LECSO – Hungarian Ratatouille

mami kerekenHello Everyone!lecso from my youtube channel

Today’s recipe is an old-time-favorite in Hungary.  There are few ways to make this mouth-watering dish and I will share with you the most popular and original way to re-create it.

I know I said this many times, but you will fall in love with the rustic elegance of this traditional Hungarian dishkolbasz e3.

yellow pappers


  • 4-5 Hungarian white peppers or colored bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green) stems and seeds removed; slicedhagymacska
  • 1 large onion, peeled, slicedcolored bell peppers
  • 3 large or 4 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 long or 2 smaller link of Hungarian sausage (or any red smoked sausage with red paprika, such as chorizo) sliced
  • 1 tbsp. of olive tomato brightoil
  • 3 eggs, whisked together lightly with a fork

no saltTIP

Please remember when you add sausage to Hungarian Lecso, you don’t add any salt because the salt content of the sausage is enough for the entire dish.

Place olive oil into a large skillet; add sausage and sauté for 2-3 minutes while stirring peasant breadonce.  Add everything, EXCEPT  the eggs.  The eggs are put aside after you cracked and whisked them together with a pinch of salt.  eggs 2

Cook dish on medium high heat for about 25-30 minutes or until peppers are soft and the liquid is almost gone.  If you have too much liquid, please cook until it’s reduced to almost none.  Add eggs and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes while stirring continuously.

Remove and serve with crusty bread.


Vegetarians could use veggie sausages or leave out the sausage altogether.


Perhaps one of the most popular dishes of Hungary is Lecso (pronounced: Lecho) or Hungarian Ratatouille with Hungarian smoked sausages, that breath life to this unique and original dish.The interesting fact about Lecso is that accept for the sausages, its ingredients are the bases for Hungarian Goulash, Hungarian Goulash Soup, Potato Paprikash, Chicken Paprikash, Hungarian Fish Soup and many more mouth-watering recipes from the goulash family. All painted bright red by Hungary’s National Spice the Hungarian Red Paprika.


I always like to prepare everything before I start cooking. It saves time during the busy dinner hour. Slice sausages, peppers, onion, tomatoes and chilli peppers. If you can’t find Hungarian smoked sausages, you may use kind of smoked sausages.






Pickled Mixed Salad

mami kerekenHello Everyone!

Everybody loves pickles and I’m no exception.  However, after a while they tend to become a bit boring.

Hungarians like to serve pickled specialties with Hungarian Goulash (Not goulash soup), Chicken Paprikash, roasts and sandwiches.  You will soon see that you don’t have to serve pickles all the time.

pickled goodness 2A


Today I will share each recipe separately and give you some advice how to serve them.  You won’t be disappointed and have a new pickled goodness to go to everyone you would serve pickles.  No, this is not a picklewar on pickles 🙂  I simply would like to give you an different option as it is nice to have variety when it comes to cooking and eating.

Today I am sharing with you a mixed vegetable salad called “Csalamadé” in Hungarian.  Translating it would be quite difficult however it is best described as a Mixed Pickled Salad.


Please only use stainless steel pots to make the brine!


  • 1 small green cabbage, shredded (by mandolin or a knife)
  • 1 small chili pepper, sliced (hot or sweet, your choice)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled, slicedcaraway seeds 2
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped or 1 tsp dry dill
  • 1 tsp caraway seed
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 tbsp. salt for 1 liter of brinedill bright
  • 1 tsp sugarbors bright
  • 20 peppercorns (any color)
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 allspicechili pepper
  • 2 jars with a lid
  • ladle for brine to transfer into jars
  • 2 medium size cucumbers (about 10 cm long) sliced

pot with waterTIP

  • You may also grate a large carrot into the salad as the traditional recipe calls for it.
  • Brine should always be very hot.
  • Always use stainless still pot
  • Always sterilize jar


Shred cabbage, slice pepper, peppercorns, onion, chop dill and place in a large glass mixing bowl.   If you are using dry dill you may also sprinkle it on top of the veggies.  Mix well by hand, so the dill is coating everything.

Stuff the veggie mixture into jars (usually two pasta sauce size jar is enough) and add a bay leaf into each.  Stuff as much veggie into each jar as you can.

Ladle the brine into the jar, on top of the veggie mixture until completely full.  Do not let it overflow.  Close lid tightly and place jar on counter upside down for about 10 minutes.  This helps the sealing process.

After 10 minutes turn back jars ad let completely cool before placing it in the fridge.  It is ready to serve in about 1 week and lasts for months.


Everyone time a dish calls for pickles to be served on the side, simply reach for this salad instead.  As mentioned in the beginning, Hungarians served pickled salads with almost every single main dish, including Hungarian Goulash, Roasts, Schnitzels, Meatloaf etc.






