Friday, October 12, 2012

Hungary for Mushrooms - Mushroom Stouprikash

I am still in major soup mode.... Though I am not so sure if this really qualifies as soup or not.  This is really more of a stew; then again, it's loaded with Sweet Hungarian Paprika, so it's kind of like a Paprikash (though it doesn't contain tomato)

Hmmmmmmm   Mushroom Stouprikash?  Maybe?  (Hey, if Rachel Ray can make up words like "stoup", then so can I.)

This is one of those "perfect" autumnal dishes.  Hearty, but not too heavy.  Excellent on a day that is not so much chilly or cold, but definitely on the cool side of the thermometer.   I think it's the Paprika.

There really is something special about Hungarian paprika.  It has warming qualities, whether Sweet or Hot, that go beyond the mere Scoville scale.  Maybe it's the rich color it imparts or the bright but earthy flavor.  Either way, it is a boon to any dish you decide to apply it to, whether sprinkled on Devilled Eggs or copiously spooned into Goulash.

Hungarian varieties of Paprika are many and varied, but don't let that freak you out.  Here in the US, there are only 2 that are commonly available in the marketplace.
  • Special quality (Különleges) the mildest, very sweet with a deep bright red color. 
  • Delicate (Csípősmentes Csemege) – color from light to dark red, a mild paprika with a rich flavor. 
  • Exquisite Delicate (Csemegepaprika) – similar to Delicate, but more pungent. 
  • Pungent Exquisite Delicate (Csípős Csemege, Pikáns) - an even more pungent version of Delicate. 
  • Rose (Rózsa) – pale red in color with strong aroma and mild pungency. 
  • Noble Sweet (Édesnemes) – most commonly exported paprika; bright red and slightly pungent.
  • Half-Sweet (Félédes) – A blend of mild and pungent paprikas; medium pungency. 
  • Strong (Erős) – light brown in color, the hottest paprika.
Of the 8 varieties of Hungarian Paprika, the two that are usually marketed are the Édesnemes (sold as "Sweet" Paprika) and the Erős (sold as "Hot" Paprika).  Do not confuse Hungarian Paprika with Spanish Paprika (or pimenton). Most, if not all, of the bottles on the "spice rack" at your local mega-mart that state, generically, "Paprika" are Spanish style; though they may have been grown anywhere from Spain to Serbia and even California.  Hungary is very proud, and well it should be, of its Paprika prowess.  Thus, Hungarian Paprika will be clearly marked as such. (look for the big square red can)

Don't get me wrong...  I am not saying that Spanish Paprika (pimenton) is nasty tasting, lower quality or anything like that.  I love the oak wood smoked variety.  Spanish Paprika just has a different flavor profile which includes some slightly bitter notes.  As a result, it does not fit the bill all the time, but it makes AWESOME Paella.
Mushroom Stouprikash

2 TB unsalted Butter
2 yellow Onions, diced
2 lbs Button Mushrooms, sliced (I prefer the brown crimini)
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 TB fresh Dill, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 TB Sweet Hungarian Paprika (not Spanish, it's a little more bitter)
2 tsp Lemon Juice
3 TB AP Flour
2 cups Mushroom or Vegetable Stock
1 cup Whole Milk
1/4 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 cup Sour Cream or Smenta

Melt Butter in a large stock pot set over medium flame.

Add diced Onion and saute for 5 minutes.

Add the Mushrooms, Salt, Dill and Paprika, stirring well.

Cook an additional 15 minutes to ensure the Onion is cooked through and the mushrooms have begun to give up their liquid.

Yes, I really mean it this time, for the liquid they give up will mix with the Paprika and form the unctuous "sauce" in the bottom of the pot.  YUM!

Add Lemon Juice and stir to combine.
Gradually sprinkle the flour over the cooking mushrooms, stirring constantly to prevent flour lumps.

Continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes to remove the "raw" flour flavor.

Add the Vegetable (or Mushroom) stock.

Cover the pot and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add Milk and Black Pepper, stirring to combine.

Whisk in the Sour Cream and reduce the flame to "low" to ensure the sour cream doesn't curdle.

Serve with a Dill Garnish.


1 comment:

Patti T. said...

I just love mushrooms so of course this looks very tasty to me. It looks similar to the Jaeger sauce from the part of Germany where we lived. I bet this would be excellent on a pork cutlet.Mmmmmmm