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Bryndzove Halusky
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Recipe courtesy of Leah Brickley for Food Network Kitchen

Bryndzové Halušky

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
Bryndzové halušky is often considered the national dish of Slovakia: Imagine small and tender dumplings tossed in a creamy cheese sauce and topped with salty bacon. It’s made with bryndza, a strong sheep’s milk cheese. Since sourcing it outside of Europe may be difficult, we provide a feta-yogurt substitute that works great.



Special equipment:
a spaetzle maker, optional
  1. Add the bacon pieces to a large skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 6 minutes for slab bacon and 4 minutes for thick cut. Transfer the bacon and rendered fat to a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  
  3. Peel the potatoes and grate them on the small holes of a box grater over a large bowl (keep all the liquid). Add the flour, egg and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir to combine; the batter should be thick but pourable (like really thick pancake batter).
  4. Put the bryndza cheese (or feta-yogurt mixture) in a large serving bowl and set near the boiling water.  
  5. Set a spaetzle maker or colander over the boiling water (make sure the bottom is not touching the water; remove some water if you need to). Add about a third of the batter to the spaetzle maker and push through into the water according to the equipment instructions. Alternatively, use a rubber spatula to push the batter through the perforations of the colander into the water. Boil the dumplings until firm and tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with a large slotted spoon or spider, shaking off excess water, and drop them onto the cheese in the bowl. Continue with the rest of the batter, making sure the water is back at a rolling boil before each batch.  
  6. Toss to coat the hot dumplings with the cheese (it will look slightly like risotto). Spoon the bacon with the rendered fat over the dumplings and scatter the scallions on top, if using. Finish with the tiniest sprinkle of salt.   

Cook’s Note

Bryndza is a sheep’s milk cheese made mainly in Slovakia. It’s creamy and white and has a very strong flavor. Finding it outside of Europe may be difficult, but you can make a substitute by pureeing 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese with 1/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) in a food processor.