Hungarian Chickpea Paprikash and Spaetzle
There are two things that I am completely obsessed with right now: cooking, and sunshine. The cooking is a possibility since I have a little cash and a ton of cheap recipes (thank you awesome new cookbooks) but the sunshine is a bit more of a problem, this being Brussels and all. So when there is a day like this saturday, when I get to cook for people AND the sun is out, I'm pretty much ecstatic.
I decided to walk down to Place Flagey to check out their market and take a few photos. I saw this little girl defending her self-made snowman from the sun's rays. Noting a few hungarian wax peppers on sale, I realized that I probably had all of the ingredients to make the Chickpea paprikash from The Urban Vegan cookbook, and to serve it up over some homemade spaetzle.
I love Budapest more than almost all other cities in Europe, and was so impressed by the dramatic city-scape, the warm people, and the tongue-twisting language. However, I was never too in love with the food, mostly because it seemed to consist of nothing more than various types of meat simmered in cream sauces. (And don't get me started on the vegetarian food: cherry soup, with frozen cherries floating in yogurt?) But I figured I would give Chickpea paprikash a try, out of respect, and also because I've been wanting to try spaetzle to impress my German boyfriend.
Paprikash is usually a dish where meat is simmered in a paprika-spiked sauce, then gets a creamy kick from sour cream and is served over rich noodles or anything else. Spaetzle are basically really simple noodles that are very soft and comfort food-esque- almost like dumplings. You have to make a simple dough and then drop little pieces into boiling water, a bit like gnocchi. Well, although I was skeptical about how both items would come out (especially since I have no spaetzle-press) they were both AMAZING. My friends came over and gobbled up the lot of it, leaving me with no leftovers, and a promise to buy me a spaetzle-press so I can make them all the time.
I was really excited by how good everything came out, because not only is Urban Vegan's version rich, warming and delicious, but its also extremely cheap. The most expensive thing on the menu is probably the soy yogurt or sour cream used at the end. And spaetzle is practically free, granted you have flour around. I will definitely be making this again. And the spaetzle has a million different topping ideas, though I'm captivated by the thought of a apple-cabbage cream sauce....
Another food-related development this weekend was a new topping for pancakes that I created on the fly when my friends were over: Maple ginger apples!
Its very simple and delicious: slice 1/2 or 1 apple thinly and place in a pan over medium heat with a good dollop of earth balance. Then grate some ginger (to taste, I used a 1/2" piece) directly over the pan using a microplane grater. Cook until lightly browned, then drizzle over a tablespoon or so of maple syrup. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, then serve over oatmeal pancakes! Soo amazing.
Song of the Day: ELO- MR. Blue Sky
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