Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms (Huby s Vajcom)

« »

To me, “Slovak cooking” is more than just recipes from a certain small central-European country. Slovak cooking is a way of life.

This way of life is not linked to any particular country. Instead, it’s the way of the times past, times when people lived in harmony with their environment, leading life of sufficiency. In those times, people grew their own food with care, and with care learned to utilize it to its fullest potential.

I like this way of life. The modern way is the way of excess. We define ourselves by our “streak of lightning cars and fancy clothes” (as Johnny Cash noted). Christmas, which should be devoted to spending time with family and friends, has turned into a mad dash to buy presents and then return them the following day. Allan Stevo from mentioned in his latest post that he found it surprising that in Slovakia many shops still stay closed on Sunday and also during Christmas. I say to that, keep it that way!

To me, Slovak cooking is not the foods nor the recipes, it’s the process. Watch any modern cooking show, and it will surely be dominated by a discussion of the various gadgets and gizmos you need to buy prior to attempting to recreate the recipe. I bet that these days many folks think it’s straight impossible to bake bread without having a bread machine – or peel an avocado without a dedicated peeler (avocado peelers are a pet peeve of mine). Yet our ancestors didn’t have any of that, and yet were able to feast on amazingly delicious dishes. Some of the best food I have ever eaten was cooked by my grandparents, often using not much more than a pot and an old wood-burning stove.

Our ancestors were also masters of reuse. Chicken cooked to make chicken noodle soup was mixed with rice for risoto. Old bread became bread pudding. And bones left over from baking meat turned into delicious soup. Cook without ever measuring the ingredients and supplement with whatever you have at hand in the pantry. This to me is the definition of Slovak cooking…

Speaking of reuse, here is a recipe for scrambled eggs (praženica) with mushrooms (huby). I made these eggs with the stems left over from baking mushrooms with bacon. This combination is very popular in Slovakia, and it’s the most common way to prepare gathered wild mushrooms. Unfortunately it also leads to fatalities when a poisonous mushroom is inadvertently mixed in and ends up contaminating the rest of the dish. But no worries, you should have nothing to worry about if you stick to store-bought varieties. If you have never had scrambled eggs with mushrooms, try this combination. It’s very tasty!

Ingredients: mushroom pieces, one small onion, 2 eggs
Prep Time: 25 minutes

frying onions on oil stewing mushrooms with onions
Start by peeling and chopping up the onion (cibuľa). Fry it on oil for about 3 minutes until it starts turning yellow. Then add the chopped up mushroom pieces and also a small cup of water. Cover, and let cook on low heat for about 15-20 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and most of the water stored in the mushrooms has evaporated. To help the water evaporate, you may want to remove the lid the last few minutes.

scrambled eggs scrambled eggs with mushrooms huby s vajcom prazenica
Then crack the eggs (vajcia) into a bowl, add a dash of salt, and scramble with a fork till bubbles start forming. Pour into the pan. Keep stirring. It’s better to have the heat on low. I like the eggs watery like shown in the photo. I turned the heat off moments before they were the way I like them, and let them finish cooking on the plate. Top with chives, paprika, or peppers, and serve with a good bread.