Lecsó, the Hungarian Ratatouille

1024 683 Sylvia123

There are many favorite summer foods that I like eating at lakeside or at outdoor swimming pools like hake or corn on the cob. When it comes to cooking at home I like preparing lecsó in summertime. What ratatouille means for the French, is lecsó for Hungarians. Both have key ingredients but there is much debate on how to make it traditionally. Everyone seems to know the one and only recipe. 🙂

Here is how I like preparing this famous summer food which I learnt from my mom, who I believe is one of the best cooks in the world. Although lecsó is a Hungarian vegetable stew – vegetarians, please cover your ears now 🙂 – I use chorizo to add special “sabor” to it, in order to get a massive taste that men can also accept. 🙂 So this is my mom’s recipe but I made a Caribbean twist on it: I use coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. 😉

Ingredients for two

  • 50 dkg sweet yellow Hungarian peppers, cut into finger-width strips or rings
  • 1 piece Hungarian/green chili hot peppers, cut into finger-width strips or rings
  • 30 dkg tomato, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • smoked chorizo, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet Hungarian red paprika powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste

How to prepare

Cut the onion into cubes or slices (it is up to you) and fry it in coconut oil, stirring continuously. I swear on coconut oil, but if you cook for a man, add smoked bacon to the oil or use it as lard instead of oil. I can guarantee that he will propose to marry you at the end of the meal. 🙂 While simmering the onion, peel the tomatoes. Some consider this step to be unnecessary, but it’s how I like it. If you place your tomatoes into hot water for two minutes, the skin will peel off easily. Then cut the yellow peppers into stripes. When the onion turns golden yellow and transparent, add the chorizo and cook it for a while, then add the peppers and the tomatoes. Cook for ten minutes together, then remove from the heat and add paprika powder, salt and black pepper and stir it well. This is the time to add some chili peppers then cover the pan. Let it simmer over low heat because a good lecsó has soul, it has to be cooked slowly and with much love and care.

When it is ready, it can be eaten on its own with a slice of bread or you can pimp it up in many other ways. For example, beat the eggs (1-2 per person) until smooth, and add a little salt. Pour over the cooked lecsó, and heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until the egg begins to set. Or you can mix the cooked lecsó with cooked rice. And not to mention how gypsies like it, they eat it together with nokedli (the Hungarian noodles) and put sour cream on top. Truth be told, this last one is my personal favorite. 🙂 Bon appétit or ¡Buen Provecho!

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