Thursday, January 27, 2011

Vesti la Giubba

The great Bjorling sings from Leoncavallo's "I Pagliacci", "Vesti la Guibba", possibly in 1953.

Jussi Bjorling (1911-1960) was a Swedish operatic tenor and a highly regarded singer. He was one of the few non-Latin tenors to rival the Italian dominance of the opera world a that time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year - Happy 2011!

As an old Hungarian custom, lencse leves (lentil soup) eaten on New Years Day will bring financial success. But it is delicious on cold ordinary winter days also.


1 1/2 cups dry lentils
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cooking oil or lard
2 heaped tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon paprika
4 frankfurters, sliced
1 teaspoon vinegar or 2 tablespoon sour cream

Wash the lentils in cold water and pick them over, discarding any shriveled or black ones. Pleace them in a cooking pot and add 6 cups of water, bay leaves and salt. Bring to boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover with lid and simmer for 35 minutes. Add in the carrots. Bring back to simmer and continue cooking for about 25-30 more minutes. Take out the bay leaves.

For the roux, heat up the oil or lard in a 3-quart saucepan and saute the onion until it is translutent. Stir in the paprika.

Stir in the flour and cook on low heat for 3 more minutes, stirring constantly.

Poor the hot soup into the roux, stirring gently all the while. Add in the frankfurters and cook uncovered on low heat for 10 more minutes. Stir in the vinegar or sour cream right before serving.