Hungarian Mushroom Paprikash Stew
The classic dishes of Hungary are amazing. I know from having first-hand tastings before a cruise on the Danube river a few years back. My husband and I spent two days prior to the cruise in Budapest, roaming the Christmas market and streets. The first evening we were tired from our trans-continent travel and decided to eat at the restaurant across the street from our hotel. The food was so delicious that we continued to eat at that same restaurant working our way through the menu. Many dishes were enhanced by the sweet and hot Hungarian paprika where it is not used sparingly. Wild mushrooms grow in the woods surrounding Budapest and are served in a variety of dishes.
This stew is a plant-based version of a classic Hungarian Paprikash. Cremini mushrooms are used here since wild Hungarian mushroom are not available. Instead of water, I have used dried wild mushrooms to make a mushroom broth to give a more authentic flavor. However, one-quart boxed mushroom broth could be substituted for the wild mushrooms and filtered water. In place of all-purpose flour, garbanzo bean flour is used as the thickener making the stew gluten-free and protein rich. Like most stews the sauce is thick and mushrooms are chunky and the flavor is divinely concentrated.
½ cup dried wild mushroom mix
4 cups filtered water, heated
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups onion, small diced
3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
2 pound cremini mushrooms, ¼ inch slices
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¾ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons garbanzo bean flour
2 teaspoons fresh dill leaves (optional but recommended)
1. Rinse the dried mushrooms thoroughly in warm running water. Place in a bowl and cover with the hot water. Soak for twenty-five minutes until thoroughly re-hydrated. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve the mushroom water. Discard the mushrooms.
2. Heat the oil in a shallow straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers add the onions and sauté until golden about eight minutes.
3. Lower the heat and add one-fourth cup of mushroom water. Simmer until halved and add another one-fourth cup of mushroom water. Continue adding one-fourth of a cup at a time until all the mushroom water has been added. It should have a semi-thick sauce consistency.
4. Add the paprika, cremini mushrooms, wild mushrooms, salt, and pepper. Cover with a lid. Stir and simmer for about ten minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked through.
5. Whisk the sour cream and flour together. Add to the stew and heat until thickened, about two minutes. Taste, Think, Transform with salt and/or pepper. Serve hot garnished with the dill leaves.
Hungarian Mushroom Stew