Hungarian pepper and tomato stew, Lecsó
This is a stewed mix of peppers, tomatoes and onions. It is sometimes called “Hungarian ratatouille”. Lecsó comes in many variations and it can be served on its own, as a side or as a main dish, at any time of the day. It is a healthy breakfast recipe, it might be topped with a fried egg or two or scrambled along with them. For lunch or dinner, it is usually eaten on its own with bread, or supplemented with a sausage, rice, meat, noodles, etc. In addition, lecsó can be stored in jars and preserved for consumption later in the year, when fresh ingredients are not in season. It is a nice vegetarian and vegan meal if you serve it without eggs and sausage, but meat lovers prefer cooking it with smoked meat. Quick, easy, healthy recipe to make, done in 30 minutes.
Ingredients for 2 people:
1 medium onion – thinly sliced
2 tablespoons lard or 6 tablespoons of vegetable oil (sunflower)
1 good teaspoon of sweet Hungarian paprika powder
4 medium fresh tomatoes – sliced
4 sweet yellow pepper (or bell pepper, wax or banana pepper) – cut into 1/2-inch rings
Ground black pepper
Salt to taste
In a pot, sauté the onions in vegetable oil or pork lard over low heat, stirring frequently, until translucent. Do not let them burn. Salt lightly to help tenderize them. Add a small amount of water, if necessary, to keep them from sticking to the pan.
Remove the pot from the heat, add the sweet Hungarian paprika, stir. Add the tomatoes and the peppers (the sausage if you make it with meat), sprinkle with ground black pepper, salt to taste, pour in a little water and stir. Cooking tip: Do not burn the paprika, or it will become bitter.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, it takes 15-20 minutes. Do not overcook otherwise the skin of the peppers will remove.
Serve it with bread.