Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes

Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes
Chef Ilona Szabo Reveals The Secrets of Hungarian Cooking

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hungarian Pörkölt & Paprikás - What Exactly is the Difference?

Pörkölt & Paprikás - What Exactly is the Difference?
(reposted from our archived posts Nov 2008)

The literal translation of Pörkölt means “singed” or dry-stewed and can be prepared from beef, lamb, game, chicken and pork. Add the spice later in a dish, as the high sugar content will easily caramelize with direct heat. Pörkölt's main ingredients, bacon fat, large onion, paprika. While onions are softening, paprika is added. The true subtlety of its flavor and color is released with heating - be careful - too high heat and it will be bitter, not enough heat - and it becomes a vibrant food colouring. Pörkölt can be the start of any great meal; to pork you can add sauerkraut and it becomes Székély Káposta. Add Rice and sour cream - in layered baked in the oven - it creates Rakot Kaposta. Pörkölt combined with more liquid and some fresh vegetables like carrots, potatoes, parsley - and you create Gulyás - an incredible aromatic and deliciously hearty soup. Finally, finish it with sour cream or roll in a savoury crêpe and it is Paprikás - as in Chicken Paprikás or Hortobágy Palacsinta (Veal Paprikás rolled into savoury Crepes) – the variations are endless. Serve with light and airy dumplings, creamy potatoes or fluffy rice.

Remember, the famous Chicken Paprikás or Veal Paprikás starts in the same manner, but the significant difference is that Paprikás is usually finished with sweet or sour cream, sometimes mixed with a little flour, but always stirred in just before serving. Important Note: Only veal and chicken are prepared as Paprikás and, it is not customary to use cream for Gulyás or Pörkölt. A little erös Hungarian Hot Paprika is commonly used in Gulyás, Pörkölt and Paprikás dishes – of all kinds.

A little side note about Paprika

(Paprika) Paprika (Capsicum annuum) is a New World seasoning. Cultivation began in the 17th century and the spice quickly became a staple of the Hungarian diet. It is commonly found in powdered form, which is made by grinding dried, aromatic, sweet red peppers, usually the Tomato Pepper or Bell pepper. The aromatic flavor of the raw tomato pepper is between that of sweet and hot peppers. Drying and grinding creates a complex, pungent spice that is both spicy and sweet. The spice rack in your grocery store will carry a milder variety, while the spicier Paprikas are found in international and gourmet groceries and online. Most commercial brands come from California, Hungary, Spain, and South America. It is very popular ingredient in Hungarian recipes. It is the Hungarian paprika that has become the most famous and most feel is the best quality. This lovely spicy red powder is ground from mild to piquant peppers.

Clara and her mother co-authored and published over 400 treasured Hungarian family recipes and created a cornucopia of delectable delights in their gorgeous collection - Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes TM

Clara's Sister Anne Lindsay writes in the book's congratulations.... "Clara and my dear mother Helen co-authored these treasured Hungarian family recipes. It must have been an amazing task - God bless you both! Great Job!"

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Enjoy The Hot Hungarian Chef 
Clara M. Czegeny

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