Tag Archive: comfort


Mulled Cider

Mulled Cider | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

Paprika and I are eagerly awaiting the delivery of our stuff. It’s like we have lived out of a suitcase for a month now and we look forward to making our new place feel like a home.

The current situation made me think about this notion of comfort strongly associated with the one of home.

It reminded me that winter night in Wellington, and how we felt cosy inside while sipping the mulled cider I had prepared. Dinner was slowly cooking and the warm and aromatic beverage was our apéro that evening.

If like me, you appreciate wine and spices, but have never been a fan of mulled wine, this cider version, somehow lighter, is worth trying.

Mulled Cider | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi All images © Viviane Perenyi

Mulled Cider

750ml cider (a bottle)
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, split in two
1-2 tsp honey
1 thick slice of ginger
Half apple, peeled, core removed and diced
Half lime zest

Simmer the ingredients in a pan over medium fire for 10-15 minutes. Strain and serve warm.

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Cabbage Rolls

Savoy Cabbage | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

Commonly found in winter time, dressed in deep purple or nice shades of green with beautiful textured leaves, here’s the cabbage.

From my childhood, I remember cabbage slowly cooked in my mother’s potée de chou or finely sliced in her spicy achard de légumes.
But for today it’s a Hungarian inspired dish I share with you.

Hungarian Cabbage Rolls | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

Half way between a töltött káposzta -stuffed cabbage- and a pörkölt these cabbage rolls are a personal interpretation.
I used fresh savoy cabbage leaves instead of the traditional pickled ones and simmered the filled rolls in an onion rich and paprika flavored sauce.
These little parcels are perfect comfort food on a chilly winter night.

Hungarian Cabbage Rolls | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

Cabbage Rolls
Makes 6

385g pork mince
100g cooked rice
6 cabbage leaves
salt, pepper
Good pinch of paprika powder
Fresh thyme and rosemary finely chopped
1 garlic clove, mashed

1 big onion, finely chopped
1 heaped tsp good quality paprika powder
250ml stock
Olive oil

In a large bowl mix together mince meat, rice, garlic, chopped herbs, paprika and season liberally with salt and pepper.
With a sharp knife cut horizontally to thin the thick part of the central vein of each cabbage leaf. In a large saucepan filled with boiling water, blanch one by one cabbage leaf for a minute or two and drain well. Fill each leaf with two teaspoons of meat mince, placing the filing on the base of the leaf where the vein is large. Roll the leaf on itself and fold the sides towards the centre before closing the roll.
In a large saucepan, under slow-medium heat, pour olive oil to cover generously all the bottom of the pan (half cm of oil). Slowly cook onion, stirring from time to time, until the onion is soft. This may take up to 10 minutes. You want to release the juice from the onion and get them very soft. Remove the pan from the heat and add paprika and stir. Place cabbage rolls in the pan. Make sure each roll sits with the opening part facing down, touching the bottom of the pan to secure each roll while cooking. Pour the stock, season with salt and pepper, gently stir and cover. Simmer under slow-medium heat for about an hour, until the sauce has thicken. Adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Cabbage | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

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Mushroom on Toast and a Move

Mushroom on Toast | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi

Both Paprika and I started winter with a nasty cold which partly ruined our long Queens birthday week-end. We are slowly recovering. I don’t have any appetite at the moment and until yesterday I felt like a vegetable.
And to add to the fun, our home is a mess with boxes popping like mushrooms in each corner.
Yes, Paprika and I are going to move.
A matter of weeks now and we’ll be on the other side of the Tasman sea. To be honest, it’s hard for me to speak about it. Part of me is excited about the change and another is sad to leave this Kiwi life…

Blog-wise I will try my best to update, but I hope you’ll understand the slower pace for the coming weeks.

For today I keep it simple with this mushroom on toast, tartine aux champignons. A lunch for one really, but the béchamel is enough to prepare 4 tartines. So you can proportionally increase the quantity of mushroom and bread to use up all the sauce.

Mushroom on Toast | At Down Under | Viviane Perenyi All images © 2013 Viviane Perényi

Mushroom on Toast (for one)

2 medium size mushroom (white button), sliced into 1/2cm (1/5″) thick
1 sprig of parsley, finely chopped
1 slice of sourdough bread
2-3 sage leaves
10g (1 tbsp) grated cheese (I used Gruyère, but Parmesan works fine too)
A garlic clove, mashed
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Olive Oil Béchamel

250ml (1cup) milk
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt, pepper and nutmeg

To prepare the béchamel, slowly warm up the milk over a low fire until it boils. Pour it in a jug and keep it aside. Rinse the pan, heat the olive oil over medium fire and add the flour. Stir constantly for a couple of minutes. Then pour the milk step by step whisking after each addition. You should get a smooth lump free texture. Keep on stirring until the texture thicken and get the consistency of a cream. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
In a frypan over medium-high fire heat olive oil, add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add parsley and stir. Mix in mushrooms and cook for a couple of minutes stirring from time to time. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the béchamel on the bread, top with mushrooms, sage leaves and grated cheese. Grill (broil) for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with a green leaf salad.

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