Lecsó- Hungarian Pepper-Tomato Stew is a dish made with peppers, tomatoes, onions and garlic.
Lecsó- Hungarian Pepper-Tomato Stew
This dish is a summer delight that is made with bell peppers, especially red sweet ones, onions, garlic and tomatoes. The sweet paprika is added to the sauce for a rich flavor.
If there are no red peppers, other sweet peppers can be used, green, yellow or orange ones are perfect.
My favorite peppers are the red ones and this is what I used today.
A few words about paprika:
What you need to remember about the Hungarian cuisine is that what truly defines this delicious cuisine is the skillful use of seasoning.
Hungarian cooks believe that seasoning is very important and requires a delicate touch.
Any Hungarian cuisine will contain a wide variety of spices. Caraway seeds, cinnamon, dill, poppy seeds are frequently used.
However, the Hungarian national spice is paprika. Paprika is what makes Hungarian cooking different than any other cuisine.
Paprika is available in three strengths: sweet, semisweet and hot. If you are familiar with Hungarian paprika, you already know which strength you like. If you are not familiar with it, I suggest you start with the sweet one.
If you like it, then you can go further and use semisweet or even hot in your Hungarian recipes. Start small if you never used paprika in your recipes until now.
Being the most popular condiment used in the Hungarian cuisine, of course that this Lecso dish will have paprika in it.
You know what else carries good amounts of paprika? Goulash! If you never made this dish, you should try it. It is very comforting and satisfying on chilly days.
Lecsó, this Hungarian Pepper-Tomato Stew can also carry smoked bacon, sausages or even pork. In other words, it could be vegetarian/vegan or not.
If you choose to not add any meat to it, then it can be a delicious side dish that can complement any grilled, roasted or fried meats. You can try it with my favorite Chicken Schnitzel.
Traditionally, this dish is made with lard, but not many people out there use lard in their cooking anymore, so I used oil.
The recipe is ready in under an hour, the peppers will have a little bite to it, but the flavors together with the onions and garlic are divine.
Even if it doesn’t take a lot of time to make it, do not make it in a hurry, stewed it slowly over a low fire until the various tastes and flavors create a marvelous blend.
You can also eat it cold or warm, on a good piece of crusty bread, for a quick snack, as a dip or as an accompaniment for omelets or meats.
HOW TO MAKE LECSÓ- HUNGARIAN PEPPER-TOMATO STEW:
Start by slicing the onions.
Place them in a pan with the vegetable oil. You can use regular or red onion, as you like, or based on the availability. There are no rules.
Cook the onions slowly until they become translucent.
While the onions are cooking, wash the peppers,
clean them inside by removing the core and the seeds.
Cut the peppers in quarters,
then in thin slices, about half inch thick.
It will take about 10 minutes for the onions to cook down and become translucent. Make sure you stir them once in a while, because you want the onions to cook, not to fry.
Add the chopped peppers and toss them together with the onions.
Chop the garlic.
Add it to the pan.
Also, add paprika, salt, and pepper.
After 5 minutes of cooking everything together, add the canned diced tomatoes, or the fresh chopped tomatoes you bought from the Farmers Market.
Remember, you can make this dish in the winter too, with ingredients you get at your local grocery store.
Keep cooking on low-medium heat for 10 minutes or until the peppers get softer.
Serve warm or cold, as a side dish next to your favorite meats.
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- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil(I used sunflower oil, but olive oil is good too)
- 3 large onions (regular or red) chopped
- 2 pounds fresh red, yellow and orange peppers stemmed, seeded, and sliced lengthwise 1/2 inch thick
- 4-5 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika or to taste
- 3-4 big tomatoes chopped small or canned diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Optional: 1-2 sausages, smoked bacon etc.
- Heat the oil in a fairly large pan and saute the chopped onion until translucent.
- Add the chopped peppers and toss them together with the onions for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic, then paprika, salt and pepper. Mix and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes of the canned diced tomatoes.Cook until the sauce reduces and the peppers are soft and cooked.
- Serve as a side dish with your favorite meats.
- Optional: If you add bacon or sausages, start by cooking the bacon and sausages first, then continue with the recipe the same way.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 222Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 659mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 7g