The Sunday Cookbook

Food, drink and reading -
this is our Sunday evening.

This page will contain all the dishes I try on my friends on our Sunday reading club. I am a begginer in culinary studies - thus, do not get discouraged, the fact that I could prepare them, witnesses that all recipes presented here are easy to make. Moreover, it all proved to be a great fun. 

I. Dinner: Stuffed eggplant and eggplant spread
II. Dinner: Peach-soup and pasta with calamari-sauce
III. Dinner: Cukkini pie and milk-rice with apricot
IV. Dinner: Stuffed apples
V. Dinner:
Baked potatoes
VI. Christmas Menu

... and some useful links.



Look, this is my first dinner for our Sunday reading club! There were a lot more on these plates, but my friends ate them all - it was such a joy to watch them disappearing (I mean eggplants, not friends, of course).

So, listen: take some eggplants, cut them half lengthwise. Clear out the inner part of it and chop that in small pieces. Then fry some onion and garlic in a pan with a bit of oil. Add the choped inside part of the eggplant and fry it some more. Now, if you would look at my eggplants carefully, you would see, that there are two kind of stuffings inside the eggplant - a vegeterian one, and a meat one. So, if you go for the meat one, add to the things in the pan some choped smoked bacon, salt, pepper and finally, when you take it away from the fire, some raw eggs. If you prefer the vegetarian version,  then you should continue with mushrooms and tomatoes, followed by cumin and parsley.  Then, after you fried them for a short while, fill the eggplants with this stuffing, cover each with a thin slice of  gruyère cheese and bake the whole thing in the owen for 35 minutes. and, I almost forgot, some olive oil under the eggplants!

actually, I got the impression that if you are brave enough, you can just fill these eggplants with anything on earth.


There is a white plate on the table, with some light green stuff inside: that is my eggplant spread - again, very easy to make. Take the eggplants, and fry them in the owen, or simply on the fire, in a pan (the best would be a fire outdoors, so that it gets a bit smoked). I mean the whole eggplant, and there is no nead of oil or anything for the moment. When the skin gets carbonated, and the eggplants become soft, take them away from the fire, and peel them. Chop them in small pieces, add onion, garlic and mayonnaise, mix the whole thing, and it is ready.

Note: sorry for lack of measures, I will be more detailed next Sunday. Until then, just estimate by your eyes - believe me, this is not the priviledge of the professionals, it is a skill you acquire very quickly.

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Balázs was late with pictures, but there was a second dinner - this time prepared by a team, meaning Ildikó as chief and myself as assistant. The menu included peach soup, pasta with squid (or calamari, or sepia, whatever it is called) and home made wine.  


Let us take the soup first - though we ate it as dessert at the end.  You peel the peaches, cut them in small pieces, and put them in cold water. Before starting cooking it, you add sugar, cinnamon, lemon, cloves and a bit of salt. It does not need to cook for a long time. When you think it is ready, you add, very carefully,  a bit of sour-cream mixed with vanilla-pudding powder. You should eat it when it gets cold. And do not be surprised, if it does not become as yellow as on the picture - that's only the light.

Tip: Try with other fruits the same - you can even mix them; or change the flavour of the  pudding powder, and you already have a different kind of soup.
Pasta with calamari-sauce

The usual thing as with any kind of basic sauce: for a start, onion in oil, then the calamari, salt, pepper, pealed tomatoes on the top, and, at the very end, the green spices, whatever you have at home: oregano, parsley, that sort of things. 

Note: The pasta should be cooked al dente, which means, not too soft, around 8 minutes after boiling.

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This time, there were some problems, as you can see it - or, perhaps, you can not - anyway, the thing was eatable, but its shape was destroyed.
Cukkini pie

Cut the cukkini in small pieces. Fry in some olive oil some sunflower-seeds, onions, and then add the cukkini, salt and pepper. Let it cook for some 8 minutes. Then beat up some eggs, mix it with the cukkini, onion and the seeds (all of it taken out from the oil by this time).  Then the whole thing should be introduced in a big pan, on a bit of oil and fried. And this is where my problems begun: the result should have been a sort of pie - but since the top was still not ready when the bottom started to burn, I had to mix it; thus, the result was simply a sort of omlett with cukkini. So, I advice you to try to bake it in the owen, maybe taht would work.

