Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Bryndzové Halušky in English: Potato dumplings with bryndza sheep cheese and bacon

My love for Wikipedia knows no limits. It could have translated this Bryndzové Halušk as Cheese Dumplings (like lazy google translator) but it went all out. There is implied toppings in that name, and BACON should never be forgotten.

When I was in Slovakia part of the conference I was attending included making a traditional Slovak dish. I am assuming that this above name is what we made and someone will correct me if I am wrong.

Even if I am wrong you should all know it was delicious. It was like homemade macaroni with cheese only the gross breadcrumb topping is substituted for bacon; it wasn't baked; you use potato pasta instead of macaroni; and it used a very special cheese. It wasn't really like homemade macaroni and cheese at all I guess.

The bacon was a real game changer - it always is.

You can make it too in just Sixteen random steps.

Step one:
Go to HERE:

Now the tricky part is getting there. From Budapest I suggest taking the train. You will see epic train stations (see album on the right). It will be quite the adventure. I suggest hiring a translator.

Step Two:
Ask around until you find where you can get 1 kilo buckets of this special and delicious cheese.

-Why, yes! That does look like a really big bucket of butter. Don't worry it is cheese. CHEESE!

Step Three:
Find yourself a kitchen with a sign as cute as this, in a tiny eco village.

-This is not at all a must. Rather a suggestion.

Step Four:
Chop bacon. Lots of bacon.

-Fear for your arteries while you do so.

Step Five:
Look skinnier by sucking in.

-This emphasizes your giant Dutch barrel chest.
Thank you Smids, I love the nose you gave me too.

Step Six or Step 4.5, honestly it doesn't matter:
While all this is going on, find some potatoes. I know a root cellar in Eaglesham that probably has 500 pounds of them stored away for winter. But you are already in Slovakia trying to find cheese so you should probably find some Slovak potatoes instead.

Step Seven:

-Peel lots of them. Like two potatoes per person or three... or four... I don't know really. Peel however many potatoes you think you'll eat.

Step Eight:
Food Processor them. Then immersion blender them. I understand that this is a tradtional dish so I bet there is a different step you could take. Perhaps just finely grating them?

I can't imagine that the immersion blender is a Slovak invention. In fact, the immersion blender was a Swiss invention. Imagine that! Thank you again Wikipedia!
-These are not what they look like after they've been blendered. I wasn't paying attention at that point.

Step Nine:
Add flour to the potatoes... Lots... Add salt too. To be honest, during this stage of production, I was more concerned about the bacon, I don't really know how this all worked. Get it to the consistency of like wall paper paste, or dough?

Step Zero:
Boil a huge pot of water. Sorry I forgot that part.

Step Ten:
Put the potato dough through a thing that looks like that.

-If you don't have that maybe use a piece of sheet metal you've poked holes though, or a colander, or Ask Jeeves for a solution (the internet knows everything).

Step Eleven:
Give someone the very important responsibility to slowly fry a million tiny pieces of bacon. DO NOT THROW OUT THE GREASE.

-That, my friend, was only the first half of the bacon we fried.

Step Twelve:
Boil the little noodles until they turn yellow.

Taste them to check their yellowness.

Step Thirteen:
Drain them. REALLY WELL!

This take the utmost concentration and encouragement from others. Precise draining is key.

Step Fourteen:
Add them to the whole kilo of cheese. The cheese will melt. It is a beautiful thing.

-That is only half of the pasta we made so it is a bit cheese heavy there.

Step 15:
*Not to be confused with 15 Step.
Set the table. We aren't animals who eat in front of the TV.

-Unless something is really good on TV. That is the only exception to the rule.

Step Sixteen:
Top it with bacon, bacon grease and for fun another type of smoked cheese.


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