I have this very good friend, Maria, who is Hungarian. And she is one of the best chefs I have ever encountered. Gorgeous food, whenever she makes some. And even better with wine, which we both love. This is the thing I have learnt from her cooking-- Hungarians know, and love their paprika. Yes sire. They do. Smoked paprika with pork tenderloins. Oh btw, did you know why Hungarians started having pork?
Apparently, it was not a part of their regular food. But when a Muslim Invader-- I forget the name..or maybe it was the Turks?-- went through Hungary, they would loot all the meat that they could find in the Hungarian houses. To save themselves from this loot, Hungarians started having pork! The Muslim Invader would not touch the pork. And the Hungarians finally could have some meat in peace. A very clever idea I think. And boy! after that, they sure have mastered the art of cooking pork.
But I was talking of paprika...wasn't I ? :) But that is all the fun of story telling. You lose yourself in silly details and take it from there. Yes, Hungarians know their paprika. I use some of that great Hungarian Paprika. But I sure as hell can't get to that level of perfection. Not yet
One of the dishes that I have loved best, however, does not involve paprika. One day I will tell you of a dish which does. But today lets not fuss about it anymore. I am going to talk about Gulash. Its a very traditional Hungarian dish involving lovely yoghurt and cheese and garlic and chicken. How can you even go wrong with this? But I am lactose intolerant and cannot use some of these ingredients. So I have come up with this twist, which makes it lighter and less impactful on your tummy ( no pun intended..:)
So lets get on...shall we?
1 lb of Chicken--with bones and a bit of skin. We are going to make stock out of it. But you can use skinless if you want to use store bought chicken broth. Chop up the chicken into bite size or slightly bigger pieces
1 big onion-- chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic--grated
1 big tomato-- chopped
Half a cup of whole milk
you can substitute with 2-3 cubes of cheese ( pepper jack is best) and 1/3 cup of good quality Yoghurt
2 tsp of olive oil
3 cups of water
All you need is a pot
Boil the chicken in water. Once done, strain the pieces and save the broth. Alternately, you can use store bought broth (you can then throw away the nice broth that you have to make anyways). Heat oil in a deep pot. Once oil is hot, add the garlic and the onion and saute till onion is translucent. Will take ~ 4-5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth that you are using. And let it bubble up. Add the chicken, milk and tomatoes ( add the cheese and yoghurt if you are using them) and stir in. Season with salt and pepper. And cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Very light and extremely flavorful! you have a light variety of Gulash.
Serve with mashed potatoes. Or good quality of bread and white wine.....ahhh thats some hungarian dish.
The picture does not do justice. We were all ready to eat it up
happy eating and healthy living!