Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Spaetzle



I love these German noodles! They are delicious and I order them with every meal I have at Kurt’s, our favorite German restaurant. When the Oktoberfest Challenge presented, I knew I had to at least TRY to make these. This recipe is my fourth attempt, having tried several recipes and techniques! I nearly gave up! I posted notes on Kurt’s facebook page begging for lessons! In fact, I started writing out chapter outlines for the book I surely had to write about this cooking journey.

  • Chapter 1: Bright-eyed, naive lady whips up some spaetzle batter! 
  • Chapter 2: Sweaty, 1st degree burned lady scrubs colander for 3 hours to remove 3 spaetzle servings (out of 6) that cooked onto the colander rather than drop into the simmering water. 
  • Chapter 3: Trip to Bed Bath & Beyond for spaetzle machine
  • Chapter 4: Still optimistic cook picks up Chinese food (General Tsao’s Chicken) on the way home from purchasing the spaetzle machine... just in case. 

I am so glad I didn’t give up and that my book has a happy ending! I decided to check amazon.com to find the best selling German cookbook in the United States. Hands down it’s The German Cookbook by Mimi Sheraton. Lucky for me, my friend Lauri Polunsky found the recipe for Mimi’s spaetzle online because although I have ordered The German Cookbook, it wasn’t going to make it’s appearance here in the Simmons’ household by the time this recipe needed to go to print.

One last bit of information. Do you know how to pronounce spaetzle? We’ve been saying SPAT-zul since we started eating it. My Dad called me over the weekend to see what I was up to and I told him I was cooking up some SPAT-zul. He said, you mean SHPAYT-zu-leh? I said, Dad is that how you say it? And then he told me all about their trip to Austria and how all they ate the entire trip was wienerschnitzel and spaetzle and that’s how all the waiters pronounce it. Ok then! Dad’s visiting me in November and I’ll be making these for him then. I’ll be sure to let you know if they get the thumbs up.

One thing is for sure, however you pronounce it, they got the thumbs up here. I made a batch for 6 and put it in the refrigerator to serve later with a meal. They never made it!

Spaetzle
by Sandra Simmons
adapted from this recipe from The German Cookbook


2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, well beaten
3/4 cup to 1 cup water
1-2 Tablespoons butter
1-2 Tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2-3 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated (optional)

Boil a large pot of salted water. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to maintain a rapid simmer but not a full boil.

Combine the first two ingredients with a whisk. Add the beaten egg and ¾ cup water and mix well. You may need to add up to another ¼ cup of water to the batter. I did. You are looking for the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

Fill your spaetzle maker with your batter and hook it onto the pot of water. Slide the dough container back and forth until your dough holder is emptied and your spaetzle are cooking in the pot.

You only need to cook the spaetzle for about 3 minutes! Then empty the contents of the pot into a strainer and rinse the spaetzle with cold water. Shake the colander well to get the extra water out and then pour the spaetzle into a dish with a bowl inverted in the center to help further drain them. 


I went a bit overboard here and inverted TWO bowls! Not necessary!

At this point you can toss with a little peanut or vegetable oil and refrigerate them until you are ready to serve or you can continue on as follows.

Melt 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan or sauté pan. When the butter is melted, add the spaetzle and either cook them in the butter until they are just warm or you can cook them a bit longer until some of the spaetzle has a crust. If you choose the second method, once you pour the spaetzle into the butter, do not stir them for several minutes.

Put the buttered spaetzle in a dish and top with chopped flat-leaf parsley. You can also add a few sprinkles of Parmesan cheese if you want. These go really well with some wiener schnitzel and red cabbage! My husband loves them with Jagerschnitzel which has a wonderful mushroom gravy. The recipe I saw online also suggests serving with pea, lentil, or tomato soups.

8 comments:

  1. YAY for perseverance! I am looking forward to trying this recipe, I love green beans with garlic butter and spaetzle!

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    1. Yum!!! My advice...get a spaetzle maker!!!

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  2. my Omi from northern Germany always pronounced is schpeh-tzl. and now i really want to register for that spaetzle maker!

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    1. I have heard it that way too! I have listened to German videos and everything! They all seem to have their own way of saying it! All I know is...I want some more!

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  3. Sandra, I love the way you always put 100% into your cooking projects and stories. Love the background story and the picture is beautiful. You know I want to make this and I guess a Spaetzle Maker will be on my wish list for Christmas.

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  4. Great Adventure...... wish I would have gotten a recipe to you sooner but it looks as if your recipe did the trick! The pronunciation is no different then the whole tomato to-mato and potato po-tato that we wrestle here between the north and the south ... it varies on the region and dialect.
    Enjoyed your blog as well!

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    1. Thanks so much! And thanks for the lesson on the pronunciation! I got a call from a friend of ours who told me just that! His name is Al and he and his wife Carolyn are the ones who brought us to your restaurant the first time. When we come again, we'll be sure to say hello! Is this Kurt? Or Vreny?

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