Friday, June 15, 2012

Buttered Spaetzle

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Spaetzle or "little sparrow" is a western European dish that I came to know just last year. My German friend Phillippe introduced me to this dish when he made this buttered spaetzle dish for a Thanksgiving party we were both going to attend. He and his girlfriend who was on holiday in the US to visit him bought a spatzle maker in one of the specialty cooking and baking stores in the mall at Bozeman. I was familiar with gnocchi so they told me it is quite similar but is usually cut a bit smaller due to the way it was formed. Also, spatzle is made with flour and not potato which is what gnocchi is basically made of. 

The dough is quite simple to make and the recipe I used came from Tyler Florence. The issue I had to deal with is that I have no colander with large holes to use in lieu of a spatzle maker. I tried using a box grater but it came out disastrously. I finally opted to cutting it into smaller portions like I would a gnocchi. I had to cook them a bit longer in the water but they eventually came out soft enough that my nephew actually loved it. I was a bit more critical obviously but the overall dish was indeed tasty.

Spaetzle - Adapted*

1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten 
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup milk 
2 large eggs

White  Sauce:

1 stick butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp nutmeg

1. Combine the eggs and milk and beat until well mixed. Set aside. 

2. Combine the flour and white pepper and salt. Make a well and add the egg 
    and milk mixture. Combine well with your fingers until a dough is formed. 
    Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.

3. Boil a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and keep 
    at a simmer.

4. Once the dough has rested, transfer to a floured surface and cut into small
    pieces about the size of a dime. Drop into the simmering water one at a 

5. Once the spaetzle floats, they are cooked. Spoon them out and transfer 
    into an ice bath. 

6. In a large pan, make the sauce by melting the butter in the pan over 
    medium heat. Add the flour and mix until incorporated. 

7. Add the milk and mix well until there are no lumps and the sauce is 
    smooth. Season with the nutmeg, salt and the thyme.

8. Add the shocked spaetzle from the ice bath and cook until the sauce has 
    thickened. Serve with goulash as the main dish.

*Florence, Tyler, Food Network Channels, Food 911: Mother-in-Law Dumplings episode. 

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