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Name:Coconut Mushroom Paprikas Contributor:Martin Golding
Description:Coconut Mushroom Paprikas Posted:2005-10-09
Key words:coconut milk, mushrooms, paprika Category:Main Dishes
ID:639 Updated:2006-01-14 17:36:43
Ingredients:olive oil
1-1/2 lbs mushrooms, sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 very large shallot (about the size of a medium onion), finely chopped (1)
3 cloves garlic (2)
5 roasted red ('gypsy') peppers, peeled and seeded (3)
1 Tbsp Hungarian sweet paprika
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika (4)
1 can coconut milk
Preparation:Saute the mushrooms in batches over very high heat until they're dry and a bit brown. Deglaze each batch with a splash of dry sherry. (5) Saute the onion and shallot in a bit of olive oil until softened. Throw in the garlic as the onion is approaching done, to soften a bit. Reserve. Combine mushrooms and onion mixture. Sprinkle with paprika, stir, add coconut milk. Simmer until thick (6)
Salt to taste, serve forth.

(1) We have a bunch of large shallots hanging around the house, so I used one. A larger onion would be an entirely satisfactory substitute.
(2) Garlic is not traditional in porkolt/paprikas. Sue me.
(3) There is a delightful man with a pepper roaster at the local farmer's market, we have a glorious surfeit of roasted red peppers. You don't. A jar or can of roasted red peppers can be substituted, or if you have some to hand, a jar or can of lecso (a mix of onion, peppers and tomato popular in eastern Europe).
(4) My original recipe calls for 1 tsp of paprika to a pound of mushrooms. That's not enough. The smoked paprika is a vile but tasty perversion. Your paprika preferences may vary.
(5) There's no provenance for this, I just like sherry with mushrooms.
(6) Paprikas is traditionally just a teeny bit runny, served over noodles. Since we eat low carb, I simmered partly covered stirring occasionally until it was thick enough to eat with a fork.

One could add tomatoes and/or red wine if one desired. Thyme would not be un-period, and moderate amounts often go well with mushrooms. Making any Hungarian dish with American style bright red tasteless paprika is quite pointless, this one especially so. Using the (traditional) butter or lard or starting the dish by rendering a bit of shredded not-too-smokey bacon would make it more substantial and traditional, but somewhat less vegan. This is the perfect dish to show off one's spaetzle skills to one's ovo-vegetarian friends.
Notes:Porkolt is, roughly, a very dry stew flavored with sweet peppers, optionally tomatoes, and necessarily-Hungarian paprika.

Paprikas is porkolt finished with cream or sour cream. We are rather fond of paprikas. For the sake of our lactose-sensitive friends, we have been experimenting with coconut milk paprikas; the coconut flavor is noticable but tasty. (But if anybody has Hungarian grandmother, she _will_ roll over in her grave when you do that.)

We have a recipe whose provenance I do not recall for gomba (mushroom) paprikas. By replacing the lard and cream with olive oil and coconut milk respectively, it incorporates two of the three ingredients for the cookoff, and becomes lactose free AND vegan (_nobody_ goes hungry on my watch). Bonus, bonus, bonus!

Off to research low-carb macaroons...

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