Friday, July 23, 2010

Guest post: Haluski with bacon

(My apologies if there is a delay in answering questions or comments this week, since I will be in California sans a computer.  But, don't fret - I haven't forgotten about you!  I've planned some posts ahead to keep you entertained until I return... freckled and at least five pounds heavier.  Enjoy!)

Today's post was written by Matt.


I have to start by applauding Katy for her skills and organization in the kitchen.  My attempt to prepare a meal, take pictures, and make mental notes about what I was doing can best be described as a maelstrom of chaos (this description brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department).  Bear with me, as this is my foray into the food blogging world.

Those who know me are very aware of two things I am passionate about: hot dogs and my Polish heritage.  My original plan was to visit and do a review of the Franktuary, a church in downtown Pittsburgh that sells hot dogs in its basement to benefit the congregation.  My Polishness won over, though, and I decided to stay in the comforts of air conditioning and make my favorite Polish dish -- haluski.

Haluski is a Polish and Slovakian dish comprised mostly of cabbage and noodles.  There are other variations that replace the noodles with dumplings and most recipes don't include bacon, but my family has always made it this way, and so shall I.  It really adds a lot of flavor (and color, for those who are more conscious of presentation).  Plus, it's bacon!  Everything is better with bacon.  But, if you don't eat bacon for whatever reason, I suppose you can omit it.

As noted earlier, I am not the most savvy in the kitchen.  I like this recipe because you can pretty much wing it.  In fact, I don't even have this recipe written down.  I wing it every time and it always turns out delicious.

(adapted loosely from a Market District recipe and my memory of batches from home)
-makes roughly 8-10 servings

1 head of cabbage (I used Savoy), shredded
1 small sweet onion, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
1 (16 ounce) package of bacon
1 (16 ounce) package of extra wide egg noodles
1/2 stick (1/4 cup = 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon-ish of dried thyme (or 2 Tablespoons of fresh thyme), to taste
Pepper, to taste

In a large skillet, cook the bacon to desired doneness.  Drain on paper towels briefly.  Eat a piece because it's irresistible.  Chop the rest of the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add egg noodles to water and cook according to instructions on package. Drain and set aside.

In a large pan over medium heat, melt half of the butter (1/4 stick).  Add the onion, stirring to coat with butter.  Cook until onions are soft and slightly translucent.  Now it's time to add the cabbage and remaining butter.  (You'll see why you need a large pan.  Uncooked, the cabbage takes up a lot of space.)  Stir to coat cabbage with butter and mix with onions.  Cover and cook over medium heat until cabbage is wilted and soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove cover and add noodles to cabbage mixture, stirring together.  Gradually add thyme and pepper, tasting after each addition.

Add the bacon, stir it all up, and enjoy.  Serve hot.  Haluski is usually eaten alone, but I decided to try it in a wrap since it was my main course.

Finally, I want to thank Katy for trusting me with her blog for a day.  I tried not to break it.  Also, I don't know what's going on with the line spacing and formatting on this thing.  I'll have to have Katy fix it when she gets back.


Update 7/24: I'm back!  And the formatting on this goofy thing is back to normal... for now.  Didn't Matt do such a fantastic job? :)

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