My grandmother was indubitably one of the greatest cooks in my experience. She boasted hordes of adoring fans, with her dreamy cakes and pastries, Vienna schnitzel and roasted potatoes, Chicken paprikas, accompanied by cucumber salad and freshly made mini dumplings (nokedli).
Both my grandfather and she were serious foodies, and the conversation between them revolved mostly about food.
The distinguishing factor in all the delicacy, which graced their table, was that the food was strictly Hungarian and strictly kosher.
They’d go shopping together after grandpa retired, and seek out the most beautiful produce, the greatest cuts of meat and assorted poultry.
Friends and relatives would devour the magical creations, often saying "I never tasted kosher food this exquisite".
I, an ever a picky eater, found myself gorging on the delicious dishes, finding it almost impossible to enjoy anyone else’s cooking having been accustomed to super excellence.
Of course I learnt the fact that you can cook kosher Hungarian meals, which best those one finds in any restaurant in Budapest.
A parev Palacsinta, filled with apricot jam and ground walnuts and sugar, can equal or succeed the flavor of the thin pancakes at the regal Hungarian restaurant across from the National Museum of Art in Budapest, famous for its wonderful Palacsinta.
My Grandma taught me that great cooking comes from the heart, the passion one generates into the pot.
The dishes, though not highbrow sophisticated, still could compete w anything one could get at a top French restaurant in Paris. What’s more, some things like roasts, could be fancied up with a red wine broth and mushroom sauce, whereas the Goulash was exceptional, yet prepared the traditional way, with onions braised cubed beef, carrots peppers and diced potatoes, cooked in vegetable oil and laden w spicy paprika.
I took over from my Grandma, and I have hundreds of recipes, both Milchik, Fleishig and pareve. Many are elegant enough to serve for a grand occasion, others just mouthwateringly fragrant and delicious for a simple casserole, served with crusty bread and perhaps a glass of wine.
When it comes to cooking a richtige Jewish Hungarian dish, like he filet fish and chicken soup, even those taste very differently from their polish/Jewish counterpart. For one, adding sugar to gefilte fish is considered a sacrilege and instead the carp is peppery and sits in a delicious aspic.
There are noodle dishes such as cooked flavored cabbage on egg noodles or a dairy dish, perfect to serve before Erev Yom Kippur, called Rakkot Krumpli (layered potatoes), made w cooked and sliced potatoes and hard boils eggs, layered with sour cream and a bit of bitten. The addition of a simple cheese his perfect for a browned, fragrant dish, that will have you watering at the mouth I decided against adding recipes and if anyone is interested I’ll be glad to post whichever is asked for.
I’m so passionate about cooking world class food in observance of the honor of Kashrut
Also, to create cakes that are light and mountain high, made w ground walnuts, eggs sugar and a healthy margarine or butter if it’s for a an afternoon get together.
If we cook with our hearts open have the right ingredient, use the correct amount of spices and herbs. Kosher food can be easily the best Hungarian food you have ever tasted.
– Helit Eidelstein
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