Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes | Clara Czegeny

There is more to Hungarian fare than gulyás.

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

TITLE: Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes
AUTHOR: Clara Margaret Czegeny
PUBLISHER: Dream Machine Publications
CUISINE: Hungarian

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Featured Ingredient: Paprika
Paprika is a spice made from ground, dried fruits of Capsicum annuum, either bell pepper or chili pepper varieties or mixtures thereof. In many European languages, the word paprika refers to the Capsicum fruit itself. The seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. Paprika can range from mild to hot. Flavors also vary from country to country. [Wikipedia]

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First Impression
First off, I love self-published cookbooks. It’s a tough mountain to climb. I admire the determination it takes to get one of these publications into the hands cooks like you and me. Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes is similar to so many of these self-produced projects. Homey and comfortable, those are two adjectives that would accurately describe this labor of love. Lots and lots of recipes are contained in the 377 pages. Mostly Hungarian as you would expect. The book is dedicated to Clara’s mother, Helen. Looks like Helen really knew how to cook. And, as a real pat on the back the book was named a 2010 Canadian Cookbook Best Seller.

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What You Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Introduction & Forward
History of Hungary and Foods
Appetizers and Soups
Sauces, Salads and Side Dishes
Main Dishes
Pastries, Squares, Tortes and Crepes
Passport to International Fare

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If you’re going to be cooking Hungarian food, you may as well know some of the local phrases. It’s not Rosetta Stone, but, it’s a start.

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Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Transylvanian Veal Stew Hungarian Liver Sausage
Wild Braised Rabbit in Red Wine Breaded Chicken Livers
Braided Raisin Bread Wild Mushroom Strudel
Potato, Egg & Sausage Casserole Hungarian Soup Dumplings
Rustic Fisherman’s Soup Chicken Cordon Bleu (France)

 

Yes, of course there were recipes that really caught my eye. I love salty things. So, the Salt Bread Sticks (p112) are a big hit with me. The Anchovy Stuffed Hard Boiled Eggs (p31) are a great take on an old favorite. Who doesn’t love a good deviled egg? So, when you pep it up with a little anchovy and Madeira you’re sure to have a hands down winner. The Chocolate Jelly Roll (p245) will make a wonderful finish to any meal, Hungarian or not.

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Special Features
Each recipe has its name printed in English and Hungarian. That’s a nice touch. There are a Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes lot of Hungarian facts to check out, along with a short history lesson. A handy “check-list for successful baking” is included. A rundown of ingredients and utensils you will need to make some of the dishes will take some of the guesswork out. I love the fact that lard is prominently listed. AND, that margarine has been labeled a dirty word! I didn’t realize that paprika came in six varieties. Here’s the way it breaks down: Exquisite delicate, delicate, noble sweet, semi-sweet, rose and hot. Toward the back of the book is a comical page of Hungarian tongue twisters. The translations are pretty hilarious, it’s worth a peak (SPOILER ALERT: There was a bearded hamster. It was lapping syrup. If a hamster is lapping syrup, it will be seized with a hamster clamp. WHAT IN THE WORLD??). There are two indexes, the first in English and the second, as you would expect, in Hungarian. There are also some pre-set menu ideas for your consideration.

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Conclusions
There are 440 recipes in this cookbook. More than you will probably ever need. For those of you who have been looking to fill out your Hungarian recipe collection, this book will do the trick. Simple, easy to execute recipes are the norm here. There are some challenging recipes, but, it’s an ideal guide for beginning and intermediate home cooks. Nothing tricked out. The ring binding lets it sit flat on the counter without a fight. If you have some Hungarian roots in your family (like I do), this book deserves a spot on your rack. If you’re just interested in some delicious ethnic cuisine whose roots stretch back several hundred years or so, you’re in luck.

Culinary Expertise Required: 4.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

Links, Resources & Press
Hungarian Cream Puffs Video
Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes Website
Helen’s Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream
Hot Hungarian Chef Website

One thought on “Helen’s Hungarian Heritage Recipes | Clara Czegeny

  1. Bruna Morris

    I own this fantastic cookbook. I am thrilled to see this lovely and heart-warming review. Every word is true. Happy to see that others distinguish a good cookbook from a outstanding one. I am Italian and love recipes from other nationalities too. Hungarian food is very distinctly flavourful in many ways – some rustic, some rib-sticking, and yet others, over the top delicate and decadent!

    The best buy in my books!
    Bruna

    Reply

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