The other night I inadvertently made Hungarian food. It wasn’t the first time I’ve made this particular dish and David loves it so much that he wishes I made it more often. He had no idea why he loved it so until a few nights ago.
I have a little confession to make; a dirty little secret actually. As much as I am a “from scratch” girl, sometimes I cheat a little. You never know when you’re going to find yourself with a crowd of hungry visitors and you’ll need to throw something together at the last minute. You have to have things on hand that are gluten-free (for when mom stops by) and always kid friendly (because kids can be the pickiest eaters).
Anyway, I sort of made up this dish one night when I was too lazy to run to the store and there was nothing in my kitchen except a pound of turkey meat, and onion, a frozen bag of stir-fry vegetables and a box of Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Yellow Rice. Really, anytime you have rice, an onion and meat, you can come up with some kind of dish. So, I sautéed the onion, boiled the rice, browned the meat, yada, yada, yada.
So when we sat down to dinner with my in-laws the other night, my father-in-law took one bite and his eyes lit up.
“How did you learn to make this?” he demanded.
“I don’t know. I just threw it together.” I told him.
“This was my father’s favorite dish,” he continued, “his favorite Hungarian food. I can’t believe you made Ludas kása.” Loo-dash-what-a? (loo-dah-sh kah-shah is how he said it).
I told him how I came up with the recipe and he explained that Ludas kása, which is traditionally made with goose meat but often chicken meat or gizzards are substituted, was especially common in the village where he grew up. He asked what I used and when I said turkey, he nodded and said, “Very good. I’m very impressed.”
As soon as he said what it was, David agreed and realized that is why he liked it so much. Here I was just throwing things together that I knew my family would eat and I made my grandfather-in-law’s favorite food.
Accidental Ludas Kása
- 2 boxes Zatarain’s New Orleans Style Yellow Rice, cooked according to package directions
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound of ground turkey
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 1 16 ounce bag frozen stir-fry vegetables (or more), defrosted
- Boil the rice according to the package directions.
- Sautee the onion in the olive oil until it is translucent.
- Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink.
- Add the mushrooms and continue to sautee until they start to soften.
- Stir in the vegetables and continue cooking until everything is well heated.
- Mix the rice into the meat and vegetable mixture.
Another fun tidbit… my dad, who lived with my mom in Russia for several years, tried some of my leftovers the other day and asked where I learned to make Russian food. Apparently they have something similar there too. Who knew?
Denise Menagh says
Are you sure that Zatarains rice is gluten free? As you know, sometimes the seasoning packets aren’t. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t say it was if it wasn’t, but I have not tried this particular variety, and have been disappointed by some other products that are rice dishes, but are NOT gluten free. I assume it said so on the box, or that you called the company? Thank you for posting all the wonderful gluten free goodies for Christmas. Especially the Spritz cookies as we are Swedish & Norwegian and i made these as a little girl. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I was often disappointed that i could not share these specific holiday traditions with my daughter. Thanks again. Can’t wait to try the Banana and pumpkin breads. The market is getting alot better with the variety and cost of gluten free foods that they offer. I am encouraged! 🙂
The old Zatarain’s mixes contained soy sauce, so they did contain gluten (and some stores might still stock the kind that contains it, although they should be expired by now). The New Orleans Style Yellow Rice boxes now say “Gluten Free” in the lower left side of the box and they no longer include soy sauce. They do contain soy and corn gluten, but in the case of soy and corn, the term “gluten” is referring to the vegetable protein. Those vegetable proteins do not have the same amino acid sequence as the gluten protein found in wheat, barley and rye. From everything that I’ve read, soy and corn gluten are safe for people on gluten-free diets. If you’re still unsure, you can contact Zatarain’s directly at 1-877-837-3796. I’ve also been working on my own mixture of spices that can be used with any kind of rice or quinoa because the one thing that doesn’t thrill me about the Zatarain’s is that it contains monosodium glutamate (MSG) and I’ve been trying to eliminate that from my diet completely. I will be posting the new recipe very soon. So glad to hear that you are encouraged. My mom had a really hard time in the beginning, but I’ve been able to work out a lot of her favorites and we’ve discovered a lot of really great foods that we may have never found otherwise.
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