Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hungarian Lecsó (lecho)

The other day, I found a "treasure" in my local supermarket, Publix, which I'm proud to announce. A gorgeous bag of local sweet mini peppers, in assorted colors. When I opened the bag, the fresh, and sweet aroma just permeated throughout my little kitchen. I have been waiting for these amazing little sweet, and crunchy, colorful peppers, that when I picked up the bag from the special stand, a little old lady asked me..."are they real?...I didn't want to be mean,  and say..."no, they're plastic"...she really meant well, and I wasn't about to make a "snarky remark!"
Such a huge bag of these gorgeous peppers can be made different ways. My second choice: Roasted peppers...and why not? They are ever so delicious, and with these tiny peppers, you almost don't even have to remove the skins, after roasting them. Just drizzle vegetable oil on the peppers on a aluminum foil lined bake pan, and add pieces of garlic, or chopped garlic, salt and pepper, and fresh rosemary, and bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes. Leave the little peppers whole, when you roast them. It's even more delicious when you open them after they're done. It is not hot, or spicy, just sweet, and pleasant yummy flavor.
I still had the second portion of the bag of new red potatoes, so I pre-boiled them, first, cutting them in half, and boil them till almost done, and sauteed them in extra virgin olive oil, and butter, and added fresh chopped parsley, freshly grated sea salt, and fresh ground black pepper, and made an amazing vegetarian meal out of the lecso, potatoes, and nice crusty bread, to dip into the rich tomato/paprika sauce. "Out of this World"...amazing, and healthy dish!

Hungarian Lecsó (lecho)
my own recipe

About 2 lbs. of sweet assorted, or hot peppers
1 large onion sliced, or chopped
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 large can of a 28 oz. diced tomatoes
or you can use about 4 fresh chopped tomatoes
4 Tablespoon vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoon sweet Hungarian paprika
1/2 cup of water

In a large skillet, saute onion and garlic over medium high heat, till onion gets a golden color. Pull skillet away from the heat, and add the salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir, to combine, add the water, and add the mini peppers, cut into half, removing the seeds, or with the larger peppers, cut into strips, and also removing the seeds. Stir to incorporate, and saute for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes, and cook slow, over medium heat until peppers get slightly softened, and tomatoes get to a thick consistency. Serve them as a side dish, or appetizer, or save some to add to scrambled eggs, which is a super delicious breakfast treat. Serves 4-6

This is the bag of the sweet peppers.They are from a local Florida produce farm. They are so incredible, and delicious. So full of natural vitamin C.

I mentioned in my last post about going to the Greek Festival, which this year is the 36th event. It happens to be just down the street from my son's house. A beautiful Greek Orthodox church is hosting the event, and it's ope to the public. Admission is only $3.00. and even if you do not go with your family, or friends, you can hang out by yourself, and enjoy the live entertainment, and the best, of the best Greek food, that is lovingly made by the members of the church. Here's my family, walking to the event. Just minutes away, streets are totally lined with cars, and needed police escorts to make sure that everything is running smooth. The place was set up with a huge tent outside, and the smell of the outside grilling was incredible. Beautiful sunshiny day, on a Saturday afternoon, with gentle breezes coming from the Intracoastal water.
The first thing we saw when we walked in was the dancers, in their folk Greek authentic costumes. These young people did such a wonderful job...so entertaining!

No Greek festival can be without Baklava...and I'll tell you, these were the best I've ever tasted. They were $2.50 for a tiny triangle piece, but worth every bite of it, which I literally shared with 2 other members of my family, just one bite...oh, so incredibly rich!

It would not be a Greek festival without the Moussaka, a Greek style Shepherd's pie...ground lamb, layered with potato slices, and baked eggplant slices, topped with a rich Bechamel sauce, spiced with nutmeg, and cinnamon. So good, and comforting...and very filling!

 As we walked outside the Pavilion, I looked up in the sky, and saw the "happy sky writer" in action, again. sending the "good news" our way. Wonder if anybody pays him for sharing the message of Jesus!...at any rate, such a nice gesture on a clear, and sunny S. Florida day!
...and here's my family, sharing this lovely "smorgesbord"...a variety of "happy meals"...no, not McDonalds, but great Greek food, and next to my little grandson is my chair, and my favorite Greek salad...and oh, a nice ice cold Greek beer. No one else was drinking beer...just me, the "happy Nonna-Grandma"
Inside the Pavilion tent was this amazing Greek band, that played such good music, that brought people to their feet to dance.

Just look at all the fun stuff to buy, that is traditional Greek fun things for festivals, such as this.
Look at all these people underneath the Pavilion tent. It must take the church all year to plan this successful event, for a whole weekend, every year of the last week in February, and each year the weather somehow turns out perfect.

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