Birthday Lecsó

If there's anything you take away from this blog, I want you to be able to look at this photo and think: Lecsó! That is, I want you to face the inevitable onslaught of late summer tomatoes and peppers armed with this delicious Hungarian dish, which combines those two ingredients with a soy sausage of some sort and spices for a saucy, rich, homey stew that is perfect to serve to a big gang of friends.

Which is exactly what I did, this weekend! It was my birthday and I decided to go low-key and have some friends over to sit on our rooftop, listen to music, and eat a bunch of Lecsó (pronounced Lecho) with some good Turkish bread. As a condolence to some of the more militant meat-eaters I let S. make a batch with German sausage, while mine was made with soy-rizo from the local Bio-markt. Interestingly, though, mine turned out better and when both were empty, people passed around the vegan lecso pot to soak up the sauce with leftover bread. :)

You can find my recipe for vegan here, but I don't mind repeating it for those of you who don't feel like going through the archives. I also sometimes add a pinch of cayenne pepper, because I am a heat monster.
Lecsó ("Leh-cho")
(Note: this is an approximation, just keep to the rule of thumb of twice as many peppers as tomatoes and you'll be fine. Also, you can sub other peppers for Hungarian yellow paprika, but you may want to adjust the flavorings .)

-olive oil
-1 big onion (or two small) diced
-1 Hungarian-style vegan sausage (or sub about 3/4 cup some other type of crumbly sausage or even soy hot dogs and add 1 tablespoon smoked or sweet paprika as it cooks with the onion)
-8 Hungarian yellow peppers, cut into chunky dice
-4 tomatoes, diced
-salt and pepper, sugar (optional)

1.) In a large non-stick pan, saute onion and sausage in a little olive oil over medium heat until onion is soft and flavored by sausage. (If using paprika powder, add it now.)
2.) Add in peppers and cook for 10 minutes. Then add in tomatoes, salt and pepper (and an optional pinch of sugar.) Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until saucy and peppers are cooked to desired "done-ness."

Serve w/ rice or crusty bread.

All in all, it was a lovely birthday celebration with my good German friends, who as you can see above, are starting to get the hang of American English. :)

Song of the Day: Ben Folds Five- Where's Summer B.?