2008. június 28., szombat

Hungarian layered potato with love

For Sandra and Sergio

Our dearest Chilean friends, Sandra and Sergio visited us in Budapest a few weeks ago. In a nutshell, we met them under more than unpleasent conditions in Guatemala, quickly bonded for life (strange as it sounds), and now reunited under far more ideal circumstances to celebrate perfectly moving legs, Hungarian culture (food) and our invisible tie in general.

We spent the day on the countryside, focusing on picturesque views and constant feeding. Well, it’s no joke, this is what we Hungarians do, when we want to please: we eat together. We may blend in other programs just to pretend, but it’s all about the food. We have breakfast (u got to have breakfast), then a bite next to the midday espresso, then follows a ‘three course’ lunch (u got to have proper lunch), must have some cake along the afternoon espresso… Basically all u hear is ‘must taste this’ and/or ‘can’t leave without trying that’, and so on…. Clearly, our custom ignores human body’s capacity completely, there’s simply no chance to skip a bite, and we even call this hospitality. Obviously no chance to miss dinner either. (Kiddin?!) So in the end of the day, when nobody could even think of food, how better could i personally express my L.O.V.E. for them? By inviting them for dinner to my place, of course.

I wanted to prepare them something very authentic and typical, a Mama’s homemade special, that is not commonly found on restaurants’ menus. Well, other crucial criterias were a) meat content (cuz iknowiknow, Hungarian men gotta have meat on their plate), b) difficult to mess up. No, a light meal was never really an option. :)

Layered potatoes (aka Rakott Krumpli) - in general – is such a simple, easy-to-make dish, that I never planned to write it down (hence no photo was made). However. The object of my post turned out to be a far greater success, than i’d ever hoped for. In fact, I received the kindest compliment ever: the following day I sent some for my dad, who later called me to thank (he NEVER calls) and compared the meal to greatgramma’s supreme arts. Obvious exhaggeration of a babygirl’s father, but 1) still feels shrugging-blushing-tingling good, and 2) still demands documentation of recipe for future reference.

To be honest, I guess the trick was that I really, truly and sincerely put my heart and soul into it. And love does magic, y’all know.

Finally, this is in English, because I promised Sandra that I’d give her the recipe. It seemed to me that they felt my love, too. :)
So this is to you, dear Sandra, hope your family will enjoy it! :)

Hungarian layered potatoes
Ingredients for 6-8 people
Measure converter here

2 kgs potatoes
10 hardboiled and peeled eggs
half pack sliced bacon 3 few slices extra
1 stick of butter
2 pieces (2x20cm) of smoked, dried sausage (used ‘gyulai’)
1 l sour cream
2 onions, sliced
salt and pepper to taste


Cook potatoes until almost tender (try not to overcook, I’d say take it off the stove just a few, say 2-3 mins earlier than u’d normally do, doing the fork test), rinse them in cold water, peel, and slice them thinly.

Slice the boiled eggs (best to use an egg-slicer to get even, thin slices).

Slice sausage, and fry them in pan for just a very few minutes, until it sweats some juice.

In another pan, melt butter and add bite-size sliced bacon and onions, and fry them until pieces are transparent, and enough juice is produced.

Slightly salt half of the sour cream (other half is for serving).

The the layering

  • In a casserole dish (I used a cake form this time, but just because wanted it to be extra pretty, and it turned out it does not matter) lay the extra slices of bacon in the bottom of the dish, than start layering.

This is what I did:

  • One layer potato
  • Arrange sausage and its juice over potato,
  • One layer of eggs - use little bit of salt, depending on taste
  • Spread thin layer of sourcream (not too much, but should cover all bites)
  • Grind some pepper over sourcream
  • Finally, spoon some of the bacon/onion/butter mixture on top.
  • Start all over and repeat until running out of ingredients or reaching top of the dish. (tip: between sets of layers, to eliminate air, i gently pressed down potatotoes, this way the casserole becomes thicker, and it's easier to cut and serve nice pieces, without falling apart)
  • Important: close it with a potato layer, sprinkle with the bacon fat (this time no onions or bacon pieces, just the juice), cover with sourcream and garnish with raw bacon pieces.

Bake in hot (190-200°C) oven, first 50 minutes covered, then 10 mins without the cover (here i switched to upper-lower grill), until bacon is crispy and potato’s color turn into golden brown.

Serve with unsalted sourcream and pickled vegetables (ie. cucumber). Enjoy.


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