Most dishes that I cook start with sauteed onions, garlic, and paprika in oil over low heat. It’s just my version of Mirepoix, and a distinction I’ve become notorious for. Eastern-Southern European cuisine is quite cozy with these flavours, and my intrigue in experimenting with them has grown vastly since my trip to Transylvania.
I have some really amazing friends who not only indulge my obsessions, but share them. Recently we were planning our next dinner meetup and, torn between choosing German food or Hungarian food, we decided to go for the best of both culinary worlds and have the Austro-Hungarian Mmmpire party.
Amber made this Hungarian salad with salami, cheese, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and onions. She also brought rosehip and raspberry cookies, Elderflower soda, and made Turos Gomboc- sweet cheese balls with semolina, cinnamon, sugar, and a vanilla sauce.
Jessica and Greg made a mouth-watering Schweinebraten with mixed vegetables and a perfect gravy from all of the juices. They found several types of goat cheese, farmer’s cheese, crackers, dry hard salami, and some fancy liqueurs.
Jordan stocked us up with beer and I made Meggyleves, a sour cherry wine soup served cold, which also doubles as a decadent cocktail.
There was a wonderful cellar bar in Udvarhely called Plebanos that served Tarkonyos Csirke Raguleves, so I was excited to recreate it. I made my own version of Rakott Kapozsta, a spicy casserole of cheese, cabbage and beef. For dessert we had Sachertorte, rich and fudgy chocolate layers filled with apricot preserves.
We decided there are still so many dishes remaining that we want to try, and we are already planning part two: The Reformation.