Friday, December 16, 2011



A fantastically nutritious and easy summer dish done in a heartbeat.
When the AC is blasting, the temperatures are in the 90-ies and you need a quick fix for a family meal, the Transylvanian Lecso will become your savior.


  1. 3 onions, 2 white, 1 red – generously sliced (if no red onions, try 2 small shallots)
  2. 3 long Italian green peppers – round sliced
  3. 3 red Bell peppers –round sliced
  4. 3 cloves of garlic – sliced
  5. 3 large tomatoes, or 10 cherry tomatoes ( the taste is much sweeter) – sliced
  6. 1 generous cup of white rice (you can substitute with brown rice if desired) –use Uncle Ben’s 5 minute quick cooking rice
  7. Hungarian or Polish dark smoked sausage or hot dogs J – take the skin off for easier digestion, sliced.  If you have kids they will surely appreciate the substitution with some Hot Dogs. (no need to take the skin off)
  8. ½ cup of chicken stock and ½ cup of water
  9. Salt, black pepper and paprika to taste
  10. 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil

Add the olive oil to a 5-6 quart deep dish.  Slice up all your veggies and your sausages. On medium-high flame stirring constantly bring the veggies to a fry, add the sausage, chicken stock, water and rice.  Season it with salt/pepper and paprika, cover it and let it cook for 10 minutes. Stir it a few times, add a bit more water if needed, adjust the seasoning if needed.  Check the consistency of the rice…and you’re done!

For the more courageous and daring tasters I would suggest 1 deadly hot Jalapeno pepper sliced (seeds in) with the rest of the veggies.  If you prefer it milder, just remove the seeds. 
You can serve this dish lukewarm, room temperature also.

EGESZSEGEDRE!                             BON APPETITE




Who needs chocolate when you can have the divine taste of this superb looking and tasting abundance in flavor comfort food?  Excellent healthy protein and carbs combined with veggies and dairy, all in one magnificent dish.  I am ready to hit the high C after this meal and so will you :)

  1. 2 Lbs of ground pork
  2. 1 medium onion - chopped
  3. 1 shallot (it can be substituted with a red onion) - chopped
  4. 1 small red bell pepper –chopped
  5. ½ of Jalapeno pepper if you like it spicy -chopped
  6.  ½ green pepper – chopped
  7. 6-7 cloves of garlic
  8. olive oil, 3 tablespoons
  9. 6 large Idaho potatoes or similar
  10. 1 cup of milk
  11. ¾ cup of sour cream
  12. 2 eggs
  13. 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  14. 4 slices of smoked Mozzarella and Provolone cheese , each- total 8 slices ( you can use only Mozzarella or Provolone, 8 slices)
  15. salt, pepper, paprika – Vegeta powder or Garlic Salt works great also

Boil potatoes (skin on) in salty water, drain when done and let it cool before you clean them.
Finely chop onions, garlic, red and green peppers and place them in a large pot with the olive oil. Fry them until golden then add the ground pork with seasonings:  Vegeta, Garlic salt, black pepper and a teaspoon of paprika.  Stir it often and let it cook until the meat is tender, covered with steam hole open on the lid.
Take a deep casserole dish, pour a little olive oil on the bottom or coat it with some butter and start slicing up the potatoes on the bottom, 2 potatoes in round cuts.  Add half of your meat mixture on top and spread it evenly.  Now layer another 2 potatoes sliced round and add the rest of the meat mixture on top.  Now layer the meat mixture with the last 2 potatoes and cover the whole thing with the 8 thin slices of cheeses.

In a Magic Bullet or mixer add the 2 eggs, sour cream, milk, salt and chopped parsley, give it a few pushes and pour the milky mixture over the dish slowly.
In the summer time you can put the dish in the microwave half covered and heat it up with two 5 minute cycles until the cheese completely melted.
In the winter time you can heat up the oven to 375 F, and bake the dish for 25-30 minutes until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.
Sprinkle it with some chopped scallion greens and paprika for effect and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

EGESZSEGEDRE!                                                                       BON APPETITE!



I don’t know…there’s something with us Hungarians that we just love sauces, creamy dishes, soups that stick to your palate and linger on longer.  Here’s another easy and tasty creamy recipe that will never disappoint.  You can serve it with any steak, pork chop, meatball, roasted chicken, or breaded veal cutlets, with anything you’d like.


