Christmas is coming soon. Therefore, the time has come to create a festive atmosphere at home and prepare a special dinner for this year’s Christmas Eve. We came up with a classic Hungarian Christmas menu with which you can impress your loved ones and provide an unforgettable culinary experience on this special occasion. Enjoy!
In Hungary, fish soup is one of the classic starters of the Christmas menu. The preparation might be a bit time-consuming (approx. 150 minutes); however, its divine taste is definitely worth the effort.
Clean and fillet the fish. Dice the meat. Keep the head and the tail, leaving a little meat on them. Dice the onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Sauté the onion in a little oil until translucent. Add the diced peppers and tomatoes – or a little hot paprika to taste – and continue to sauté for a few minutes. Then add the fish head and tail and add enough water to cover them. Cook the fish stock over medium heat until just simmering, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the meat from the cooked fish pieces, and then strain the vegetables and a little stock. Make sure not to leave any fishbone in the sauce. Pour the stock into the saucepan and add the filleted fish pieces. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook the fish for about 30 minutes until tender. In the meantime, flavour the fish dumplings and add hot pepper. As Nosalty reports, the classic Hungarian fish soup is served hot, with thick slices of fresh white bread and green hot peppers.
A favourite end-of-year festive dish that can only be made in large portions to feed all the hungry mouths of the family is the famous stuffed cabbage.
Wash the rice, add the minced meat, chopped onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper, and knead gently. Wash the cabbage, then roll the filling up in the drained leaves. Cut the remaining cabbage leaves into pieces and place them at the bottom of the casserole, together with the washed smoked ribs. Place the stuffed cabbages on top and add enough water to cover. Cover with 2-3 larger cabbage leaves and bring to a boil. Cook for about 70-80 minutes (time depends on the meat), according to Mindmegette. When the stuffed cabbage is cooked, prepare the roux. Heat a little oil and fry the flour in it, then remove from heat and add red pepper to give it a nice colour, along with two tablespoons of sour cream. Add enough of the cabbage juice to make it about the same temperature, pour it over the cabbage, and bring to a boil. Serve with sour cream and fresh bread.
Whichever flavour you prefer, one thing is for sure: there is no Hungarian Christmas without bejgli.
To make the bejgli dough, dissolve the icing sugar in lukewarm milk and then dissolve the yeast in it. Sift the flour into a bowl and melt the butter. Add the milk with the yeast and 2 egg yolks to the flour, then add the butter, salt, and grated lemon zest. Mix the dough well: you should get a relatively stiff, elastic dough. Leave to rest in a warm place while you prepare the fillings. Following Mindmegette‘s advice, put the chopped walnuts and poppy seed in a separate bowl and mix with 100-100 g sugar and 100-100 ml milk. The vanilla sugar is also divided in two and mixed into the fillings. You can also mix in raisins and grated lemon zest to taste. Divide the dough into 2 and roll it into rectangles. Spread the filling over the entire surface of the dough to a thickness of about 1 cm and roll up carefully. Place the two rolls in the pan, making sure they are still rising when baked. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining egg yolk, to which you can add 1 spoonful of milk for a brighter colour. Stab them with a meat fork and bake them in a 200°C oven for about 50 minutes until golden brown.
Source: nosalty.hu; mindmegette.hu,