Friday, April 9, 2010

Nothin' like a dumplin' - Haluskis

Many years ago my friend Peggy invited me for lunch.  We worked in the same office and took a quick ride on our lunch hour so she could tend to her little Yorkie Terrier.  She had made Haluskis for our lunch, a traditional European (often Slovac or Polish) dish of sauteed cabbage and dumplings.  I was hesitant because I HATE CABBAGE, or I did, until I tried this dish.  Besides, it would be rude to say "I hate cabbage" when she was so kind to invite me.  To my delight, it was absolutely delicious -- a silken concoction of onions and cabbage cooked in waaaaayyyy too much butter with pillowy dumplings coated in all the goodness.   I'm thinking that butter is what won me over to the cabbage side.  Regardless, I only had this dish that one time, but memories of that afternoon lunch keep surfacing.  It opened a new door to me, and now cabbage (or even an occasional Brussels sprout) might appear on my dinner plate.

There are many Haluskis recipes available on the internet, some with dumplings, others with noodles, but butter and cabbage are the core ingredients for this dish.  This recipe is an adaptation of those, using ingredients and steps consistent in most.  If you think you hate cabbage, try it.  If you already like it, you'll be really happy.



   1 head of cabbage, coarsely chopped
   1/2 lb. (2 bars) butter
    2 large onions, chopped

    2 cups mashed potatoes, cooked and cooled
    2 well-beaten eggs
    1 tsp salt
    2 - 2 1/2 cups of flour, more or less as needed

Crumbled bacon for garnish, if desired.


In large frying pan over medium heat, melt butter and, in it, sautee onion and cabbage until softened and golden brown.  Keep warm over lowest heat while making the dumplings.

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine mashed potatoes and eggs. Combine potato mixture with salt and enough flour, a bit at a time, until the dough is soft but firm enough to shape and loses its stickiness.   On floured surface, roll dough into 1" wide ropes and slice into 1" pieces.  Roll off fork (to make pretty indentations, similar to gnocchi) to make dumplings and drop, all at once, into boiling water.   Boil 8-10 minutes or until they test done (being careful not to let them cook too long or they'll get too soft and fall apart in the next step).  Drain.

Gently fold drained dumplings into cabbage mixture.  Return heat to medium and let it all hang out, stirring a few times, until it is nice and hot again.   Serve garnished with crumbled bacon if desired.

This dish is much more delicious than it is pretty, so no picture of that today! Instead, lunch break:

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