  1. 5-6 medium size yellow squash – peeled, cut in half, remove all the seeds with a spoon then grate it on a mandolin on the bigger round grater, add 2 Tbs. of salt , mix it well and let it stand for 30 minutes.  Then squeeze out all the juices in the palm of your hand one batch at a time and set it aside.
  2. 3 Tbs. of olive oil
  3. 3 Tbs. of all purpose white flour
  4. ½ cup of dill – chopped
  5. 1 cup of milk (add more later if desired consistency is still too thick).
  6. 1 Tbs. of apricot jam
  7. 1 Tbs. of white vine or apple cider vinegar
  8. 3 Tbs. of sour cream
  9. 1 Tbs. of sugar

Prepare the squash as mentioned above and let it rest for 30 minutes.  Squeeze out the juices and set it aside. 
Heat up the olive oil and add the flour making a light colored roux, mixing and stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn.  Add the chopped dill and the squash with 1 cup of milk, stirring constantly.  Now you can add the apricot jam and the vinegar which help the squash preserve its consistency and won’t mush out.  When all comes to a boiling point you can add the sour cream and sugar, cook it for another 5 minutes and you’re done.
I never have to add any salt to this dish because the squash is salty enough.
You will have to baby sit this dish also, because the ingredients are following in very quick order and stirring it frequently is necessary not to burn the creamy consistency.
The good news is that it’s done in less than 10 minutes.
Serve it with your meats of desire or even eggs over easy or fried eggs…Easy, breezy, healthy, yummi and refreshing.

EGESZSEGEDRE!                                                     BON APPETITE!



Are you still afraid of vampires?  Do you believe that they are among us?  Well, I haven’t met one and I’m from Transylvania. J Do you know why?
I will let you in my little secret: GARLIC! It really works, honest!
Try these meatballs filled with garlic, parsley and flavors and as my personal guarantee, your fears will all dissipate in matter of seconds.  If it’s not true, BITE ME! :)


  1. 3 Lbs. of ground pork ONLY! (No mixing veal or beef in my killer balls!)
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 8-9 cloves of garlic smashed into a paste – use  a garlic press, Magic Bullet or any reliable chopping instrument
  4. ½ cup of chopped parsley
  5. 4 slices of French white bread (about an inch/slice) – hold it in your palms under the faucet until soaked and mushy, than squeeze out the water and spread it in tiny morsels over the pork
  6. Garlic salt, black pepper and paprika in abundance
  7. Olive oil for cooking

Mix all the above ingredients with your bear hands, I guarantee it feels like molding a piece of art.  First, take off your rings, bracelets and watch, wash your hands and start mixing and turning and mixing and turning until all ingredients are evened out.  Taste the mixture if you need to add more salt, pepper or paprika.  It should be pretty spicy.  Don’t worry, in the frying process some will get eliminated anyway.

Now here’s the best part.  Slice the mixture in 2 equal portions.  You can use one portion for dinner tonight as meatballs. (It will make 10 nice size balls). And you can use the other portion for a meatloaf another night.
You can freeze one portion or make it on the same night for another day as a meatloaf dinner.
If you have a deep fryer, set it on the medium setting, and while the oil is heating up make your meatballs using wet hands.  After you give them a nice round ball shape, flatten it from the top so when placed in hot oil it almost looks like a mini hamburger.  Don’t worry; it will still come out looking round.  MAGIC!  1 and ½ Lbs of ground pork mixture will make about 10 meatballs.  For party food make the meatballs tiny and you’ll get a good 20-25 little ones that you can always serve cold.
The cooking process should be slow and you must turn your killer balls when one side is brown, do not burn them!
You can serve them with my famous cream of spinach or cream of sweet peas, garlic mashed potatoes or whatever garnish you desire.


  1. 3-4 hard boiled eggs –cleaned and left whole - OR
  2. Thin Kabanosh or Hungarian sausage. Polish Kielbasa works also but then you can’t line them up next to each other only in the middle.
  3. OR a mixture of hard boiled eggs and sausage (in this case use only 2 eggs and 2 smaller pieces of sausage)
  4. ½ onion –sliced
  5. ½ green Italian pepper –sliced
  6. ½ red Bell pepper
  7. 2 cloves of garlic
  8. olive oil
  9. 1 cup of water
  10. Vegeta or Garlic salt, paprika

Using the second portion of the ground pork mixture you can make a little boat on a cutting board with wet hands, again.

 If using the mixed filling, use 1 egg, than place 2 pieces of sausage next to each other as  shown above, than another egg and 2 pieces of thin sausage and finish it with an egg.  If using the only eggs filling, just place all 4 hardboiled eggs in the boat and same with the sausages.  Now shape your meatloaf making sure that all fillers are fully embedded.
In a corning ware put a splash of olive oil and all the veggies, add 1 cup of water and some garlic salt, Vegeta and a teaspoon of paprika.

