Each recipe presented contains readily obtainable ingredients as the author has taken care to adapt her selections for the modern kitchen. The instructions are straightforward and sure to provide novice cooks with the means to produce first class meals. More experienced chefs will be inspired to add their own special and favoured touches to classic international signature dishes.
Characteristically, the first recipe I decided to make shortly after my copy of Celia Brooks Brown's book arrived was focused on mushrooms. Hungarian in origin, this easy and quick to prepare dose of mushroom bliss would be perfect served over pasta or any cooked grain. I complemented the earthy mushrooms with the nutty flavour of brown rice.
Houby PaprikasFor more Hungarian mushroom inspired creations, see also Hungarian Mushroom Soup.
1 cup of brown Basmati rice
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of butter or sesame oil
1 medium onion, chopped into smallish bits
1 pound of mixed fresh mushrooms, roughly chopped (I used a combination of crimini and button)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons of paprika (I used Hungarian)
generous 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne
3/4 - 1 cup of sour cream
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill
Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water. Soak in 2 cups of water overnight in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce the heat to low and cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed - roughly 35 - 40 minutes. Let sit for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
While the rice is cooking, heat the oil or butter in a large wok or pot over low heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent.
Next, increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and stir and fry until the mushrooms begin to brown in their own juices. Add the paprika and cayenne, stir and cook for a few minutes longer, add sour cream and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Spoon over steaming brown rice.