Monday, October 10, 2011

Supper Club - Austro-Hungarian

Hungarian Herend

October 1 the Supper Club Marin gathered together for a feast from the Austria-Hungary region.  We were lucky to have someone with us whose background was Hungarian, having four grandparents from Hungary.  She brought this lovely Herend porcelain piece which company is named after the Hungarian village where it originated.


We started with appetizers, and Lana brought this lovely Liptauer (Hungarian Cheese Spread) that we munched while chatting in the kitchen while the chefs put last touches on many of the dishes following.


Tom M put lots of care into these tasty Irinka-Povarenok (Hungarian Chopped Liver) which were the first things served as we sat down.


Kathleen hand made the dumplings which went into the Leberknödelsuppe (Liver Dumpling Soup) as well as simmered soup bones and caramelized onions to make the complex soup.  The liver dumplings included liver, saltines and lard among other ingredients.

Gebackene Kohlsprossen

Bonnie and Barry brought a side dish to accompany the mains.  Barry made the Gebackene Kohlsprossen (Brussels Sprouts with Ham and Mushrooms) and people exclaimed that these were the best Brussel sprouts that they had ever tasted!  This was the lone dish of Austrian origins.  All the other chefs chose Hungarian dishes.

Hortobágyi Palatschinken - 1

Emil made Hortobágyi Palatschinken (Savory Hungarian crepes) which were filled with a savory pork and veal mixture.

Hortobágyi Palatschinken - 2

And here is what the center of the Hortobágyi Palatschinken looks like.

Hungarian Goulash

Connie brought Hungarian Goulash.  The first time she made it, it had more of a burnt than smokey taste, so she made it all over again and varied from the directions to obtain this smooth and silky stew of perfection.

Oxtail Stew

Juliette brought the Oxtail Stew.  She had grown up with oxtail stew and was surprised at how hard it is now to find oxtails to cook with.  The sauce was reminiscent of a barbecue sauce, with ketchup and mustard among the ingredients.

Mashed Potatoes

Juliette also brought the mashed potatoes that were still sporting thei skins.  It made the perfect foil for the mails.


Tom H explained about  his quest to find an authentic recipe for his dish, and found an extraordinary number of variations.  The Csirkepaprikas (Chicken Paprikas) he chose tasted great!

Uborka Saláta

Janice made Uborka Saláta (Hungarian Cucumber Salad) which was also done according to direction to be its authentic Hungarian self.  This dish got lots of raves!

Bill's contribution was of Austrian origin, a Salzburg beer - Stiegl Goldbrau Premium Lager.  Ir was described as smooth, refreshing and delicious!

Havasi Kifli

Then we rolled around to desserts, starting with Karen's Havasi Kifli (Hungarian Nut Crescents).  These melted on your tongue and were perfect with the expresso served with dessert.

Szilvas Gomboc

The final dish was Stephanie's Szilvas Gomboc (Plum Dumplings) which had a potato based dough around a  fresh plum.  The packet was steamed, then rolled in a breadcrumb and spice (cinnamon among the spices) mixture and topped with sour cream.  Delicious and necessarily heavy.  Food to eat in the dead of winter to keep warm in Hungary for sure!


And finishing off the dessert was my contribution of Zwack liqueur, a Hungarian digestif. It was created by Dr. József Zwack, the Royal Physician to Emperor Joseph II in 1790, and the first liqueur commerically produced in Hungary.  It has more than 40 herbs and spices in its recipe.

As our custom, each chef told a story of their dish's origin or special cooking notes - whether true or not!  The purpose is to have fun and that we did.