My grandparents came here from Hungary in 1956. My grandmother was a star in the kitchen (everyone thinks their grandma is a star in the kitchen. Although mine really was). Some of my favourite dishes she made were chicken paprikas, cocoa rolls, homemade turkey soup and her meatloaf. She made traditional Hungarian dishes as well as things like pizza and meatloaf, but I’m so thankful I know a few of her recipes by heart.
A lot of Hungarian food is “peasant” type food, with a lot of onions and peppers and paprika. Things that were easy to grow on your own and didn’t break your designer Hungarian handbag budget… Joke. But really, I can remember waking up from naps at my grandparents house and smelling fresh cut lumber from my grandpas woodshop just below the wonderful smell of onions in a saucepan frying with paprika from my grandma cooking in the kitchen.
She made lesćo numerous times, and I was always too stubborn to taste it, although like a good (half) Hungarian girl, my favorite vegetable was and still is peppers. I never tried the lesćo she made. I think it terrified me because it didn’t look like the most appetizing dish.
My sister got this recipe from my grandma years ago and shared it in a family cookbook my mom compiled a while back for all the ladies in the family, with everyone adding a few recipes. While my sister added authentic Hungarian recipes she had gathered from my family, my contribution was hamburger with rice a roni. I think I’ve advanced since then.
Today my grandma is no longer with us. My grandpa, however, is still ruling the Earth with his amazing garden and it’s produce. Today he stopped by with a box full of tomatoes, carrots, peppers and beets. Not knowing what the f to do with everything, I made lesćo.
And it was the motherfucking bomb.
Lesćo – or Letcho
You will need:
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium peppers, seeded and chopped into slim lengthwise pieces.
3-5 medium tomatoes, seeded of you wish. Cut these into slim wedges also
3 eggs whisked well
1 tsp Paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Sausage if desired
Fry onions in oil until clear. Add peppers and cook until halfway done. Add tomatoes and cook until skin peels away from the meat of the tomato. add the eggs and when they’re all cooked up and scrambled, it’s done. Serve with rice or bread, or just gobble it up out of a bowl if you’re a glutton like me.
It was delicious. And it made me miss my grandma a bit more today, because I was always too stubborn to try it when she made it (go figure).
But I made it. With vegetables my grandpa grew this year, that grew in the soil that she once walked upon and tended and watered.
Food is good and is the way to my heart.