Posts in Hungary

In case you haven't noticed I am a sucker for nuts in my desserts. Demonstrated by a few favorites from races past: Apricot Almond Cake, Baklava, Linzer Torte, Nanaimo Bars, Almond Croissants, Majorcan Almond Cake... the list goes on. This recipe was no different. scrolling through baked goods, getting lost in sugary delicacies... ooh, walnuts and almond extract? Sold. 

They hit all my dessert buttons too. Not too sweet, flaky and soft, texturally interesting with the filling of ground nuts, and great with coffee. 

Kifli with Coffee


Adapted from RecipeLand

2 ¼  cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks), very cold
2 large egg yolks slightly beaten    
½  cup sour cream

2 ½ cups walnuts shelled, ground
½ cup sugar granulated     
¼ cup milk
½ tablespoon almond extract

1 large egg beaten   

1. Combine flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, pulsing in 8-12 times, each pulse 2-3 seconds each. Add the egg yolks and sour cream; pulse 2-3 times until combined.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter. Knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth and can be shaped into a ball. If dough is too sticky, knead in more flour.

3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

4. Meanwhile make filling: In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground walnuts, granulated sugar, milk, and almond extract.

5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Divide the dough into two; wrap half in plastic wrap and set aside.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough to a 15 x 12 inch rectangle that is approximately ⅛ inch thick. Cut the rectangle of dough into 2-inch squares.

7. Place a heaping tablespoon of walnut filling in the center of each square; bring one corner of the dough over the filling to the opposite corner; pinch edges together. Place Kifli on baking sheets; brush with the beaten egg.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until cookies are golden brown.

9. Let cool on wire racks. Repeat steps with the remaining half of the dough.

Optional: dust with powdered sugar for a little more pizzaz. 

Paprika Potatoes and Green Peas
Hungary meal
Library Cookbooks

Cookbooks might be my secret passion. My Amazon wishlist is 90% cookbooks and 10% obligatory items like scarves, cooking utensils, and earrings. I'm not sure what I love more, owning them or finding gems in the stacks at the library. As for my books, I will never relinquish my copies of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, PLENTY, my late grandmother-in-law's Belgian cookbook collection, Flour Water Salt Yeast, or Williams Sonoma Weeknight Cook. As a matter of fact we recently went through a whole house purge and I think I got rid of one cookbook, and it was for how to cook for an Atkins diet. Clearly that should be given to someone who does not currently have a pasta machine in their Amazon shopping cart. 

All in all, I love cookbooks in all shapes and sizes. 1960s aspic filled cookbooks, vegan hipster quinoa kale salad books, bread making, cheese making, Nigella, Ottolenghi, Smitten Kitchen, Good Eats, you name it, I will love it. I hope you do too. 

Hungary Dishes

For Hungary I perused a number of books, but Flavors of Hungary by Charlotte Slovak Biro was the clear winner. I found a lot of little gems in this cookbook. Including lovely recipes for Chicken, Potatoes, and Peas. A perfect trifecta in my world. 

Paprika Potatoes

Paprika Potatoes (Paprikas Krumpli)

Adapted from Flavors of Hungary by Charlotte Slovak Biro

1 onion, diced
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon Hungarian paprika
6 medium sized potatoes, washed and chopped
½ green bell pepper, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
salt to taste
1 cup water

Sauté the onion in butter, until transparent. Add paprika, potatoes, green pepper, tomato, salt, and water. Simmer 30-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender; don’t stir, but shake pan occasionally.


Green Peas (Zold Borso Fozelek)

Adapted from Flavors of Hungary by Charlotte Slovak Biro

10 ounces frozen peas
¼ cup hot water
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth

Boil peas 10 minutes in a covered saucepan with water, salt, and sugar. Add parsley and butter and simmer slowly until peas are tender. Sprinkle with flour and add chicken broth. Stir constantly until thick.

The Emperor
According to the company, Unicum was created by Dr. József Zwack, the Royal Physician to the Habsburg Court, for Emperor Joseph II in 1790. In 1840 the family founded J. Zwack & Co., the first Hungarian liqueur manufacturer.
— The Zwack Unicum History
Emperor being poured

The Emperor 

Adapted from The Spruce Eats

1 1/2 ounces Zwack Unicum Herbal Liqueur
1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
1 tsp orange curacao
optional: orange twist for garnish

Combine Zwack, vermouth, and curacao in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir well until well-chilled. Strain into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with optional orange twist. 


Hungarian GP: Pesti Csirke AKA Chicken Breast a la Budapest
Hungarian Dinner with Zwakhatten

If you are an F1 fan, do you watch just the race or do you go all in and watch the qualis, pre race, post race, Ted's notebook, the whole gamut? This year's Hungarian Qualifying, may have taken the cake for edge of the seat excitement. All in all, it was more exciting than the race and well worth a watch. The weather and team strategies made for some rain soaked and nail biting moments, and reminded me why I love the sport. The race itself had its fair share of drama, but if prizes were going out for most watchable, I'd go qualis for this one. 

