Friday, 20 September 2013

Halushki - Slovak Dumplings

Halushki was something my Mother made when I was a kid. They are similar to a Italian gnocchi (but easier to make) or a German spaetzle depending on whether you add potatoes to the dough or not. My Mother made these most often without potatoes and she would add them to soup (they were smaller than these for soup and more like spaetzle) or she made them with potato and they were served like this with onions and bacon. I don't eat this often however, from time to time it feels like my childhood.

You will need:

  • 2 cups riced/mashed potatoes (2-3 potatoes)
  • 3/4 - 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp fresh pepper
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion sliced thin
  • bacon or pork 2-3 slices chopped 

Step 1: boil potatoes until soft and then use a ricer to make then nice and fluffy. You can also just use leftover mashed potatoes.

Step 2: add mashed potatoes to a bowl. Add flour (start with 3/4 cup and add remainder if necessary), egg, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well. If you need the additional flour add it. It should be like stiff mashed potatoes. Still soft however it needs enough body to hold together while cooking. I like to do a few test ones by adding a few samples to boiling water, if they hold together, great cook them all, if they fall apart then add a bit more flour and try again. It is hard to say an exact amount due to the moisture in your potatoes you might need a bit more or less. Place dough in fridge while you prepare bacon and onions.

Step 3: This step is similar to making pierogies. You want to fry some onions and some bacon or some kind of pork. I have sliced some pork tenderloin I had cooked with mustard and apples the day before. You are looking to get a nice bit of browning on the onions and meat and then you toss in the dumplings to get a bit of colour. Set aside.

Step 4: place halushki dough on a cutting board. It should not run, it should be stiff enough to hold together fine. You are going to slice off small pieces directly into the boiling salted water. Let float to the top and cook 2 minutes. Drain by using an Asian spyder or slotted spoon to remove from water and place on a oiled cookie sheet. I think they taste better when they are cooled and even chilled and then cooked briefly with the olive oil, onions and bacon.

Step 5: Place the cooled halushki in the pan with the onions and pork or bacon and use enough olive oil to get a nice bit of browning on them. 

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