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Recipes of Carola Szilvássy

Baroness Elemér Bornemissza, Carola Szilvássy was one of the most inspiring women figures of Translyvania’s aristocracy and a focus of Translyvanian social life. Her contemporaries considered she oversaw the finest kitchen in Transylvania, she had a very good sense both for cooking and for settings. Her recipe book provides an insight into the dining habits of Transylvanian aristocracy and the rich, varied range of dishes available at that time.
Carola’s recipes came to light when sorting through the inheritance of Baron János Kemény. In 2009, literary historian Ildikó Marosi edited a book of these recipes. We have selected three noteworthy dishes that will be of interest for gourmets and all interested in fine dining.
Vegetable omelette
Cut up carrots, potatoes and cauliflower into small cubes and mix in peas, – mushrooms can be added, similarly cubed. Boil all these in salted water until soft, then drain well, add 3-4 eggs and a little flour then fry in hot butter or oil. When everything is a lovely yellow – turn out still hot, sprinkle grated cheese over the top and fold. Can be served with melted butter, tomato or mushroom sauce.

French pancake
Thoroughly mix 120 grams butter, 200 ml sour cream, 140 grams flour, 120 grams sugar with the yolks of 6 eggs. Then add the whipped whites of four eggs. Cook 8 pancakes from this but do not allow to dry. Finally, place alongside each other in a fireproof dish and in the meantime smear with jam or melted chocolate. Cook in a hot oven for 5 minutes. It is possible to make without sugar, in which case prepare with grated cheese.
Soak 400 grams small white beans for 12 hours. Fry 1-2 onions whole in 50 grams goose fat. Then mix into the fat 250 grams pearl barley and the white beans, and add goose or smoked meat. Place the onion in the centre. Pour on a little water, enough to cover everything to a depth of three fingers. Sprinkle with paprika, hermetically seal and cook in an oven for 3-5 hours. Best prepared the day before.

Baroness Elemér Bornemissza, Karola Szilvássy: Tried and Trusted Recipes (Kipróbált receptek). Editor: Ildikó Marosi (2009)