Enikő Bali

Geologist, Current residence: Reykjavík, Iceland (Home: XV. district (Rákospalota), Budapest, Hungary)

I decided to make a separate page for side dishes.


1) Rosemary potatoes

This is one of my favourite side dishes.  I thought I invented it, but a year after my "invention" I saw it in a cooking show RosszallNevetés.


Ingredients (for 2 persons):

4-5 larger potatoes

1 larger onion

3-4 segments of garlic

salt, pepper

fresh rosemary twigs

vegetable oil


Directions:

1) Cut the potatoes in approx. 0.5 cm thick slices; slice up the onion.

2) You can pre-cook the potatoes in salty water for ~5 minutes, in that case it will be ready earlier.  If you have time it is not necessary (and you can spare washing an extra pot).

3) Pure 2-3  table spoons of vegetable oil in a baking pan and put a layer of potatoes to the bottom, followed by few slices of onion and the garlic segments. 

4) Add some salt and pepper, then the remaining potatoes and onion.

5) Pure a bit of vegetable oil on the top and add some more salt and pepper and put the rosemary twigs on the top.  It looks like this:

dscn2773.jpg

6) Cover it with Al-foil and put it in the oven at 200 C.  If you pre-cooked the potatoes it takes approx. 30 minutes to get ready, if not it needs at least 45 minutes.

7) After 45 minutes you can remove the Al-foil and live it in the oven for a few more minutes.

At this point you can put some English bacon on the top, increase the temperature and let it get "red".  In that case you do not even need any meat with it.

This side dish I serve with stakes for example.


2) Cooked vegetables as we make them in Hungary (Főzelékek)

It is quite difficult to translate the term "főzelék" to English (cooked something).  It is nothing else than cooked vegetables with some sauce. The sauce is actually the cooking water thickened by some flour.  I have worked in different countries, but I never met this kind of "vegetable serving".  The advantage compared to normal boiled vegetables is that it is more filling, the disadvantage is that it might be a bit less healthy (who cares...). 

My favourites are: pea, potato, vegetable marrow and spinach. 


2a) Pea

Ingredients (for 4 persons):

400 g peas (fresh of frozen)

1 table spoon of butter

1 table spoon of flour

1 table spoon of sugar

Milk (as much as it takes at the end)

bit of salt

parsley leaves


Directions:

1. Put up the butter in a pan and have it molten. Cut the parsley leaves into very fine pieces.

2. Add the peas, a bit of salt the sugar, and mix them.  After a minute add enough water to cover it.  Cover the pot and cook the peas.

3. When it is soft, add the flour and mix it fast.  Let the flour get a bit yellowish, in that case it will loose its taste and really serves as a thickening material.

4. Add some milk as much as the flour takes.  It is not really good if it is very dense.  At school canteen we called those concrete "főzelék" (generally the ladies used more flour and less vegetable as it was cheaper like that).

5. Add and mix the fine parsley leaves and boil it for a second.


dscn2794.jpg

It is very good with meat balls or as a side dish for cooked smoked meat.


2b) Potatoes

Ingredients (for 2 persons):

half a kg of potatoes

1 smaller onion

1 table spoons of vegetable oil

200 g sour cream

0.5 table spoon of flour

salt

few bay leaves


Directions:

1. Cut the potatoes and the onion into small cubes. 

2.  Put up the oil with the onion and salt and fry it until it gets "glassy". Be careful not to burn it. 

3. Add the potatoes and bay leaves and cover it with enough water. Cook it covered until the potatoes get soft.

4. Mix the sour cream and the flour in a bowl.  Add some of the cooking water to it and mix it fast in order to avoid nodule formation.  

5. Slowly add this mixture to the potatoes during continuous stirring. Boil them together and then it is ready.

This can be served as a side dish for meat balls or steaks.


2c) Vegetable marrow

Ingredients:

half a kg of vegetable marrow

1 smaller onion

few g of dill (depends on your taste)

half a tea spoon of vinegar (10% acidity)

1 teaspoon of "Vegeta" (mixture of vegetable soup spices)

50 ml of milk or cream (latter if you would like to have it more creamy)

salt, pepper, sugar


Directions:

1. If you use fresh vegetable marrow you have to grate it. If you use frozen one I think it is possible to buy it grated. Add some salt on it.

2.  Cut the into small cubes. 

3.  Put up the oil with the onion and salt and fry it until it gets "glassy". Be careful not to burn it. 

4. Press out all the unnecessary water from the marrows and add it to the onion.  Add a bit of vinegar. Add a bit of water and 1 teaspoon of "Vegeta".

5. Cut the dill into very fine pieces and add to the marrows.  Cook it for approx 10 minutes.

6. Mix the flour and the milk or cream and slowly add this mixture to the marrows during continuous stirring. Boil them together and then it is ready.


2d) Spinach

I make it in a very-very simple way

Ingredients (for 2 persons):

400 g frozen spinach (if it is not frozen, you should pre-cook it in slightly salty water)

3-4 segments of garlic

pepper, very little (!) salt

2-3 table spoons of vegetable oil

1 table spoon of flour

1 egg


Directions:

1. If you make it of frozen spinach you only have to melt it and boil it with a bit of water. If you make it of fresh one, you have to pre-cook the leaves, and cut them into small pieces (to speed it up you can use a mixer!). 

2. In a separate pan put the oil to warm up.  If it is warm, put in the flour and stir it.  "Fry" the flour until it gets golden and press the onions in it. Give it one more minute.

3. Mix it to the boiling spinach and boil them together.  You can add some pepper and salt if it is needed.  Spinach needs very little salt, but you cannot neglect it (it will be tasteless without it)!

3. Whip the egg in a separate bowl, as you do it for scrambled eggs and add it to the spinach.  When the egg in the mixture gets cooked (whitened) you are ready.


It can be served with fried eggs of with French toast.

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