Friday, February 3, 2012

Hungry for Hungarian - Karfiolleves (Cauliflower & Dumplings)

Every once in awhile, I crave Hungarian food.  I am really not sure why.  It's not like I have Hungarian in my background, nor is it because I grew up on Hungarian foods either.  I mean, mom use to make "Goulash" but her goulash is not really a Hungarian dish... It's kind of a Slumgullion... (with bacon and cheese) which really means it more like the "Johnny Marzetti" that my friend Cathy just blogged about over at Dutch Bakers Daughter.

Basically, aside from Dobos torte, a couple of Stuffed Peppers (Töltött Paprika) and the occasional bowl full of Chicken Paprikash that my co-worker Lisa would bring in to the office for me enjoy, (Her mother was Hungarian) I really have not eaten a lot of Hungarian foods.  Still, I find the whole premise of "Hungarian" cuisine to be infinitely fascinating.

Maybe it is my love of Paprika, the much loved spice of Hungary.  I don't mean the sweet Spanish stuff that is simply labeled "Paprika" in the mega-mart nor do I mean the Smoked Paprika that Rachel Ray is so fond of. (though I DO like it too)  I am talking about HUNGARIAN Paprika.

Whether it's the Sweet version or the Hot.. I love Hungarian paprika.  Since so many Hungarian dishes lean heavily on this ground pepper, it just seems like a natural path toward dinnertime satisfaction.

Hungarian Cauliflower and Dumpling Soup (Karfiolleves)

adapted from Saveur Magazine
1/3 cup AP Flour
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
6 TB unsalted Butter, divided
1 large Egg
1 1/2 TB HOT Hungarian Paprika
1 large yellow Onion, diced
1 medium Carrot, peeled and diced
6 cups Vegetable Stock (you can use Chicken too)
1 head Cauliflower, cut into Florets
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, stemmed and minced

Make the dumplings:
In a bowl, stir together flour and salt.

Add 2 TB butter and, using your fingers, rub into flour until small crumbles form.

Add egg and stir until dough forms.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make Soup:
Heat the remaining butter in a 6 quart saucepan over medium-high heat.

Add Paprika, Onion, and Carrot cooking until soft and the Paprika is fragrant.

Add vegetable stock, cauliflower, and with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the flame to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. (15-ish minutes)

Using a 1/2 tsp measuring spoon, portion out and drop all dumpling dough into simmering soup;

Cook, stirring occasionally, until dumplings are cooked through, (3-5 minutes) then season with Lemon Juice and additional Kosher Salt and Cracked Pepper, if necessary.

Ladle the soup and dumplings into 4 serving bowls, and garnish with Flat Leaf Parsley.

Deliciously "warm" without being hot (spice-wise).  I love my Hungarian Paprika...  I found the dumplings to be kind of so-so.  I think this soup would be just as delectable without them.


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