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My Dad was Hungarian and a very good cook. I think he even had his own Hungarian restaurant once.

Mom, on the other hand, was known far and wide for her burnt porkchops and except for a few tried and true ultra-simplistic recipes, she was not considered an inspiring cook.

Maybe it is true that opposites attract.

But Mom’s brave attempts at gourmet cooking caused Dad to make a teasing proclamation he repeated often at the family dinner table. It was an anonymous quote guaranteed to make Mom angry when she had done the cooking.

And the impact of those words echo in my memory and remain a constant reminder today of what constitutes a good cook.

What did my Dad say to provide such contemplation and inspiration?

He said, “The cook is not in love!”

And that meant there was not enough salt!

Nowadays we all seem to be “watching our salt” intake. Still, there is something to be said for tasting as you go. And that was the way of the best cooks in my Dad’s experience. Poor Mom stayed quiet and just kept trying.

On occasion Dad would give me his recipes for the dishes I liked best. Here’s a good one, for the most favorite dish in my family.

HUNGARIAN CHICKEN PAPRIKASH

For a family of four: 6-8 chicken pieces or more.

In large pot, melt 2 sticks of butter.

Add 2 large chopped onions and saute until onions are translucent.

Add the larger pieces of chicken (breasts) skin side down.

Spoon some of the onion over each layer.

On top of that, add the smaller pieces of chicken skin side down.

Simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Reverse and turn everything.  Now put smaller pieces of chicken on the

bottom skin side up and the bigger pieces on top of that, skin side up.

Simmer covered for 20 minutes more.

You should now have lots of juice.  If not, add some water.

Also now add lots of paprika – 4 or 5 or 6 tablespoonsful. 

You are looking for a very orange colored gravy.

Simmer another 15 minutes.

Your Hungarian Paprikash is done!

Serve over cooked egg noodles or spaetzle.

Serve with sour cream on the side.

The odd thing about this recipe is the only spice is Paprika. NO salt or pepper are called for and in fact discouraged. Each diner can add salt or not at will. And no comments will be made about the cook not being in love.

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sg1

Photo from WineX Magazine

I was at a party last week and the hostess served the best salmon ever!

I was telling my friend, Myra about it and said, “Wow, that was so delicious.  I wonder how she made it.”

“Probably in the dishwasher!” said Myra.

“Huh?”

“Yep.  Haven’t you heard about steaming salmon in a dishwasher?”

“Huh?”

Needless to say, I  went to the font of all knowledge as soon as I got home.  That used to be Mom or the encyclopedia.  Now it’s the internet of course.  And sure enough, if you look up Dishwasher Salmon, you are bound to find a recipe!

I may even try it just for effect or to break any ice that needs breaking.

I can just picture my friends all standing around the dishwasher instead of the Hors D’oeuvres.

Click here for a story if not THE story, and a serious Dishwasher Salmon recipe!

 “Poaching fish in the dishwasher is a virtually foolproof way to shock your friends, prepare a succulent meal and do the dishes – all at the same time.” ~Bob Blumer, WineX Magazine

“Run salmon through the entire wash-and-dry cycle — approximately 50 minutes for most models.” ~ Bob Blumer 

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