And then the proverbial light bulb went off. I may be an uninspired cook, but I come from a long line of Hungarian women who could (presumably) feed a family of 12 with a pound of meat, some root vegetables, and a cup of chicken fat. My grandmother a"h was a traditional Hungarian cook. Every dish she prepared contained some form of fat and was large enough to feed a platoon. In retrospect, I realize how caloric and unhealthy her food must have been, but as children we loved it. Unfortunately, my grandmother never (as far as I know) wrote down her recipes. The best I can do today is to offer you a generic version of some of the dishes that she used to prepare for us (I got these by Googling, then tweaked them a bit). If you want them to taste more like my grandmother's did, then make a big mess while you cook, forget the pot on the stove a bit too long while you chat on the phone, and include a lot of love and a lot of oil.
Nokedli (dumplings, similar to German spaetzle)- pareve
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 large pot filled with salted water
1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2) Whisk together eggs, salt and water
3) Add flour, a bit at a time, until you have a soft, sticky dough
4) Let dough rest for about 10 minutes
5) Beat dough again, and roll it into a long thin snake shape
6) With a very sharp nice, cut off 1 inch pieces and drop them into the boiling water.
7) The pieces are done when they float to the top. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander.
Nokedli can be served as a side dish to roast meats or paprikash, or in chicken soup with a bit of chopped dill. I seem to remember my grandmother adding oil to the recipe as some point. I'm pretty sure she oiled up her hands before rolling out the dough.
Rakott Krumpli (layered potato casserole) dairy
Ingredients: 4-5 potatoes; 2 hard boiled eggs; 1 cup butter, softened; 1 pint sour cream
1) Boil potatoes in salted water. Allow to cool, then peel and slice into thin round slices. 2) Slice eggs into thin round slices. 3) In a casserole dish, layer butter, sour cream, potatoes and eggs until used up. The top layer should be sour cream. 4) Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 degrees Farenheit for about an hour, or until the top is lightly browned.
The fat and calories in rakott krumpli will kill you, but you'll be so happy that you won't mind to go.
Other dishes that I remember: poached white fish, veal schnitzel, potatoes paprikash, and a chestnut cake which I couldn't find a recipe for, but that's OK, because it was pretty gross and we ate it just to avoid hurting her feelings.