Thursday, 10 November 2011

Author Spotlight - Hungarian Cuisine - Tokaji & Goulash

As you read "Danube in Candlelight" you discover Morgan and Adam like to drink Tokaji. So… what is it? You might be surprised.

Tokaji is a sweet, topaz colored wine frequently known as a Hungarian dessert wine.

"Tokaji" is a name of wines from the "Tokaj-Hegyalja" region in Hungary and Slovakia and is used to label wine from the area. The wine region is known for producing sweet wines and Tokaji is made from grapes that have been affected by noble rot.

Cool fact: Tokaji is mentioned in the Hungarian national anthem!

Interestingly, Tokaj-Hegyaja used to be in the Kingdom of Hungary but was given to Slovakia when the nation was separated by the Treaty of Trianon. (The treaty is mentioned often in "Danube in Candlelight.")

In 1920, following the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a small part of the Tokaj wine region (approx. 1.75 km²) became part of Czechoslovakia due to the Treaty of Trianon, while the rest remained part of Hungary.

Louis XIV loved Tokaji. His grandson, Louis XV did too and often shared it with mistress, Madame dePompadour. Louis XV coined the phrase: Wine of Kings, King of Wines which is used on tokaji labels today.

Emperor Franz Josef (who was also King of Hungary) had a tradition of sending Queen Victoria Tokaji Aszú wine, as a gift, every year on her birthday, one bottle for every month she had lived, twelve for each year. On her eighty-first and final birthday (1900), this totaled an impressive 972 bottles.

If you want to try tokaji you can find it in BevMo.

Hungarian Goulash is a stew of meat that is generally seasoned with paprika, a spice abundantly found in Hungary. It's a sweet pepper and doesn't burn.

Here's a recipe for Goulash that I enjoy and late autumn is a great time in the US to give it a try.
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 onion, chopped
• 1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
• 1 pound beef shoulder, fat trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
• 3 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
• 10 cups canned beef broth
• 1 12-ounce russet potato, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 parsnip, peeled, chopped
• 1 carrot, peeled, chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tomatoes, chopped
• 1 celery stalk, chopped
• 1 green bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
• 6 tablespoons sour cream

How to prepare:

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and caraway seeds and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 8 minutes. Add beef and paprika; sauté until meat is brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Add broth. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits at bottom of pot. Reduce heat to low; simmer until meat is just tender, about 40 minutes.

Stir potato, parsnip, carrot, and garlic into soup. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, celery, and bell pepper. Simmer until vegetables and meat are very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Cool slightly.

Transfer 3 1/2 cups soup to blender. Blend until smooth. Add to soup in pot. Stir in parsley. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly; chill uncovered until cold, then cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Top each with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

(Personally, I lay off the sour cream. When I was stationed in Hungary, I never had goulash with sour cream. Other than that, I enjoy this recipe and find it very authentic.

5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

5 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

Book Trailer on You Tube:

Set in Budapest 1922, The Hungarians are recovering from the war. Adam Varga is Hungarian to the bone and becomes an architect to help rebuild his nation. Morgan Duma returns from England also intent on helping to rebuild her country.

After a tragedy happens to her mother, Morgan discovers her father is a werewolf. She begins to question who she is, becoming more reckless, more daring, and her choices more bold. When Zoltan Kristos, a known werewolf, requests Morgan accompany him to the summer ball, Morgan has to decide which man will best fit her life.






10 NOV

Info for today's post was taken from:


  1. Not sure I would eat the Hungarian Goulash but thanks for sharing it. I'm not a big stew, soup, type food eater. I love a thick juicy steak grilled over a charcoal grill a big fat baked potato all the way. MAYBE a salad have never been a big veggie person. I joke wrap them up in a pill and I'll eat them that way.

  2. I'll have to try tokaji because I do enjoy sweet liquor.

  3. Kathy,'ve got my mouth watering for steak, Sweetie. I've been trying to get into more salads though. Not easy.

    When I was in Hungary, I used to visit the local restaurant just down the street from the kaserene's main gate and they made a very tasty Goulash. I'm game for a good goulash or stew, but I'm very picky. A lot of "Americanized" goulash receipes use sour cream and I know from being Hungary, that they don't use sour cream so unless I can an authenitic receipe, I usually stay away.

    Jane, I tried tokaji about a year ago and I really enjoyed it. It's definately a desert wine.