Summer Cabbage Stir Fry – Mouth-Watering Weight Loss Recipe

cabbage babyAfter a little hiatus I’m back again.  It’s been a busy summer of book mami kerekensignings and a well deserved vacation (so I think 🙂 ) , but I’m here again to share with you recipes and tips that you all have been asking for.

beef 3aThis easy, yet mouth-watering recipe is not my invention.  I’m not ashamed to state that as we can all learn during our travels and this is what happened.  After a few days in Cuba with my daughter Helen we ended up finding this stir fry in one of the restaurants and a new favorite was born.  This cabbage stir fry is suitable for vegetarians as well, simply leave out the meat or add seafood as they sometimes did.

You may use sausages, chicken breast, shrimp, crab, ham or tofu.  However sometimes we just add the spices and no protein and it still tastes fantastic.  Cabbage also has great health benefits and assist in losing weight which is a bonus for anyone.


  • It has only 33 calories in a cup of cooked cabbage and high in fiber.
  • It is full of vitamin K and anthocyanins that help with mental function and concentration; it prevents nerve damage, improving your defense against Alzheimer’s disease, dementia. Red cabbage has the highest amount of these power nutrients.
  • Cabbage helps dry up oily and acne skin. Internally sulfur is essential for keratin, a protein substance necessary for healthy hair, nails, and skin
  • Helps detoxify the body.
    The high content of vitamin C and sulfur in cabbage removes toxins, (free radicals and uric acid). These are the main causes of arthritis, skin diseases, rheumatism and gout
  • Cancer prevention. They stimulate enzyme activity and inhibit the growth of cancer tumors. A study on women showed a reduction in breast cancer when vegetables like cabbage were added to their diet.
  • Prevents high blood pressure.  The high potassium content helps by opening up blood vessels, easing the flow of blood
  • Hangovers from heavy drinking were reduced by using cabbage, since Roman times
  • Anti-inflammatory and Blood Sugar Regulator. The natural red pigments of red cabbage is said to lower blood sugar levels and boost insulin production. Of course it has no white sugars and very few simple sugars. Betalains have powerful anti-inflammatory properties just like beets.

After my Cabbage Soup recipe, many of you wrote to express their surprise on how flavorful and effortless that recipe was.  beef 2aYou were also surprise to realize that although you don’t like cabbage (a few of you 🙂 ) you actually enjoyed the dish and lost a lot of weight without being hungry.

Believe me you will also fall in love with this easy stir fry recipe and your family will be impatiently waiting for the next time when you make it.

INGREDIENTS for 4cabbage 2

  • 1 large green cabbage, shredded (or sliced)
  • 1 large onion, sliced (optional, you may leave it out)
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 tbsp of Mrs. Dash (any kind, I used Chipotle Mrs. Dash)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper (you may also use white)tofu
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano (dry or fresh)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (you may add a little more if needed, remember olive oil is good fat)
  • 1/2 chili pepper sliced (optional; you may use sweet chili pepper if you don’t like spicy or use bell pepper)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

OPTIONAL PROTEIN (only one, not ALL) olive oil in sppon

  • 1 box of firm tofu, cut into cubes OR
  • 1 slice of low salt country ham, cut into cubes OR
  • 2 links of grilling sausages, sliced (try to go for low sodium) OR
  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, cubed



  • Place 1 tbsp olive oil into a skillet, add the cubed firm tofu and 1 tsp Mrs. Dash (or any of your favorite spices).  Saute tofu (while turning from time to time) until golden. Remove from pan and put aside.


  • Place 1 tbsp olive oil into a skillet, add cubed ham and saute for about 5 minutes while stirring; put aside


  • Do not use any oil.  Place sliced sausages into a skillet, saute for about 2-3 minutes while stirring from time to time and cabbage.


  • Place 1 tbsp of olive oil into a skillet; add cubed skinless chicken breast and 1 tsp of Mrs. Dash.  Saute until meat turns golden white (stir from time to time).  Put aside. you may grill chicken breast in one piece and slice after


Place oil into a large skillet and add sausages (if you are using it as the protein part of the dish), shredded cabbage, carrots and spices, including salt.  Saute on medium low heat for about 10 minutes while stirring.  Add onion and saute for another 10 minutes.  If desired, add the already sauteed protein and serve while hot.   If you find that your cabbage is not crispy enough, as it should be (after all it’s a stir fry), then reduce the cooking time with a few minutes.

I hope you enjoyed this simply, yet tasty recipe.  You may add your favorite veggies to the dish, however the main ingredient should always be the cabbage.

Remember that you don’t need to use sausage, you may also use chicken breast, ham, tofu or any of your favorite protein.