Monday, April 7, 2014

Haluski (cabbage & egg noodles) with bacon

Almost 4 years ago, I skipped town on vacation and temporarily handed over the reigns to my blog.  My then-boyfriend offered to cook, photograph, and write about one of his favorite recipes to share  with all of you.  How sweet of him!

So much has changed since then, like the fact that I no longer have a boyfriend but a husband.  An awesome husband who insisted upon cooking dinner every single night (!) last week.  We had tacos, sausage with peppers and onions, huevos rancheros, chicken Caesar salads, and -- Matt's specialty -- haluski with bacon!  Despite having eaten many versions of haluski, we both agree this is the best version, thanks to the bacon.

Here's the updated recipe with some new pictures and the original post 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 ultimately won, 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 variations that replace the noodles with dumplings.  Also, most versions don't include bacon, but my family has always made it this way, and so shall I.

The bacon 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.

Finally, I want to thank Katy for trusting me with her blog for a day.  I tried not to break it.

Two years ago: Almond pound cake
Four years ago: Classic cheesecake

Haluski with Bacon
-makes roughly 8 servings

1 head of cabbage (I used Savoy), shredded
1 small sweet onion, cut into 1-inch square pieces
3/4 lb (12 ounces) bacon
1 (12 ounce) package of extra wide egg noodles
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons dried thyme (or 2 Tablespoons of fresh thyme), to taste
Ground black pepper

In a large saute pan, cook the bacon to desired doneness (just shy of crispy).  Transfer to to paper towel-lined plate to drain.  Chop bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and set aside.  Reserve 2 Tablespoons bacon drippings.

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

In that same large saute pan over medium heat, melt butter.  Add onions, tossing to coat with butter.  Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Add cabbage and 2 Tablespoons reserved bacon drippings and thyme, tossing to coat and mix with onions.  Cover and cook over medium heat until cabbage is wilted and soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add noodles and cooked bacon to cabbage mixture (or cabbage mixture to noodles, depending on which vessel is larger), tossing to combine.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Leftovers can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days.  Reheat in microwave as needed.

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