Grandma’s Spaetzle

By December 1, 2009Uncategorized

Next to Sauerkraut, the biggest staple at any of our German family gatherings has always been Spaetzle. Spaetzle is a pseudo- egg noodle/dumpling that’s been around since probably the beginning of time, although mention of it dates back to sometime in the 1700’s. It’s not a particularly pretty dish compared with other more intricate fare, but it will never fail to fill you up and comfort you over the long winter. Best yet, you can freeze it and thaw it on a weeknight when you’re strapped for time.

BASIC SPAETZLE

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-milk mixture. Gradually draw in the flour from the sides and combine well; the dough should be smooth and thick. Let the dough rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot, then reduce to a simmer. To form the spaetzle, hold a large holed colander or slotted spoon over the simmering water and push the dough through the holes with a spatula or spoon. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the spaetzle floats to the surface, stirring gently to prevent sticking. Dump the spaetzle into a colander and give it a quick rinse with cool water.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the spaetzle; tossing to coat. Cook the spaetzle for 1 to 2 minutes to give the noodles some color, and then sprinkle with the chopped chives and season with salt and pepper before serving.

Note: It’s important not to feel limited by your first impression and the basic recipe. Spaetzle is very versatile and adaptable, and just like any noodle dish, there are a lot of different variations and things you can make with Spaetzle. For more ideas, visit one of my daily reads The Kitchn.

{image via The Kitchn}