Thursday, January 10, 2013

Haluski - Polish-Style Cabbage and Noodles with Bacon

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I had a sense at breakfast this morning that this probably wasn't the day to suggest soup and salad for supper. The Silver Fox, who is not normally a breakfast person, was eating like there was no tomorrow. I made a mental note regarding dinner and then dashed out to complete my chores for the day. The weather here was dreadful. It poured and by the time I made it home I was drenched and cranky and needed a timeout. I curled up on the sofa with the intent of reading, but promptly fell asleep. I don't know if it was the noise or the smell that first got to me, but banging pots and the overwhelming smell of cabbage certainly disturbed my sleep. Our first apartment was a basement flat in building so old it probably housed someone's immigrant ancestors. Over time, cooking odors had settled in the walls and hall runners and I suspect that no amount of paint or shampoo could ever rid the smell of cabbage from that building. Talk about déjà vu. At any rate, the Silver Fox, who doesn't do a lot of cooking, had taken over my kitchen and the odors of bacon, cabbage and onions were a sure clue that "guy" food in the wind. Strangely enough, his appetite had taken him back to a meal we both learned to cook in that old tenement building almost fifty years ago. Our landlords were a wonderful old couple who thought we were too young to be on our own. We were taken under their wings, despite protestation, and that's how it happened that two Catholic kids from the South side of Chicago ended up with a Jewish mother who taught them how to cook dishes from the ghettos of Eastern Europe. My Fox was making a version of Haluski, a somewhat heavy dish that combines noodles with copious quantities of cabbage and bacon. It is not a dish for the faint of heart or those with peckish appetites, but it is delicious and really easy to make. So easy in fact, that I'll let the recipe speak for itself. Nowadays folks make this dish with bow tie pasta. There wasn't a lot of farfalle floating around the Warsaw ghetto, so if you'd rather make the dish with noodles feel free to do so. It will be more authentic and in keeping with tradition. Here's the recipe for those of you who are really hungry.

Haluski - Polish-Style Cabbage and Noodles with Bacon...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

1/2 pound bacon, ham or Polish sausage, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
8 cups cabbage, sliced
1 pound bow tie pasta, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste

1) Fry bacon and onions with butter and garlic in a large deep skillet.
2) Add cabbage, stir to combine and continue to saute in covered skillet until cabbage is cooked through. Add water as needed to keep cabbage from browning as it cooks.
3) Add cooked bow tie pasta and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until warmed through. Yield: 4 to 8 servings.

One Year Ago Today: Penne with Garlic Roasted Mushrooms

Two Years Ago Today: Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread with Streusel Topping

Three Years Ago Today: Cuban Reuben with Mojo


Coleens Recipes said...

I could LIVE on this recipe, I wish picky-picky husband would give it a try (cooked cabbage is against the law according to him, lol). I think I'll make this as a side dish just for me!!

Foodycat said...

That sounds really good. Well done to the Fox for letting you sleep!

Jenn said...

Oh wow... who knew I was eating Haluski when I was younger! My dad used to make cabbage sandwiches where he fried bacon and then cooked the cabbage int he bacon grease. If there was anything left over, I would eventually end up tossing it with pasta!! I can't wait to make this!!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

I LOVE cabbage... it is a comfort food in my book. ;) Enjoyed hearing how this recipe came to be in your life. blessings ~ tanna

Kim G. said...

I don't know a lot of things about polish cuisine... These pastas looks good tough!

Pam said...

What a charming story! My great-grandmother was from Lithuania and we had lots of dishes similar to this when I was young. Love, love, love cabbage and bacon!

Mary said...

I make a similar dish passed down from my husband's Slovak grandmother. We use the sausage, but will also leave it meatless, and cook the cabbage until nice and brown (the smell is fantastic), and to use anything other than egg noodle would be "sacrilege."

My Little Space said...

Howdy Mary! Happy New Year. Oh wow missed quite a number of your post. Have been extremely busy eversince after school reopened & work.! Helping out a friend's food business. Not an easy task even though its just a small one. However, I always looking forward to more cooking from you kitchen. Missed having these pasta cause haven't been cooking much at home lately. :o)
Best wishes, Kristy

From the Kitchen said...

I called over The Baker to show him your recipe because it sounds like something we'd like. In fact, he does a dish of noodles, cottage cheese and bacon that he remembers as a child. He left Poland for school in England when he was 7 but is still fluent in the language. He doesn't know the word "haluski" and wonders if it is a variation of "kluski" sp? Polish for noodle. I think we'll be enjoying this dish soon.


Pam said...

I can almost smell the aromas! What great landlords you had back then. And hubby too for cooking this. It sounds very good and comforting. And you're from Chicago.

KimH said...

Yep, M'honey will love this.. I'll eat my leftover cabbage rolls I made night before last Maybe I'll toss in a few pergi on the side.. he'd like that. Me & noodles dont geehaw, but he loves them... and he loves Eastern European foods since that is what he grew up eating.
Thanks for the "recipe" I'll give it a go and know he'll love it.

Susan..... said...

During my early days of "Tuna alla Charlie" I made this often, but like most, one of us does not like cabbage so it is a rare appearance unless one of us is traveling. Perfect post, I know what I'm putting on the menu next week.

Chiara Giglio said...

your bow tie(in italian "farfalle ") sounds delicious ! Have a good day Mary, blessings....

Dining Alone said...

I grew up eating Haluski in Western PA, so delicious!!

David said...

Mary, This sounds good to me! I really like cooked putting it with noodles and bacon or perhaps, better yet, with Polish sausage fits right into my wheelhouse! Thanks for the recipe and Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

KarenAZ said...

A variation of this is on the menu for tonight! We like ours with the cabbage just barely cooked and topped with feta and lots of black pepper.

Ginny said...

Your early marriage must have been wonderfully delicious!!! What priceless teaching!!! Do you still make any more of the dishes she taught you? Is she gone now? I would imagine so...


I love the story behind this one ... and glad you got a little time out.


Anonymous said...

this isn't a polish dish by this name (although poles might eat something similar), it's a slovak dish known as halušky.

it's delicious and my slovak grandmother and dad used to make this all the time (especially during Lent as a meatless dish)!

thanks for posting!

a proud slovak american

Related Posts with Thumbnails