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Old 04-20-2006, 09:55 AM   #1
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Hungarian cuisine - need help

Hi, my names is Joe, and I'm from Denmark. I'm new here, and was told that people here possess an impressive amount of gastronomic knowledge. I hope someone can help me...

I have always been a huge fan of Hungarian cuisine, but since I'm not that big a chef myself, it is really frustrating that I have never had any success cooking Hungarian food. In particular there are two dishes that I would like to cook:

1) "Kolozsvári töltött káposzta" (Stuffed cabbage Kolozsvar (a town) style?), which is some kind of meat dish with Hungarian bacon, sausage, pork and beef together with cabbage and paprika.

Link (in Hungarian, I'm sorry): http://www.noklapja.hu/cikk.php?id=53&cid=4135

Link (in English, doesn't contain receipe) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpag...gewanted=print

2) The legendary "Szegediner Gulasch." I found some recipes in German, but they are way too complicated (i.e. contains to many unconventional things such as cumin and Schweine- or Gänseschmalz (I don't know the English word, but it is some kind of grease) - in other words ingredients that I do not know where to purchase). I would like to know what I could exclude, for example, it seems weird that sour cream and sugar are ingredient... I'm terribly sory but my gastromonic vocabulary is really bad, so if there are some German-speaker in here that would really help.

Links are in German, sorry.

A) http://www.marions-kochbuch.de/rezept/0238.htm
500 grams of chopped beef
20 g of hen grease (see below)
1 onion
1 garlic
1 cumin
1 spoon of paprika spice/powder
1 spoon of pepper
1 spoon of salt
1 can of tomato "consentrado"
1/4 litre of water
500 grams of sauerkraut
150 grams of potatoes
10 grams of sugar
150 gram of sour cream
500 grams of potatoes

B) http://www.zdf.de/ZDFde/inhalt/25/0,...094105,00.html
300 grams of Onion
200 g Schweineschmalz (pork grease? I don't know the exact english word, but I guess they add instead of oil or butter. There's a pic here: http://www.marions-kochbuch.de/index/0392.htm)
600 g of pork meat
2 TL Rosenpaprika (2 spoons of paprika spices/powder)
300 g Sauerkraut (sour cabbage, the German one)
Salz (salt)
1 TL (1 spoon of cumin)
1 garlic
250 ml sour cream

Obviously both reciepes contain directions, but I'm more confused about the ingredients themselves. For example, cumin, can I leave it out, and what will the effect be? What about the grease, could I use butter instead?

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Old 04-20-2006, 10:30 AM   #2
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recipe # 1 ...cumin (ground ) is common enough, used in European, Asian, and Mediterranean/African cuisines. You should be able to fins it at a market. Same with paprika, a "national" spice of Hungary, but available everywhere.
The tomato concentrate is Tomato paste (American) sold in small cans. THe other ingredients are what makes this dish a "sweet/sour" as the Italians call agre/dolce. I would make the dish as is...call around stores or use the internet to purchase the spices you need. THey will kepp for a year or two.

In recipe # 2, you are making a "sausage" so the fat and meat and spices are combined, then stuffed into the cabbage etc.
again, there is no item I would leave out...find a store that sells the items and start using them.

enjoy the discovery and the experience.
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Old 04-20-2006, 11:35 AM   #3
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The Schweineschmalz you refer to, if it is in a rendered state, is known as lard. If it is in its natural state, as in freshly cut from pork, it is pork fat. As this is a sausage, I would think that pork fat would be ground in with the lean pork meat to improve the texture and oil content. It would also help the meat particles stick together.

