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Tarhonya and Paprikash

November 21st, 2009

Prep time: ~ 2 hrs

Cook time: ~1 hrs

The Tarhonya – Make 2 to 3 days ahead

Makes about 4 servings.  I usually triple this recipe (6 eggs) and it’s enough to feed 4 to 6 people and then have leftovers for two for a couple of days.  When in doubt, make more!  (For Friendsgiving I make enough for 8 people and I use 8 eggs)

  • 2 c flour
  • 1 t salt (update 2016: mix with the egg yolks not the flour!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/8 T water (updated 2016: I used 10T for 8 eggs and this was almost perfect)
  • 1 1/2 T water (updated 2012)

Make the flour into a volcano shape…..ie flour in a ring.  I use the bottom of my mixing bowl to make a solid imprint.  Mix the eggs, salt and water with a fork and then pour into the center of the volcano of flour. Start mixing the flour into the egg mixture with your hand in a circular pattern trying to keep all the egg mixture from running out until it is pretty well mixed. Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated ( or at least most of it).

The trick is to have the dough pretty dry. Cut the dough into 4-5 pieces. Have extra flour available on the board. Get a hand grater you would use for cheese (usually they are 4 sided). You want to use the side with the bigger holes rather than the 2 with the smaller (the cheese side rather than the side you would use for an onion). Grate the dough on the grater. If the dough is too moist, dip it in some flour to coat the outside. Turn the ball of dough to grate all the sides. Grate each side a couple of times and then go to the another ball and do the same. Rotate among the balls, this way they will dry out a little in the meantime. Continue until all the balls have been grated. As you grate the dough, toss it with some flour so that is does not stick together. each little pellet of dough should be a little smaller than the size of a pea (+/-)

Once it is grated, put it in a baking pan (i.e. a 9×12 cake pan). Use a couple of them if you have them, you want the layer thin so that the noodle will dry. I preheat my oven to the lowest possible temp and then turn it off. I put the noodle in and lightly stir them around every 30 minutes or so to help them dry. This is not a process to cook them, just dry them (and may take several hours). My grandma used to spread them out on a tablecloth and let them dry overnight, but I have never had a surface I was willing to give up for that period of time.

Torhunia should be a little smaller than a pea

Torhunia should be a little smaller than a pea

When it comes time to make them, put some in a strainer and shake as much of the excess flour off as you can, too much flour and they will end up pastey when you cook them. Do this in small batches until you have shaken the flour off all of them.

Browning then boiling the tarhonya might take longer than you expect – start this about 1.5 to 2 hrs before you want to eat.  I always underestimate this.

Measure the amount of noodles you are going to cook, it will determine the amount of broth you will need. Remember this number for later. Melt about 1/2 stick of butter or margarine in a heavy pan. Get the butter fairly hot but not brown. Add the noodles, stir and brown , stirring occasionally on low heat. Can’t really say how long this will take… I continue until I reach the color I remember! I’ll try to post pictures.

In the meantime, heat about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth per cup of noodles. Heat to boiling (this is reallllllllly important to do!). When the noodles are brown enough, add the boiling broth to the noodles. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, taste it to see if its done. Stir it very occasionally (like when you’re checking it) and let it cook the rest of the time.  Add more broth if needed. The longer you have dried the noodles, the more broth you will need and the longer they will need to cook. I think the secret is to have the broth really hot when you add it and to get it boiling again as soon as possible. If not, they can get pastey.

The Paprikash – Start the night before – On day 2, start the Paprikash at the same time as you start browning the Torhunia

  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 chicken breast, 1 thigh, 1 leg (or some mixture of white and dark; remove skin) (I cut up a half chicken)
  • ~1 T margarine
  • 5 t paprika (updated 2012)
  • 1 quart water (4 to 5 cups)
  • 2 t salt
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • corn starch (1T per cup of water put in above; plus add one for good measure). Make sure you add the corn starch when the broth is COLD (eg right out of the fridge)

Mom usually does this the night before and allows it to cool in the fridge overnight.

In a medium-large pot, get margarine to be very hot (sizzling) then add chicken and brown.  Can cut large breasts in half, but otherwise leave as big pieces.  This will take a few minutes per side on high heat.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add the onion to the pot and saute, adding more margarine if you need to.  Remove from heat then add the paprika (paprika burns easily, when it does it is bitter). Stir.  Add the chicken, salt and water and heat to boiling, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender.

Before straining, you should get a nice dark color

Before straining, you should get a nice dark color

Let cool.  Strain the chicken, onions, etc. out of the broth.  If you have time, put in the fridge overnight and allow to cool.  The next day…  Thicken the broth with cornstarch.  To do this, measure out the paprikash.  For each cup of Paprikash you’ll need 1T corn startch.  Put the corn starch in a bowl and mix in some water, set aside.  Bring paprikash up to high temp (but not to a boil), and then add the corn startch. It will thicken in the hot liquid. In the meantime, take the sour cream out of the frig and let it get to room temp (if it is too cold and the liquid too hot, the sour cream can crudle.)

Just before you are ready to serve it, take 1/2 the sour cream and put it in a bowl. Add some cooled thicken broth and stir it to thin the sour cream and then add it to the rest of the broth. Taste it, if it needs more sour cream, add more, thining it in the same way. Heat the Paprikash and serve.

Serve it!

We usually serve the tarhonya and Paprikash in seperate bowls. Each person can decide their tarhonya to Paprikash ratio. It’s best when you use a spoon to create a volcano shape in the tarhonya, then pour the Paprikash into it. But then again, this is really a matter of personal preference! The Paprikash also tastes great poured over turkey.

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