Do you have that go-to meal that you always had growing up? The one your mom or dad could toss together with leftovers or whatever was in the fridge and it was always so good – true comfort food? Maybe your mom or dad even invented said recipe. Sort of like my mom’s famous Haluska. OK, my mom did not invent Haluska. But she did come up with her own (dairy free!) version of the recipe.
Our Mom (intern) always calls herself a “slap-dash cook.” What I think this means is that she follows recipes, but only loosely. If she doesn’t have an ingredient, she’ll substitute. And if a recipe calls for a pricey obscure ingredient, she’ll make do with something she has. If a recipe has a step that takes a lot of time, she’ll figure out a shortcut. Our mom cooked dinner for 6 people every single night, so slap-dash is what worked for our family. I think its safe to say that her slap-dash version of Haluska is a family favorite, and now one of my go-to meals.
The original recipe for haluska calls for lots of butter and sour cream. This version is actually dairy free which was fortuitous since one of its biggest fans would later develop a serious dairy allergy.
Now I realize that just two paragraphs ago I was complaining about obscure ingredients and all the while this recipe calls for Kluski noodles. Where we grew up in Western PA, Polish kluski noodles are not considered obscure and are largely available. Outside of Western PA you can find them in larger grocery stores if you look hard enough. When I lived in MA, however, we couldn’t find them anywhere. Lucky for you Bay Staters, you have me. Here they are!
I hope by now you have added Haluksa to your menu, kluski noodles to your shopping list and the term slap-dash to your vocabulary.
Haluska is a perfect meal on a budget. There are only a few ingredients that go into this hearty meal and the leftovers only get better!
- 1 pkg kluski noodles
- 1 small head cabbage, core removed and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 c ham, chopped
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/8 t pepper
- 2 T olive oil (or butter)
Prepare noodles per package instructions in boiling, salted water. Once cooked, reserve 1/2 c pasta water.
While the noodles cook, heat 2 T olive oil (or butter) in large stock pot until hot. Add onion and cabbage and S&P and sauté for 8-10 minutes until tender crisp. Add ham and cook 5 minutes longer.
Add noodles and season with salt and pepper. Add pasta water 1/4 c at a time if desired (optional).