I was given a subscription to The Spicery for Christmas and this is the first recipe I made from the first box of the year. The Spicery sends subscribers each month some ready measured spices and two recipes to use those spices in. My subscription is to Vegetarian World Kitchen but there are a variety of spice collections you can choose. I think, based on my first two months, you always get a savoury recipe and a sweet one.
The first savoury one was Lecso with caraway potato pancakes and herby sour cream. The recipe card has a description of the item and informs me lecso is like a Hungarian version of ratatouille but I found it to more like Italian peperonata. It is a pepper and tomato stew seasoned with paprika.
So I set off with the intention of making the lecso and accompaniments even though it served 4 and there was only 1 of me!
The recipe took a long time to cook – at least 1 hour cooking down the peppers and tomatoes to make a nice thick sauce – but this didn’t put me off as I had I whole Sunday evening to make it in. The lecso part of the meal was absolutely delicious. I think the Hungarian paprika really made all the difference to the dish, and the long cooking time made all the flavours more intense. It was completely worth it.
The herby sour cream was easily done (sour cream plus the supplied herb blend of chives, dill, parsley & marjoram) but the potato pancakes, not so easy….
So the recipe serves 4 so I wanted to cut down the quantities to a more manageable amount. Not so easy when an egg is involved! But I persisted thinking too much pancake may work reheated. The pancakes were like potato rosti but mixed with a batter so they were thick like American pancakes. Mine ended up a little too large and thick, which meant one pancake not cooking in the middle. But I just ate around that!
I had leftovers for two more portions which saw me having the lecso with couscous (with added caraway) or mash potato (also with added caraway).
If I were to make this again, I’d make sure I could find Hungarian paprika first, but I’m not sure I’d go to the effort of making the potato pancakes again. Mash or couscous did just fine for me.
Thanks Spicery – I look forward to the veggie Boston baked beans in this month’s box!
Here’s the pic:
I put this dish in the vegan category if the pancakes & sour cream are omitted or substituted.