Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Magyar halak ebéd (Hungarian Fish Luncheon)

Last Sunday—the 2nd Sunday of Advent—Steven’s co-worker, Panka, and her husband, Attila, invited us to a delicious lunch. Steven’s other co-workers, Éva, Péter and his wife, Laura, also joined the lunch. We kicked off the day with a toast to friends and good health. We drank plum and honey palinka—a tasty Hungarian brandy.

We started with soup as all proper Hungarian meals do. But not just any soup. A cold fruit soup spiced with clove! It was yummy and a good start to the meal. Panka then fried several small fish that resembled Crappie in the states. She filleted each fish and covered them with flour and paprika. The handmade paprika is a special recipe from Szeged—arguably the best paprika in Hungary!

We then ate a second fish, called Barbus barbus, that Panka baked with onion, peppers, butter, mustard, tomato, ketchup and fresh parsley. Hungarian wines were paired throughout the meal. All of the fish was caught in the Danube River near Tolna by Panka’s father who is an experienced fisherman and sailor.


Chef at workfrying fishChef Panka
We followed the meal with some tasty espresso prepared by Attila and then tucked into some homemade beigli. Beigli is a traditional Christmas pastry made from walnut and poppy seed—two ingredients that Hungarians live by! Making beigli is difficult. Panka used her mother’s recipe and produce a delicious finish to a wonderful meal.

Panka's Beigli!

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