This weekend was Father’s day weekend, and in addition to celebrating E.J. and the awesome dad that he is, we have visitors staying with us from Sweden & The Netherlands, so I decided to partner with our daughter, Gelli, to do a full Hungarian dinner to showcase some of our family traditions.
This is the first time I have actually attempted to make Hungarian food because E.J. is such a great cook, especially when it comes to his family’s recipes. But Gelli has absorbed a lot of the techniques over the years, so I figured she could help me out in some of the more complicated areas. The real kicker was that I was determined to make the whole thing Paleo compliant and I also had to make sure it was nut-free, because one of our guests has severe nut allergies…. Challenge Accepted.
The menu consisted of:
- Gooseliver pate on toast
- Cucumber salad
- Chicken Paprikás with Nokedli
- Palacsinta (Hungarian Crepes)
The only total failure of the project was my attempt at a Paleo baguette loaf using cassava flour – although the dough smelled nice and yeasty, it was way to thick and never managed to get fluffy at all and ended up as a solid rock-like substance with a gooey center… which landed with a thud into my trash can.
So to fulfill the requirement for Paleo bread, I ended up just leaving it to the professionals at Fox Hill Kitchens and used some of their bagels I had frozen. The Gooseliver and Escargot were naturally compliant – I sauteed the snails in butter with garlic and salt. The cucumber salad is typically made with white vinegar, sugar, and salt, so I added a little honey to the dressing in place of the granulated sugar and it turned out great.
The Chicken Paprikas is actually Paleo to begin with – sauteed onion, pepper, and tomato with salt and paprika, chicken stock & chicken breasts simmered on the stove until done. The only non-compliant addition was some fully natural sour cream added to the stock to form the sauce. I served it on the side so it could be added with discretion.
The Nokedli (Hungarian spaetzle-like noodles) actually worked better than I had anticipated. We used the cassava flour spaetzle recipe on this beef stroganoff from Girl Meets Grassfed and Gelli pressed the noodles through the form into the boiling water using the same method as traditional noodles.
Finally, we crowned the whole meal with grain-free crepes filled with a honey-sweetened strawberry compote and topped with melted Enjoy Life chocolate chips and coconut oil. Gelli is the palacsinta queen, and although the dough didn’t really behave like regular crepes, she did a great job!
All in all, I’m happy with the results, and E.J. was happy to be able to enjoy Hungarian food within the parameters of our diet.