  Before the oven


Place your meatloaf artwork in the middle and sprinkle some olive oil and paprika on top.
In a 375F oven cook it for about 2-2 1/2 hours, covered with foil and basted occasionally. If you need some extra water don’t hesitate to add to it. Uncover it at the final 10 minutes so it browns beautifully. Baste it, baste it, and baste it!
If you’re happy to add the remaining veggies, onion, garlic to the plate you can do so for some extra juice, but if you would like a thicker consistency sauce to serve the meatloaf with just put all the veggies and remaining juices in a mixer (food processor) or Magic Bullet give it a few stirs, and voila! 

 Out from the oven

And you thought that you needed a French Chef to help you out with a spectacular dish        J

EGESZSEGEDRE!                                                              BON APPETITE!



Another marvelous comfort side dish to be enjoyed with your favorite meats or breaded schnitzels.  Easy, full of protein and vitamins…done in minutes.  Shown here with my vampire killer meatballs :)


  1. 1 onion – minced
  2. 2 14oz. cans of sweet pea – liquid discarded
  3. 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  4. 3 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  5. Regular or Lactose-free milk – about a cup, depending on the consistency of the sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
  7. Salt, a pinch of paprika and fresh black pepper to taste
  8. 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped parsley

Sautee the onion in olive oil until translucent, add the 1-2 cans of sweet pea, stir in the flour.  Mix it well and start adding the milk slowly, stirring it constantly on medium heat.  Season it with salt or Vegeta, a pinch of paprika (sweet or hot), and fresh black pepper.  When it reached a thick but still slightly fluid consistency add the freshly chopped parsley and it’s ready to serve.  It’s a delicious side dish to any steak, sausage, meatloaf, meatballs, chicken or fish.

After all that work, you deserve a nice glass of Chardonnay.



You can use this as an appetizer or a main course.  The preparation is extremely easy and the results are mind blowing.  If you’re anemic this dish is especially great for you.  The benefits of organ foods are being advertised these days as the forgotten vitamins your body needs to make healthy red blood cells.  OK< so the bacon wrapping might not be ideal if you have some high blood pressure issues but once in a blue moon a couple of these cuties will do more good than damage to your system.  Unless you have gout attacks, then you must stay away from organ meats.


  1. 1 Lbs. of chicken liver (Please, check the expiration date on jars from your supermarket!!!!! Liver should ALWAYS be fresh and prepared the same day) – cleaned from the fatty tissues and thoroughly washed then dried on paper towels.  Use salt, pepper to spice it up on both sides.
  2. 1 slice of smoked bacon for each piece of liver. Ask your deli server to slice them really thin.
  3. Toothpicks to secure bacon around the liver
  4. 10 Oz. tomato sauce
  5. 1 large shallot – chopped

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Use 1 slice of smoked bacon for 1 chicken liver.  Wrap the already seasoned liver with the slice of smoked bacon and secure it with a toothpick.  In an oven proof deep plate or you can use a cooking tray pour the tomato sauce along with the chopped shallots, mix it all so it’s even and place the wrapped livers in the sauce.  Cover it with foil and bake it for 45 minutes.  Take the foil off and add some water if the sauce is too dry.  Continue baking it for another 5 minutes and voila! You’re done!

If you have some left over gipsy cake this dish is perfect to go along with it.  As an appetizer just transfer it in a serving dish with a bit of a sauce and let the compliments overwhelm you. J

EGESZSEGEDRE!                                                             BON APPETITE!



Here’s an example of a traditional Romanian soup that because of the mixing of the Hungarian and Romanian population in Transylvania became a hit and immediately got incorporated into Transylvanian kitchens all over. It is a bit bitter but refreshing thanks to the original herb called “Leustean” very popular and unique to Romania.  I wish all of you could have it in your condiment cabinet but it’s very hard to come by in the US.  But Eva, the ‘Diva” found a perfect replacement for y’all so you can bring this delicious soup to your kitchen table.  As my husband’s eyes are rolling in delight taking seconds behind my back, here you are!


  1. 1 large onion – chopped
  2. 2-3 cloves of garlic – chopped
  3. 1 large carrot or 3 smaller ones – cut in small cubes
  4. 1 large parsley root or 3 smaller ones – cut in small cubes
  5. 2 long stalks of celery – cut in small cubes. Don’t throw away the celery leaves, you’ll need them later!
  6. ½ of a bigger size celery root or 1 medium – cut in small cubes
  7. 1 small head of cauliflower – washed and cut in smaller, edible size pieces
  8. ¾ can of green peas or if you have fresh, even better!
  9. A healthy splash of olive oil
  10. 3 tablespoons of leustean herb, if you don’t have any use 3 Tbs. of dried celery leaves
  11. ¼ cup of lemon juice
  12. Vegeta, black pepper to season
  13. 1 handful of fresh celery leaves – chopped
  14. 4 Qts. Of water for cooking
  15. Meatballs for the soup

Do you remember my comment earlier with the kohlrabi soup?  This soup will use up your pre-made meatballs mixture that you can defrost now for the second use in the “Ciorba” soup.  If you weren’t paying attention earlier, here it is:


I usually prepare the meatballs first and let the mixture rest in the fridge until ready to be used.  I also prepare a larger portion of the meatball mixture so I can freeze half for another soup that requires meatballs, like my spectacular veggie soup on page: ????????

