I have just a spent a delightful week in Szombathely (Hungary) recording Schubert with Capella Savaria. We were working in a beautiful 19th century synagogue which is now a concert hall and on the other side of the street are the ruins of a Roman Temple to Isis. The city is really historic. Two famous people were born there: one real and the other fictitious. St Martin of Tours was born there in the fourth century while, in James Joyce’s Ulysses, Leopold Bloom comes from Szombathely; indeed there is a house in the town square that was owned by a family called Blum in the 19th century but that is pure coincidence. There is a whimsical statue of Joyce on the outside wall.
Of course one of the great things in Hungary is the food. Every time I visit I stock up on paprika which comes in two types: mild and spicy. My favourites are piros arany (red gold) which come in a tube and two that come in jars: Erös Pista (Powerful Steve) and Édes Anna (Sweet Annie). You can tell which one is the spicy one.
I also love the dumplings that get served with the gulyás. There are two types:
Galushka which are basically the same as spätzle and Dödölle which are made from potatoes and are much heartier. Here are some recipes:
6 tablespoons flour
2 large egg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 pints (1200ml) chicken stock (or water if you insist)
These small dumplings go with any dish you make in the paprika style; veal or beef stews, or chicken, of course. And you can prepare them while the chicken is happily absorbing the stock and tomato paste in Paprika Chicken w/Dumplings (click here for recipe).
Mix the flour, egg, and salt into a thick dough. Take about a half tsp. of the mixture at a time and drop into a slow boiling pan of chicken stock for around 4 or 5 minutes. They are done when they are firm and have plumped a bit from the cooking. Drop them into a colander as they are finished, and sprinkle them with parsley if you wish.
1.1 lb (0.5) cooked (boiled) smashed potatoes
0.55 lb (250g) flour
0.07 lb (30g) butter
sour cream for serving
oil for frying
1) Mix the smashed potatoes preferably (while hot) with the butter, salt and flour. You should have a soft dough. (if necessary you can soften with a spoon of sour cream)
2) Heat the oil and form dumplings by means of a tablespoon, fry them until they have crispy brown coating on both sides. You have to flip over the dumplings to have the coating on each side.
3) Serve with sour cream or as side dish to meats.