Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 11/06 at 09:52 AM
When central and eastern Europeans emigrated to Pennsylvania in the 19th and 20th Centuries, one of the dishes they brought with them was haluski (or as some spell it, halusky). The dish is a simple one with some variations. Traditionally, haluski referred to the homemade noodles/dumplings, which were potato based much like gnocchi. However, today you can either purchase dried haluski noodles in any grocery store, or use any medium-wide egg noodle.
Growing up in York County, which is Pennsylvania Dutch country, I had very limited exposure to haluski, but when I went to Pittsburgh for college and eventually to live, I was introduced to the dish at a Polish Catholic church fish fry, which is just about the best place to have your first taste of haluski. Haluski has just a few ingredients, and the one I learned to make includes noodles, cabbage, onion, bacon, butter, salt, pepper..and that’s it. You can also make a vegetarian version by leaving out the bacon and a vegan version by using vegan-friendly noodles and olive oil instead of butter.
The flavors combine to make a fantastic dish, especially if you are a gardener like me and use a fresh-harvested garden cabbage that has been sweetened by frost. And speaking of frosty weather, this is a great cold-weather dish that’s a snap to make.
Here’s the recipe:
5 strips of bacon
1 standard package of egg or haluski noodles (you can find these at any grocery store in the pasta aisle)
1 head of shredded or chopped cabbage
1 medium onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil
- Cook noodles as per package directions to al dente (do not overcook noodles, this will cause them to fall apart). Drain and set aside.
- In a large frying pan or dutch oven, fry bacon, turning until both sides are crisp. Drain on paper towels.
- Strain out the bacon fat and wipe the pan or pot clean, then add the butter and a tablespoon or two of the bacon fat. Turn heat to medium.
- Add onions, and sprinkle with salt, cook onions until they begin to get translucent, stirring often. Add cabbage and about 1/4 cup of water, and cover.
- Stir occasionally until cabbage is cooked, then add a bit more salt and pepper to taste (some like their haluski peppery)
- Add diced bacon and noodles, a bit more salt and pepper, and stir to combine (taste to make sure you are not overdoing salt/pepper).
- Heat all ingredients through thoroughly, stirring a few times. Serve hot.
Author: Jamie Oberdick
Bio: Editor, Local Food Journey | Passionate about supporting local food in Central PA
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