Hungarian Comfort Food

Today was a day that chilled my bones. The temperature was relatively mild, but the dampness was gross. It started with a meeting of Lions this morning, and moved to an appointment with a doctor, then on to the grocery store for provisions. My plan was to come home and cook up a batch of chicken paprikas. By the time we got home, I was so chilled, the act of cooking warmed me over. The anticipation for the meal was building and I recalled memories of when I helped my mother make the same dish.

The recipe is so simple anyone who knows how to read and turn on a gas stove can make this stuff. The ingredients are spelled out in a photos below. The main ones are chicken, onion, sour cream, and some simple spices. Combine them in the right order and you get a dish to die for.

When I began cooking I was not hungry. By the time the dish was completed, I was ravenous. Between the aroma, and the flavor, my stomach sent signals to my brain that shouted “Feed me.”

I had to have a wine to go with it, so I went down to the wine rack and picked out a bottle of red. The wine turned out to be as great a winner as the meal.

I had problems making the spatzle. It certainly wasn’t as good as Mom’s. This is the fourth time I have made spatzle as an adult, and I need more practice doing it. Mother’s was uniform in size, and firm in texture. My dumplings were rather random in size, shape, and texture. Oh well, another day, another dollar. If I don’t wait another seven years between attempts, I should be able to improve.

The paprikas smelled great, looked great, and tasted great. The spatzle tasted great but looked like hell. The appearance did not deter me from attacking it with appetite.

The chosen wine ¬†was accidental. It was the last bottle in the rack. I love Cabernet Sauvignon which is full bodied and flavorful. This one called “Dynamite.” was exactly all of that. It made a great pairing with the colorful red and rich paprikas.

If I were in a restaurant and had to rate this meal, I would give it four stars. If the dumplings were uniform in size and texture I would have rated the meal a five.

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