Given my Eastern European heritage, I love me some potato dumplings and not to my surprise, Edie does too. I first gave her this dish to try when she was just 9 months old and she gobbled it up. First enjoying it without the sheep's milk cheese, I eased her into the full rendition of this dish a few months later. Once again, it was a clear winner but I left out the bacon for the time being, and had to finish it myself. While these dumplings can be a little time intensive, the work is totally worth it when you see your little one devouring them.
Halusky (or spaetzle) with sheep's milk cheese
Ingredients (Serves 5)
4 large new potatoes, peeled and grated
2 cups of flour (or if you need more or less, eyeball it)
Pinch of salt and pepper
2 - 3 tbsp of butter
1 block of bryndza cheese or sheep's milk cheese (you can get this at your local supermarket such as Whole Foods or New Seasons. I recommend going with MitiCrema)
Grate all the potatoes into a medium bowl until they have a smooth consistency. Make sure that you use the denser side of the grater - the one with the small holes.
Place the egg into the potato mixture and mix well with a fork, but do not overmix. Add the flour and really pay attention to the consistency of the mixture. In the end, you want it to be somewhat firm but still soft enough that it can pass through a vegetable grater - this time on the side with the bigger holes.
Fill a medium sized pot with water, add salt and set it to boil. Place the vegetable grater over the boiling water and put the halusky batter that you just made into it. Take a spoon and with a back and forth motion, let the halusky batter pass through the grater holes and into the boiling water. Hint - use the back (or the flat part of the spoon) to do this effectively. Use all of the batter but don't do it at once - instead, separate the batter into small batches.
Once you're done with all of the batter, you'll see that within minutes it floats to the top of the pot and is instantly ready! It's like making gnocchi - very fast! Now, you're ready to drain the halusky but do not pour cold water over them.
Melt butter in a medium sized pot or pan. Add the halusky and mix for a couple of minutes until well incorporated. Make sure you watch them carefully so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. Then crumble the bryndza cheese over the halusky and mix together until the cheese melts. After you stir this around a bit and add a sprinkling of pepper, your halusky are done and you're ready!
Easy to eat - I love eating halusky with my hands; no help from grown-ups needed!
Big kid food - It's fun to eat these together with mama and dada
Filling - After a small bowl of these and I'm "all done"
Cheap ingredients - All you basically need is 5 ingredients that you can get anywhere (and you may already have them on-hand)
A little goes a long way - As Edie already pointed out, a small portion of these will fill you right up; especially if you add more protein on top
Communal meal - Great for sharing with friends and loved ones. Have a halusky party like we did!