You've probably heard me rave about my love for Slovak dishes--and especially for halusky or spaetzle. Although I turn to the restaurants in my hood whenever I get a craving, the real halusky master is Mira--aka Foodista's mama.
My brother hosted a makeshift halusky workshop in his cozy Manhattan apartment this past weekend. It was a lot of fun, as my mom went through the entire halusky-making process from start to finish. I documented everything, of course and took tons of pictures. If you want to make your own at home, here's how to do it.
Mira's Fabulous Halusky (Spaetzle) with Bryndza (sheep's milk cheese)
Ingredients (Serves 5)
4 large new potatoes, peeled and grated
2 cups of flower (or if you need more or less, eyeball it)
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 - 3 tbs of butter
1 Block of Bryndza cheese (you can get this at the Slovak-Czech Varieties store)
Grate all the potatoes into a medium bowl until they have a smooth consistency. Make sure that you use the denser side of the grater - the one with the small holes.
Place the egg into the potato mixture and mix well with a fork but do not overmix. Add the flour and really pay attention to the consistency of the mixture. In the end, you want it to be somewhat firm but still soft enough that it can pass through a vegetable grater--this time on the side with the bigger holes.
Fill a medium sized pot with water, add salt and set it to boil. Place the vegetable grater over the boiling water and put the halusky batter that you just made into it. Take a spoon and with a back and forth motion, let the halusky batter pass through the grater holes and into the boiling water. Hint - use the back (or the flat part of the spoon) to do this effectively. Use all of the batter but don't do it at once--instead, separate the batter into small batches.
Once you're done with all of the batter, you'll see that within minutes it floats to the top of the pot and is instantly ready! It's like making gnocchi--very fast! Now, you're ready to drain the halusky but do not pour cold water over them.
Melt butter in a medium sized pot or pan. Add the halusky and mix for a couple of minutes until well incorporated. Make sure you watch them carefully so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. Then crumble the bryndza cheese over the halusky and mix together until the cheese melts.
After you stir this around a bit and add a sprinkling of pepper, your halusky are done and you're ready to enjoy your very own Slovak feast! Hint - these are even better when you wash them down with a good Slovak or Czech beer. I recommend Staropramen. Oh and feel free to use bacon on top of the halusky - a little smoky goodness never hurt anyone.