Here's another blog in our series speaking to foodies who have made the move from their homeland to countries abroad. Reka Csulak, orginally from Hungary, has shared a recipe for a delicious potato fried pork loin. This pork lion is coated in garlicky olive oil and dipped in grated potato, egg and flour, all topped off with crème fraîche and cheese. It really is the ultimate comfort food.
One of Reka Csulak’s missions is to spread the joy of Hungarian comfort food around the world.
I love that food is pleasing to all your senses. Food allows me to be creative. It’s the art of creating and enjoying, not just with your eyes and ears, but all your senses.
Reka comes from a small village near Budapest, in Hungary. After she married her husband (originally from Romania), they decided to travel. The couple now live just outside of London.
When I use a family recipe, even if I’m at the other side of the globe, far away from my home country, food leads back to my roots. It can also open a window to a new world, through new dishes I’ve never tried before.
When we left Hungary, our first destination was Sweden. We worked as volunteers in exchange for food and accommodation. In the meantime, we looked for jobs. My husband got a job in the UK, so we made the decision to move. If life brings an unexpected turn, we thought we should at least try it, so we bought a one-way ticket to London.
In my opinion, there are three different type of expats. Someone who escapes from miserable conditions or flees from war; others who choose to immigrate, so they can support their family with the money they make abroad, and there is a third group. This third group is where I would place myself. People who didn’t have major problems in their country but wanted more experience, better opportunities, education, or to understand other cultures, values and languages.
Our flight was my first flight in a proper plane, so I chose a window seat and admired the scenery of the land from above the clouds.
Everything was new at the beginning, in the shops there were ingredients that I’d never experienced before, so I had the classic culture shock, I guess.
I was raised in a small village close to Budapest, so had the chance to taste the everyday countryside life with fresh air, animals, and gardens, but at the same time, I experienced some sort of big city life moments too. I think that’s why I love my life here. I can live a peaceful everyday life in a village, but I’m still close to London, where I can get lost in a metropolis.
I work during the week and in my free time I work on my food blog, called the Holy Whisk Blog.
From a young age, my mom always let me help her when she baked a cake or cooked dinner. Both of my grandmas and especially my great-grandma were super-talented cooks and bakers. For their generation it was fundamental to know recipes and bake traditional Hungarian dishes according to family recipes.
Hungarian cuisine is very versatile. I think the reason why my Hungarian recipes are quite popular on my blog, is because almost nobody thinks there is Hungarian food beyond goulash. One of my missions is to spread the joy of Hungarian comfort food and show our favourite flavour combinations to other foodies from all over the world. I should also mention, Hungarian cuisine is not about diet and calorie-counting, but characteristic flavours and freshly made, filling dishes.
The dish I’m sharing gets its name from funny, shaggy crispy coating made of grated potatoes, egg and flour.
‘Mátrai borzaska’, is a chance to experience Hungarian food through the typical flavour combinations we love!
This recipe makes a nice change from the breadcrumbs or batter you might usually see coating different types of meat or vegetables.
2 slices of pork loin
300 grams of potatoes
Salt, pepper for seasoning
2 tablespoons of flour, plus more flour to dredge the meat in before adding the coating
3 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Vegetable oil for frying
4 tablespoons of crème fraîche
Grate the peeled potatoes, put into a bowl and sprinkle them with salt. The salt will draw any excess water out of the potatoes. Squeeze the excess water out and return potato to the cleaned bowl.
Add a pinch of salt, pepper, the egg and finally the flour. Stir to mix.
Tenderise the pork slices and sprinkle them with salt and pepper on both sides.
Crush the garlic in a mortar or with a garlic press and combine with the olive oil.
Brush one side of the pork slices with the oily-garlic, then dredge the meat with flour.
Cover the floured meat with the potato, egg and flour mixture on both sides and around the edges.
Heat enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of your frying pan over a medium heat.
Fry the coated pork loins until the potato is golden brown and the meat is cooked. About 10 minutes.
When the meat is cooked remove to rest on a wire rack. While it’s resting, mix the leftover oily garlic with the crème fraîche.
Spread some of the crème fraîche on the coated meat slices, grate some cheese on the top and serve it with fresh salad or pickles.
You can place the meat with the garlic flavoured crème fraîche and cheese back to the oven and bake till the cheese melts on the top.