This morning we decided to do something special, something very Slovak. With this post I would like to introduce you to a great meal and also to the Slovak “miracle”, bryndza. Bryndza is an EU-trademarked Slovak ricotta-type sheep cheese. Recently it went through thorough tests and the health benefits were surprising. Bryndza apparently helps to lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure; it contains 20 types of probiotics in huge quantities (yogurt only has 1-2), vitamins B complex, and almost three times as much calcium as cow’s milk. It is a boost for your immune system. The only problem is that you have to get the unpasteurized version, since the pasteurized version is almost useless. Try not to buy it in supermarkets, because those are pasteurized and mixed with cow cheese.
So this morning we went to the market and bought some bryndza, together with some sheep cheese and mangalica bacon. As you can see the products from our favorite stand were approved by our little Celtic princess (she is Celtic because sometimes she behaves like a barbarian, but she is my princess after all). My theory is that if you get rich food into you, it should be worth it. Bryndzove halusky is definitely worth it.
I have to admit I found this recipe on the internet when I was researching the various ways to make bryndzové halušky. I liked this one because it is almost identical to my mum’s and I loved its name and how was the recipe written. This recipe is “Bryndzové halušky according to Juraj the shepherd”. The bryndza can be replaced with any crumbly sheep cheese. You can add more or less bryndza depending on how sharp you like it.
Making the halušky requires a special tool – a halušky maker (like a colander with extra-large holes). A colander, or even a grater with large holes can be a decent substitute. If you don’t have any of the above, buy packaged gnocchi (cut them in half) or spaetzle and cook them as directed.
Makes 3 portions or 4 as a side dish.
- 3 medium potatoes to make approximately 2 cups when finely grated
- same amount of flour as potatoes (about 2 cups)
- 1tsp salt
- 4 ounces or more bryndza
- 1 or more strip of bacon per person
- Grate the potatoes, and add the flour, salt. You shoould get a goopy dough. That’s ok.
- Set a large pot of water to boil. When it has come to a boil, using a rubber spatula or board scraper (or the scraper that came with your halušky maker), quickly press the dough through the holes of the halušky maker/colander/grater into the water, scraping back and forth until all the dough has gone through. When the halušky float to the surface, in 2-3 minutes, they are ready. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water.
- In a small bowl, add the cooking water to the bryndza and mix well. Add it to the halusky.
- Fry the bacon until the fat is rendered. Add some of the fat to the halušky and top them with the crumbled bacon.