Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hungarian Cuisine by Stephanie Burkhart


I'd like to thank Mona for having me on her blog today in support of my bog tour for my latest release, "The Count's Lair."

Just a little about me: I was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. After graduating from Central High, I joined the US Army. I spent 11 years in the military, 7 in Germany. While in the military, I earned a BS in Political Science from California Baptist University in Riverside, CA in 1995. I left the Army in 1997 and settled in California, but my favorite football team is still the New England Patriots. I work for LAPD as a 911 dispatcher. I've been married for 19 years. I have two boys, Andrew, 8, and Joseph, 4.

Hungarian Cuisine

Hungarian Cuisine is definitely unique so I thought I'd share a little of my impression as well as some of the food you will find in my latest novel, "The Count's Lair."

When I was stationed in Hungary back in 1997, I remember that breakfast offered a wide variety of foods. My favorite was the fresh bread, brought in to our chow hall from the local bakery. Fresh cold cuts such as bacon, salami, and sausages were also offered. Fresh cheese and vegetables were available as well. There was a nice mix of Hungarian and American breakfast foods which made sampling the Hungarian cuisine easy.

We lived in a converted Soviet air base that was given back to the Hungarians after the Soviets left in the early 1990's. Most of the buildings were rundown and probably sub-standard. (Heck, I often had a frog visit me when I took my shower!)

The chow hall was in one of these old run down buildings. I usually ate my breakfast and lunch there, but in the evenings, I liked to go out with friends.

While lunch is considered the main meal in Hungary, for us living in Taszur, dinner was still our main meal. There was a place about ½ mile from the gate, also Hungarian styled bistro in the old headquarters we used to go for dinner. I remember going to downtown Taszur to a restaurant that overlooked the main street for dinner.

Most of my dinner meals consisted of meats, potatoes, and peppers. I enjoyed a good goulash, which is similar to a beef stew. It was a thick stew with paprika, carrots, onions, peppers, and beef.

Whenever I got a piece of meat, I remember most of the time, there was a lot of grizzle which I had to cut away.

Hungarians use a lot of spices. I especially liked the paprika in their cooking. They enjoy salami and sausages. A food that's very versatile and can be served any time of the day is a pogácsa, a Hungarian scone. (biscuit) I've got a great pogácsas recipe. You can make them with poppy seeds – and paprika of course!

A distinctive Hungarian drink is a dessert wine called Tokaji. It's a fruity, sweet dessert wine and very enjoyable. Hungary's climate is perfect for wine.

On our base, they had a small canteen which served the best cappuccino I ever had. Nothing compared to it. If I could fit time in my day to go to the canteen for my cappuccino, I did.

Here's a short blurb and my pogácsa recipe. Enjoy!
Count Anton Varga is haunted by the curse of the moon. It tugs on his emotions, ravishing his soul. Anton abhors the beast he must learn to tame if he is to find peace. 

Lady Amelia Andrássy is an accomplished pianist, but her life in Budapest had been filled with heartache. When Amelia faints in the Duma's bookstore, it's Anton's strong arms that cradle her fall. His unusual indigo eyes spark with hers, replacing their individual loneliness with the promise of feral passion. 

After a two month separation, Anton is ready to walk into Amelia's life again, but is Amelia ready to fan the spark they shared into a flame?

Pogácsas are Hungarian Scones. They come in different varieties, the most popular cheese, paprika, and poppyseed.

Prep Work:
Preheat oven to 400
Grease baking sheet

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp shortening
1 egg
¼ to ½ cup milk
cheese (I prefer cheddar) or poppy seed to taste

1. Mix together the dry ingredients and shortening.
2. 2. Rub in the flour with your fingertips until it is course.
3. Beat the egg until it froths, add milk and beat. Pour into the flour until a soft dough is made.
4. Add cheese or poppy seeds to taste
5. Roll the dough into 2 inch balls. Flatten just a little with your hand or spatula.
6. Place scones 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet.
7. Bake on middle rack at 400 for 13-15 minutes until light brown.
Serve immediately.

Presentation Suggestions:
With tea for a Hungarian styled breakfast.


The Count's Lair is avail as ebook for Kindle, B&N Nook, Sony Ereader, and Kobo. You can also download a copy from the Publisher's Website at:

You can find me on the web at:




Good Time: Leave me a comment and I'll be back tomorrow to give away a PDF copy of The Count's Lair.



Nike Chillemi said...

Stephani, Yum, yum. Best wishes on your new release THE COUNTS LAIR.I read an excerpt of it and your count is "hot."

Rebecca J Vickery said...

HI Steph,
Both the book and the scones sound wonderful. I'm saving the recipe to try out on the family.

StephB said...

Thanks for popping in, Sweetie. Hungarian cuisine is definately different, but a taste you can acquire.

Becky, let me know how you like the recipe. The thing is you have to eat them warm.


Margaret Fieland said...

Boy, Steph, do you bring back memories. My mother was half hungarian, and I have many happy memories about the food -- it was my maternal grandmother who was hungarian -- I love the stuffed cabbage but the recipe I have uses tomato sauce and no sauerkraut .. boo hoo ..

The breakfasts with the cold cuts, bread, and cheese sound a lot like Dutch breakfasts - I spent a summer doing technical work in the Wageningen (now would be called work/study) as part of an exchange program

Nan D Arnold said...

Your book sounds fascinating and I love to try new cuisine. Thank you so much for the recipe. I have one for Hungarian cabbage soup that is a winner in winter. Best with Count's Lair.

StephB said...

Margaret, I bet your grandmother was a great cook, too. My grandmother was Polish and really into cooking ethnic Polish food. The stuff cabbage sounds delish!

Nan, if you try the recipe, let me know what you think!


SilverWolf said...

I would love to read "The Counts Lair" I read "The Hungarian" and loved it. I'm not sure about the food as I have a stomach condition that limits me to what I can eat unless I want to pay the price in pain, but the book really sounds yummy.

Maggie Toussaint said...

sounds great, Steph. Can I come over and try some of these at your house?

Enjoying your blog tour!


Mona Risk said...

Steph, I love cabbage and I am getting hungry. Great to have you here. You made me so eager to visit Budapest with all your posts that my DH is planning a trip to East Europe next fall.

StephB said...

Silver Wolf, Nice to see you pop in, Sweetie. I'm glad you enjoyed The Hungarian, and I'm sure you'll like The Count's Lair.

Maggie, you're more than welcome to come over. We'll cook something up.

Mona, thanks for having me, Sweetie. I'm making a weight watcher soup with cabbage for lunch today...I'm excited that you get to visit Eastern Europe soon! I can't wait to go back.


Keena Kincaid said...

Wow, Steph, the Pogácsas sound fabulous. I'm going to try this recipe. My family eats dinner (lunch) as the main meal, and I really prefer to do it that way myself. I'm not sure if that's an ag thing, a Southern thing, or just my own oddness. :-)

liana laverentz said...

I love Hungarian goulash, and many things made with paprika. Off to eat some cheese and salami now, thanks to Steph's yummy post!

StephB said...

Yikes, I can't believe I didn't post a winner! Congrats to Silver Wolf - winner of a PDF copy of The Count's Lair. Thanks to everyone for popping in.

Enjoy your yummies Keena & Liana.

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