Note: However, most important point, it was tasty anyway.

Milk-rise with apricot

Cook the rise in water first; when it is almost ready, and the water evaporated, add milk, honey and vanilla-sugar. Cook it some more. When it  is ready, add the apricot cut in small pieces, and mix it well.

Tip: You can do this whin any fruit, especially the sour ones, like fruits of the forest, ananas, and so on.

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This time
there was only one dish, but what a sophisticated one! uuufff. I really got wild - just take a look. Until I will learn enough to make my webpage interactive, and make it so that it can accept messages and comments, you have to believe me, that the feedback I received testifies to more than an average satisfaction from the part of those who had the chance to taste it.

Stuffed apples

Take 8 huge apples - chop off the upper part and hollow them out, reserving  their flesh. Bake them in the owen for 5 minutes, so it softens a bit. Meanwhile, in some oil fry some half a kilo of chicken breast, cut in small pieces. Add one leek and 2 paprikas, also cut in small pieces. Salt, pepper and indian saffron comes next. Then, 4 dl of cooking cream, the flesh of the apples, 2 spoons of capers and a bit of roasted nut. Boil it for 2 minutes, and then stuff the whole thing in the apples - if there is more of it, just poor it in the baking-pan, all around the apples. Bake the whole thing in the owen for 20 minutes. Serve it with rice.

Note: The boys said that the there was too much of apple and not enough chicken in the stuffing. So, I suggest that you either do not use up all the remaining fruitflesh, but let us say, 2/3 of it - or increase the amount of meat.

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This time, something extremely simple, and traditional - meaning something cheap but substantial from the dark ages of  Transilvania (dark = communism, not the Middle Ages).

Baked potatoes

Very easy thing, in two steps:

1. cut small potatoes in half (do NOT peel them!)

2. put them in the owen (WITHOUT oil!) upside down, with the cut part facing downwards, for approximately 45 minutes. When they do not stick anymore to the baking pan, and begin to brown,  they are ready. Serve is with ewe-cheese, butter, olives, cumin, yoghurt, and salt. 

Tip: When they are almost ready, turn them and add the butter and cheese on top of it - and then put them back in the owen for 3 more minutes. Thus, they will be less dry.

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© photos by Balázs Váradi

  We stopped reading a while ago, but I did not stopped cooking.

This is the dish I cooked for my family on Christmas day. My parents and my sisters are used to traditional transilvanian food and they are also highly ironical creatures. Despite these initial difficulties, my special menu containing:
  • pumpkin creamsoup
  • chicken with orange and rosemary
  • and banana-cacao pancakes
was highly appreciated.  Unfortunatelly, no pictures this time.
1. Pumpkin creamsoup:

Cut a medium-size pumpkin in small pieces (or grate it, that is even better), salt it, add a bit of garlic, and steam it for at least 20 minutes in a little bit of olive-oil. Put it in a big bowl, add 5 deciliters of cream and then mix it with a mixer - when it is all nice and creamy, put it back on low fire again. Add milk, basil, black pepper, and roasted sunflower-seeds. Cook for 5 more minutes and it is ready.

Tip: You can serve it with  polenta cut in small pieces.

2. Chicken with rosemary and orange:

Put the pieces of chicken (preferably legs and breast) in hot oil, salt it, put some grated orange-peel on top of it, and then fry it until the skin is red. Then add 2 deciliters of orange-sauce, half deciliter of dry white wine, spice it with the rosemary, and cook it until the meat is ready. Serve it with rice.

3. Banana-cacao pancake:

The easiest thing - prepare the usual material for the pancake - the only change is that you add some cacao in it - so that it becomes totally brown - and then just bake it. As stuffing, put on it some peanut-butter or Nutella-cream and banana cut in small pieces and then roll it.