Spaetzle (spay-tsul) are really just German pasta - little chewy dumplings that can be used in soup or just as you would pasta. Add cheese sauce or simply toss with grated cheese and a little butter. Or serve with a tomato sauce. Or mix in sauteed shallots and blanched swiss chard and blue cheese like I did yesterday. Or saute some cabbage and onion in a little bacon fat and add that to the spaetzle. Or just serve plain, with a little butter, right next to some weiner schnitzel and red cabbage. The possibilities are endless.
Once you have a pot of water boiling, you can make spaetzle just as fast as boxed mac and cheese. Once I remove the cooked dumplings, I still have a pot of boiling water. That is a good opportunity to blanch a few vegetables that you might have around. You can use those with your spaetzle or save for another dish. Energy saver. I like that.
You can buy a perfectly fine spaetzle maker for about ten bucks. Here is a link if you want to look online for one. http://www.google.com/products/catalog?oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&q=spaetzle+maker&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=2158974972886390990&ei=mkDATJ7vGoennQfT9tWHCg&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDMQ8wIwAQ#
All you need is flour (I used a white whole wheat flour today), eggs, a little salt and a little milk. I also like to add a pinch of nutmeg. For two cups of spaetzle you will need:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. nutmeg (optional)
Beat eggs. Add milk and salt and nutmeg if desired. Stir in flour thoroughly. Dough will be soft and wet. Scrape into a spaetzle maker. Cook spaetzle in gently boiling water. They will rise to the top when done - I like to cook an extra minute or two afer they rise. If you have a big pot you can cook this amount of dough at one time. Scoop cooked dumplings out of the water with a slotted spoon or strainer. Put spaetzle into a bowl or pan with just a teaspoon of butter or oil to prevent sticking. Use right away or refrigerate until needed.
Here are pictures of the steps I follow:
|You don't need much equipment to make spaetzle|
Scraping wet dough into spaetzle maker, It can rest on the top of the pot.
|I'm only holding this high so you can see what magic happens underneath the spaetzle maker when you slide the little box back and forth|
|See how fast the dumplings rise to the top?|
|I added some blanched sliced chard leaves, sauteed shallots and some blue cheese. This is going to be our lunch.|