We made some Hungarian classics from a local library find, an excellent 1970's Hungarian cookbook: Flavors of Hungary by Charlotte Slovak Biro. 

The Hungarian GP, for us at this point is just a great excuse to pull out the Zwack. Haven't tried Zwack yet? It is an herbal liqueur that gives any cocktail an interesting twist. Our go-to is the Zwack-hatten! But of course, we would never leave you with just one beverage to choose from. So this year we tried out the simple, yet tasty Emperor (recipe forthcoming). A mixed on the sweeter side apertif, perfect for a heavier meal like this one. 

For the race we made Chicken Breast a la Budapest (I love 1970's cookbooks, don't you?), Paprika Potatoes, and Green Peas. If I'm honest, this chicken may not be the prettiest thing you've seen all week, but it sure was tasty. The butter and wine make a great braising liquid, while the sour cream and bread crumbs form a crisp, yet moist topping. All in all, warming, tasty, and easy to boot. 

Chicken Breast a la Budapest

Chicken Breast a la Budapest

From Flavors of Hungary by Charlotte Slovak Biro

1 ½ pounds chicken breasts (about 4 breasts)
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
black pepper to taste             
4 green onions, chopped     
3 cloves garlic sliced
1 cup sour cream (1/2 pint)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 teaspoon paprika
 ½ cup dry white wine
parsley sprigs for garnish   

1. Pat chicken breast dry, if whole cut in half and remove skin and bones.

2. Preheat oven to 375℉.

3. While oven is preheating, place butter in baking dish and allow butter to melt in the preheating oven. Check after 5 minutes to make sure butter doesn’t burn.

4. Arrange breast halves side by side in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, turn breasts over, and sprinkle other side. Distribute onion and garlic evenly among and beneath breasts.

5. In a bowl combine sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir until slightly liquid, pour over chicken breasts to cover completely. Combine bread crumbs and paprika, sprinkle over chicken.

6. Bake chicken for a total of 45 minutes - 1 hour. Start by baking for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, add half of the wine, pouring it in along edge of dish. Bake an additional 20 minutes and add the remaining wine, again pouring it along edge of dish. Continue baking chicken until tender and internal temperature reaches 165℉.

Serve with your choice of sides or Paprika Potatoes and Green Peas. 

Hungarian Dinner

We discovered Zwack in research for recipes for the Hungarian Grand Prix a few years ago. We started out simple, drinking it straight as an apertivo or a between courses drink. Tasty but a little powerful all on its own. 

This year, we wanted to find some new applications for this bitter, sweet, herbal liqueur. Thanks to the internet, that turned out easier than I thought! I liked Food & Wine and Saveur's contributions. I'm including our top choice from Food & Wine here, the Zwack-hatten. 



from Food & Wine

2 oz Rye
3/4 oz Zwack
Dash Angostura bitters
Lemon twist

In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces of rye and 3/4 ounce Zwack.
Add a dash of Angostura bitters.
Stir until well-chilled, and then strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a big twist of lemon peel—twisting over the surface of the drink to spray its citrus oils all over.


Hungarian GP - Goulash

I love the names of Hungarian dishes: goulash, paprikash, balushka. They sound so warm and comforting. This dish definitely met those criteria. Since we have a great beef source we went with a nice beef stew for this year's race. So easy, and so much flavor. The long cooking time develops the flavors nicely and the paprika really shines in this stew. It can be served with egg noodles, rice, or any kind of pasta. 

Beef Goulash

from Savory Tooth

3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-2 inch chunks
3 yellow onions (about 2 pounds), chopped
2 cups vegetable broth
6 ounce can tomato paste
10 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

For serving:
Vegetable for a side (I used cauliflower)

1.  Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

2.  Add onions, garlic, salt, and pepper to the pot. Cook until the onions soften, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

3.  Coat the beef chunks in a mixture of paprika and cayenne, and add to the pot. Cook until the beef browns, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

4.  Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add stock and tomato paste to the pot, and stir. Cover with a lid and let simmer until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

5.  Serve with noodles and a vegetable side.


On to the cocktails! Last year we bought a bottle of Zwack Unicum, a liqueur from Hungary. This year I did not know what to do with it when I dug it out from the back of the liquor cabinet. But Food & Wine came to the rescue with a properly delicious cocktail! Can't wait to try some of the other suggestions!



“Zwack is equally sweet and herbal—you could say the same about sweet vermouth, an essential ingredient in a Manhattan. So instead of pairing vermouth and rye, we're going with Zwack and rye, for a stiff drink that drinks like a Manhattan but lets a citrusy flavor linger around the edges.”

To make the cocktail:

In a mixing glass with ice, combine 2 ounces of rye and 3/4 ounce Zwack.
Add a dash of Angostura bitters. Stir until well-chilled, and then strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with a big twist each of lemon peel—twisting over the surface of the drink to spray its citrus oils all over.