When we visited the Republic of Czech on our romp through Europe we made a stop in Prague. If you are ever in Prague get to the city’s main square and find a halusky vendor. You will not be disappointed; we sure weren’t, going back for a second helping. Halusky, like many Eastern European dishes, differs based on which country/region you are in. Some people on the internet serve it with egg noodles despite the name meaning potato dumplings. The constant among all versions is always cabbage/onions/cheese.
Here is my attempt at this simple dish, but you have a lot of leeway in your cheese selection and which dumplings you prefer. I wanted to lighten the dish up with some pillowy potato gnocchi and try to get the gnocchi technique down. After much research I learned that eggs make a thicker texture and obviously you want the least amount of flour possible. With that knowledge I settled on Paula Wolfert’s recipe. It turned out OK. I don’t have a ricer so chose to use a masher, but this squishes a lot of air out and works the potatoes too much. I will try again with a box grater in the future.
Potato dumpling of choice made from approx. 1 lb of baked and peeled potatoes (approx. 2 lb at the store)
8 oz. of goat or sheep cheese (I used a delicious honey chevre log from Trader Joe’s)
1 onion sliced
1/2 lb of bacon lardons
as much green cabbage as you like (at least 8 oz.), slivered
Render your bacon fat at medium low heat in a few tbsp of water and then crisp them to desired texture before removing pieces with slotted spoon. Add onions to bacon fat and brown for 10 minutes at medium heat before adding cabbage and cooking for another 5 minutes. Add dumplings and then break up cheese before adding to pot and stirring to melt over all contents. Finally stir in crisped bacon.
Not much to say here, follow this recipe up until the searing step. Now use the two step battering procedure from here. You may wish to skip the salt in the batter since you dry brined the pork chops already. Fry each side in a skillet with enough oil to cover about half of the chop for about a minute or until brown and crisp.
Up to this point the entire meal is thematically Eastern European. But I had some left over fish sauce vinaigrette and drizzled it over the fried pork chops. Either way these chops were magnificent, moist on the inside with a thin, crispy outside. The halusky flavors were spot on IMO, but I put too much mediocre potato gnocchi. The amount of dumpling above is modified to what I would used next time.