  1. 2 Lbs of ground pork
  2. 1 egg
  3. 3 cloves of garlic –finely chopped
  4. 1 small onion or larger shallot –finely chopped
  5. 1 handful of parsley – chopped
  6. 1 full cup of white rice
  7. Vegeta or Sea Salt, black pepper and paprika – don’t be stingy with the spices, baby J it makes or breaks a meatball.

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly, dig in with both of your hands and enjoy your creation. Taste it so it’s spicy enough and separate it into 2 halves. You can freeze 1 portion for another occasion.  Label your Ziploc bag with the date and content and place the other half in your fridge covered with plastic wrap until you’re ready to use it in the kohlrabi or my bitter veggie soup.

Take a 6 Qt. soup pot and add all the chopped veggies (onion, garlic, parsley root, celery root, celery stalks, carrot and green peas ONLY IF YOU”RE USING FRESH PEAS!) and your healthy splash of olive oil and sauté the veggies for about 15 minutes.
NOTICE! I didn’t add the cauliflower yet.  The reason is, they get ready very quickly and we’ll be adding them together when we add the meatballs.  So are green peas from a can that are already cooked, so we’ll add them at the end.

Now you can add the water and all the herbs (leustean if you have if not, dried celery leaves) and the lemon juice with some Vegeta and black pepper.  When the soup comes to a boiling point you can add your meatballs and the cauliflowers.  When the cauliflowers are soft but still a bit crunchy you can add the green peas from the can and a handful of chopped fresh celery leaves.  Check for seasoning. The taste should be a bit bitter but not overwhelming.  Cut a meatball in half and see if it’s fully cooked. Cook the soup with all ingredients together for another 5 minutes and you’re done.
Sprinkle it with freshly chopped celery leaves in individual plates and enjoy!

This is another soup that will need some R&R before served and the next day you will have your eyes rolling just like my hubby here.

EGESZSEGEDRE!                                                                  BON APPETITE!


I have served this soup at dinner parties for the rich and famous in my opera days and all I can tell you that the questions just kept coming of how to make it and how sophisticated it looks and tastes.  People were taking second and third servings and all I can tell you, for a little bit of work I got more complements than on my last performance on stage. :)

Back in my Mom’s kitchen this easy 1-2-3 soup was usually served when little Eva had a tummy ache. The benefits and miracle powers of caraway seeds are just coming out in the world of herbal nutrition but my ancestors knew this ahead of time.   IT CURES indigestion, heals ulcer and acid reflux discomforts and has a calming effect on the nervous system.  Join me and experience the healing effects of those tiny seeds in a delicious and comforting soup.


  1. 1 large onion – coarsely chopped
  2. 1 healthy splash of olive oil – about 5 tablespoons
  3. 4 handfuls of caraway seeds – for real!
  4. 5 large tablespoons of all purpose flour
  5. 4 Qt. water
  6. ½ of green Italian long pepper – cut it in the middle and add the stem with the seeds in the soup
  7. croutons and scallion greens sprinkled when served
  8. Vegeta or Sea salt, a dash of paprika

In a 4 and ½ Qt. soup or any deep dish add the olive oil and chopped onions and the caraway seeds.  Mix them well and cook them together for about 5 minutes. Now add the flour, and a dash of paprika for a nice brownish color. Don’t let the flour change color by burning it. Mix everything well together and add about 4 Qt. of cold water and season it with only Vegeta or Sea salt.  Toss in the green pepper.  Let it cook now on medium heat stirring it often so the flour/seeds/onions don’t stick to the bottom.  When it comes to a boiling point slowly you will notice the consistency changing to a creamier, denser appearance thanks to the flour.  Let it cook for about 20 minutes, season it if it needs more salt.  When your green pepper (which will be floating on top) reaches a well cooked almost an overcooked appearance, your miracle soup is ready.
Use a large strainer and pour the whole thing through the strainer into your favorite soup dish. When you serve individual portions, sprinkle it with croutons and some scallion greens for presentation and you can add some freshly ground black pepper if you desire.

I would love to be in every household when this soup is served. Just to hear your cheers and watch your enjoyment!

EGESZSEGEDRE!                                                            BON APPETITE!