Ode to Budapest: an attempt at turos csucza

Firstly, happy new year 2015!!

Time has just flown by. Sorry about the prolonged absence – the last few months have been nothing but hectic. My other “child”, the thesis baby, has been demanding all the attention. Reflecting upon the year that was 2014 made me reminisce about a year full of travels, and in turn, all the wonderful food I’ve tried in different lands 😀 These sweet memories, in turn, have resulted in many nostalgia-induced cravings… This long-overdue post will be about one of these cravings.

In my previous post I mentioned the hostel in Budapest serving túrós csucza for their free dinner. Of course I had to try making it back at the Studentenheim in Vienna!

It’s a type of pasta made with cottage cheese and crispy bacon and lots of paprika 😀

I asked the friendly staff if I could help or observe while they were preparing dinner for all the guests.

Got these ingredients from Hofer (a supermarket chain in Austria; the stuff there are cheaper than the other supermarket chains and the quality just as good):

  • 1 portion cottage cheese (the one that is NOT Magertopfen (mager = lean); the one with higher fat content is for cooking)
  • 1 portion sour cream
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • sweet paprika powder
  • Pasta: preferably farfalle, but any short type should be fine
  • a fatty block of bacon, cut into tiny cubes (NB. the one at the hostel was covered in paprika. Lean bacon was all I had in the fridge.)

Cooking instructions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to instructions on the packet.
  2. In one pot, fry the bacon until crispy.
  3. While cooking the pasta, mix the sour cream, cottage cheese, chopped garlic and paprika powder in a pot.
  4. Lastly, add the cooked pasta and crispy bacon into the cheese mixture. Heat up the pot (low to medium heat should be fine) and stir well until everything is nice and warm.

(Sorry if the instructions aren’t very precise. My mom who’s an excellent cook taught me how to cook by estimation.)

To be honest it didn’t turn out as great as the one at the hostel, and I suspect it was because I used lean bacon instead of fatty bacon. Nevertheless – I know self praise is no praise – but I thought it was a very good first attempt – especially when using ingredients on a student’s budget 🙂

Having said that, I would LOVE to return to Hungary to have more portions of the authentic version 😀

Any comments or suggestions are welcome! 🙂


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