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Bryndzové Halušky

Slovakia's national dish. Potato dumplings mixed with a sour and salty cheese sauce and topped with crispy bacon.

Bryndzové Halušky

Ingredients

  • 5 potatoes, peeled
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 tbsp of salt
  • 1 lb of smoked pressed pork (slab of bacon)
  • 1 cup of bryndza cheese
  • 1 cup of sour cream

Instructions

  1. Shred all the potatoes into small bits. Even better idea is to chop it hard in a food processor until it’s a pulp.
  2. Let the pulp sit in a bowl and try to drain out as much of the water from it as possible.
  3. When most of the water is drained, add in the flour and eggs and stir. You want the mixture to be like batter, so if it’s too thick, add some water.
  4. In a large stock pot, fill it halfway with water and add the salt. Place it on the stove and bring the water to boil.
  5. When water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium or low. You want the water to be hot, but not bouncing.
  6. Place strainer over the open pot and spoon some of the batter onto it. Use a spatula to scrape the batter through the holes so it appears to be dripping in pea-sized drops into the water.
  7. When the top layer of the water has a good amount of drops, let them cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the dumplings from sticking together or sinking.
  8. When ready, use a straining ladle to scoop the cooked dumplings out of the water. I’ll put them into a colander to let any excess water drain out.
  9. Continue this process of straining batter into the water, cooking, and scooping out until you’re out of batter.
  10. When the dumplings are cooked, discard the water and heat up a frying pan over medium-high heat.
  11. Cut the bacon into small cubes and place them into the hot pan. Cook until crispy.
  12. In another bowl, mix the bryndza cheese and sour cream together. Pour the mixture onto the dumplings and stir thoroughly.
  13. Top everything off with the bacon, or stir the bacon into the mixture. Whatever your preference.

Quick Notes

When you’re making the potato into pulp, you’ll see it slowly turn reddish or even brown. Don’t worry, it’s just oxidizing.

If you cannot get anything like the strainer, then just try to use a spoon and eyeball it. You want pieces as small a peas or beans to go into the water.

The first few dumplings you put in might break apart. Try a few more and see if they come out more solid. If they’re still breaking up, then add another egg to the mixture to coagulate it.

Do not add too many drops to the water. You just want a layer of dumpings cooking on top of the water, not sinking or forming layers.

If your water looks dirty as you’re working, don’t worry. This is normal.

Variations

If dealing with potatoes is a bit much for you, you could try to find the Halušky mix online off the same site suggested to get bryndza, but you could also use potato flour. Just add water and eggs until you get a nice batter-like consistency.

If you cannot get bryndza, then you have options. One recipe I saw used a mixture of feta cheese with cream cheese and milk. Another simply tossed out the idea of bryndza and used cheddar cheese.

Other variations of Halušky use sauerkraut or even cabbage. Zuzana even said you can flavor Basic Halušky (without bryndza and bacon) with sugar and cinnamon or even cocoa powder. Basic Halušky can pretty much go in many directions, as it is much like a basic pasta when you don’t have the cheese and bacon on it. So it’s up to your personal taste.

Tags: halusky, Pasta, Slovak

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