~ Hungarian Galuska (Small Soft Eggy Dumplings) ~
Raise your hand if you love doughy, hand-crafted noodles and dumplings. Among my favorites: flat and square Pennsylvania Deutsch pot pie noodles, odd-shaped short strands of German spatzle, my mom's almost-golf-ball-sized Russian halusky, small and nubby Italian gnocchi, and, I'm about to add these Hungarian galuska to this list (very, very similar to spatzle, galuska, a bit more "bare bones", are typically made with water, not milk, and contain no nutmeg).
If you want to dabble in putting some authentic Hungarian fare on your family's table, which I have been doing this week, I highly-recommend you start by learning how to make galuska (gah-loosh-ka). It has been said, "if you can't make galuska, you can't cook Hungarian" and here's why: Since soups and stews are at the heart of Hungarian cuisine, the Hungarians take their noodles and dumplings very seriously. While it is perfectly acceptable to serve many of their soups and stews with potatoes or rice, the Hungarians don't feel you are doing them proper justice unless you're serving them with their galuska -- which are quite easy to make!
Hungarian cooking is simple and straightforward. With bread crumbs, butter, caraway seeds, onions, paprika, sour cream and tomatoes in your kitchen, you're set to cook all sorts of Hungarian fare. You'll need no special equipment, but, a potato ricer is sure handy, and, one inexpensive ($10-$15) time-saving device, a spatzle maker, makes short work of making galuska.
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3 large eggs, well beaten
3/4-1 cup water
~ Step 1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt and set aside. In a 1-cup measuring container, using a fork, vigorously beat the eggs.
~ Step 3. Continue to stir and incorporate the rest of the egg mixture into the flour. When all of the egg mixture has been incorporated, begin slowly adding the rest of the water, in small amounts, stirring constantly until a gooey mess forms. Do not be inclined to add any more flour.
Ideally, you want a soft, sticky, cohesive mass of dough with an elastic texture that forms holes in itself (it tears) when lifted up on a large spoon (perhaps the photo below will explain this better).
Set the gooey mess aside for about 15 minutes.
Note: If you do not have a wide-bottomed 4-quart stockpot, bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in a standard-sized 8-quart stockpot. The spatzle maker is designed to sit perfectly on top of any 10"-bottomed pot without sliding.
~ Step 5. Spoon some of the gooey mess into the trough of the spatzle maker, filling it to about 3/4 capacity. Immediately begin slowly sliding it back and forth allowing the galuska to drop down into the boiling water. Repeat this process 2 more times until all of the galuska are in the boiling water.
~ Step 8. Add 6 tablespoons salted butter to the still hot stockpot, return the hot galuska to the stockpot and place the pot back on the still warm stovetop. Gently stir until the galuska are coated in and have soaked up all of the butter.
Serve with or in Hungarian soups & stews or as a side-dish to a meal:
Special Equipment List: 2, 1-cup measuring containers; fork; large spoon; 4-quart wide-bottomed stockpot; spatzle maker; colander
Cook's Note: Another one of my favorite Hungarian recipes, which is outstanding on its own, ~ Gizella's Hungarian Potato Soup (Krumpli Leves) ~ is even more decadent w/galuska stirred into it. Just click into Categories 2, 12 or 20 to get the recipe!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)