh”)

Remember when I said that the cottage cheese strudel was the easiest strudel ever? I lied. This is basically as easy as it gets… I was actually surprised myself at how little I needed to add to the filling to make it taste as amazing as it did! It’s also probably going to be the last strudel recipe I’ll be posting. Probably. We’ll see. It’s just that strudels are too easy. (´・ω・`)

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