Thursday, July 24, 2008

Here's How It All Came About. . .

Tomorrow night, I’m having a dinner party at my place. Here’s how it all came about. . . .

Miss Healthypant’s friend from college, Diane, is coming down from Wisconsin. (We like it when Diane comes down from Wisconsin). For some reason, she wanted to know if we could find a Hungarian restaurant in Chicago because, for some reason, she wanted to try Hungarian food.

Of course, there are Hungarian restaurants in Chicago, but they're kind of in the suburbs. Being downtown-dwellers, we tend to shun anything that’s not within a five-block radius.

The thing is, I can actually make pretty decent authentic Hungarian cuisine Here’s how it all came about. . . .

I learned to make Hungarian food when I was a monk in a monastery many years ago. Here’s how it all came about. . . .

Two-thirds of the monks in that monastery were from Hungary. Here’s how it all came about. . . .

A bunch of monks fled Hungary before and after the Communist takeover of 1956 and founded the monastery here in the states. So, that’s how two-thirds of the members were Hungarian.

I liked to cook, so I bought a couple of Hungarian cook books and used to make Hungarian meals for our Sunday evening suppers. They liked it and were pretty impressed with my Hungarian food skills. Of course, my food never quite tasted like their mother’s, but there you go.

So, since Diane wanted Hungarian food and since we don’t like to travel outside of the downtown borders, I said I would have everyone over for a Hungarian meal.

Basically, all Hungarian menu items are like this: Heat lots of bacon fat, add paprika and sour cream. Vary the meat and vegetables a little bit, serve it with dumplings the size of volleyballs and voila, you’ve got Hungarian food.

Here will be tomorrow night’s menu: (I wish Lorraine was here)

Kőrőzőtt – is a cheese spread made from feta cheese, cream cheese, butter, paprika, caraway seeds and chives. Hungarians like to stuff it in banana peppers.

Paprikas Csirke (Chicken Paprikash). Heat lots of bacon fat, brown chunks of chicken in it, add lots of Hungarian sweet paprika, chicken stock, a touch of tomato paste and thicken it with sour cream. Serve it with:

Zsemlyegomboc – (bread dumplings). Sauté chunks of bread in butter until crispy, (basically, make croutons) then mix the crispy bread chunks in a dumpling batter containing lots of pepper. Cook them in boiling water.

Uborkasálata – (Cucumber Salad) made from sliced cucumbers, vinegar, sugar and sour cream.

Dessert will probably be frozen watermelon daiquiris on the Balcony of Terror.

There will be five of us for dinner. Then we’re all going out to a karaoke bar where I fully intend on singing I Think I Love You. I think Miss Healthypants will be singing Close to You. Iwanski will probably sing anything except I Think I Love You or Close to You.

It ought to be a really fun evening.



At 12:00 AM , Blogger Diane said...


At 12:25 AM , Blogger Jason Boskey said...

OK, for real, why isn't palacsinta the dessert! And how about nokedli instead of the bread dumplings?

I have other issues with the menu, but to each his own :)

At 12:43 PM , Blogger Br. Jonathan said...

Diane: I've already called the karaoke bar and they're looking forward to you belting out "Stairway to Heaven."

Boskey: I think one has to be a grandma with lots of time on her hands in order to pull off palacsinta. I'm not that ambitious.

At 4:56 PM , Blogger Miss Healthypants said...

I can't wait, either! :)

At 12:20 AM , Blogger Speck said...

I'm sure you have mad cooking skilz, but Oy Vey! I don't think I could eat Hungarian.

Word Verification: oppps

Yeah, that.


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