According to some research done while completing this post, I have found that Schweineschmalz does indeed translate to Lard. And the site I found this on has some very interesting things to tell us about fats, both saturated and poly/trans/mono-unstaturated fats. The articles are well written and very revealing about many of the fat myths abounding in our society. They are well worth your time. But be warned, they are fairly scientific in nature and do use biological/chemical jargon. If you are scientifically minded, here is the seb address: http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyour...t_sat_fat.html

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Old 04-20-2006, 01:49 PM   #4
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Thanks both of you. I think I'm gonna go for the Gullasch since that is the least complicated one to make from what I know. I don't think that I can find that particular pork meat for the Koloszvar dish here in Copenhagen, Denmark; it's ironic: Denmark is one of the biggest exporters of pork yet decent pork meat is difficult to purchase... Anyway, Gullasch should do just fine another time as well, for example, for a dinner with friends or something. Regarding cumin I have question. Here we have to types of cumin, but the one we call 'cumin' isn't the type of cumin (or kümmel in German) you get in other countries, I think. What we call cumin usually is added in cheese, and the one called cumin in english receipes is called 'spidskommen' here. What I'm trying to say... cumin (the sort you have in UK or the US) is some sort of powder and it looks like this http://www.frokostkompagniet.dk/uplo...pidskommen.jpg, right?
About "schweineschmalz" or "Gänseschmalz" (lard) which one should I go for? I guess the former is cheapest, but since I want to use beef, will it make a significant difference? What about frying the meat itself. Is it best done on a very low heat so it will not get to stiff?
Oh, I almost forgot the sauerkraut. It's just the ones in glasses ready to add?
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Old 04-20-2006, 03:41 PM   #5
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cara and karaburun, you are needed here

Bienvenue, Joe. I've asked two of our German-speaking members to visit this thread.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mudbug
Bienvenue, Joe. I've asked two of our German-speaking members to visit this thread.
Thanks a bunch, but despite my initial ignorance, I think I managed to sort out everything - except for my last questions about schweineschmalz" vs "Gänseschmalz. A big thanks to Robo and Goodweed of the North as well.
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Old 04-20-2006, 05:08 PM   #7
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Check out this site

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Old 04-20-2006, 05:10 PM   #8
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Here is another site

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Old 04-21-2006, 03:55 AM   #9
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Nice. I found this restaurant situated in Munich as well. It specialises in cuisine from the the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Their hp is in German, but the menu is in English as well.

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Old 04-21-2006, 08:54 PM   #10
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Ok, I managed to cook Szegediner Gullasch - it was really delicious. I used Schweineschmalz since the other type made from goose only is available during Christmas. But the I with the hard ingredients (Sauerkraut, paprika), I doubt that there really is a difference. I also used cumin, those seeds, but not the strong type. I think the former is cultivated in Central Europe (the Frech add it to cheese), whilst the latter is used in India. But there really wasn't so much sauce in the dish. This is probably authentic enough, but in case I would like to make a bit more soup-ish next time, could I just add some water or will that result in some strange dish?
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Old 04-22-2006, 11:23 AM   #11
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ah.. I just noticed the PM today... have a new popup-blocker..
is there anything you still need to know in German? ;o)
just ask or have a look yourself ;o)
and I'm sure you will improve your gastronomic vocabulary, so did I ;o)

btw: Kuemmel is not cumin, but caraway seeds...
LiGruess cara ~~~ Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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Old 04-22-2006, 03:14 PM   #12
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I love how cosmopolitan this site is! I'd use butter instead of the chicken fat (schmaltz in its many forms) if I didn't feel like rendering it myself. Which I wouldn't. Ganzenschmaltz is goose fat, Schwein is pig. Go for the goose over the pig, it will be closer in flavor. I'd use butter before I'd use pig. The flavor wouldn't be identical, but would be close enough. If you can't get cumin in Denmark, I'd skip it. I don't remember it being a really distinctive flavor in Hungarian food I've eaten (unlike Mexican, where if it isn't there, you really miss it). I keep two kinds of paprika on hand -- hot and sweet. Sometimes the hot can be really hot (sometimes not at all -- peppers of all kinds are hard to control), so make sure you know how much your guests can take and taste a lot while cooking if you use the hot. To me the ingredients that really make it Hungarian are sour cream and saurkraut. Good Luck!

I often thin dishes to turn them into soup. I prefer to use chicken stock, canned tomatoes or tomato juice to just water.
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Old 04-22-2006, 04:57 PM   #13
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If you want more sauce as you say, just add some beef broth if you add water you will lose alot of flavor.
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