Monday, January 28, 2008

Spaetzle love

After Tim came back from Berlin, he was obsessed with having spaetzle (an egg dumpling like noodle dish from southern Germany). But how are we supposed to make it without a spaetzle maker?! With a little innovation and effort of course!

Spaetzle is basically a doughy mixture of eggs, flour and milk which you then push through a colander/spaetzle maker/slotted spoon into boiling water. After reading some people's disastrous results with the colander, we decided to improvise and use our flat grater and just spoon the mixture on top and push the dough through with a rubber spatula.
Doesn't the spaetzle maker (right) look like a grater with a cup on top?

We used the recipe from Epicurious. It took about 4 to 5 batches before we got through all of the dough. It was a little difficult not to let the dough drip over the sides of the grater (I suppose this is where the cup of the spaetzle maker comes in handy) but it was worth it in the end! We browned some butter with sage and grated a bit of emmenthaler to go on top and sauteed some spinach as a side. Yum!

Spaetzle in Brown Butter & Sage (modified from Epicurious)

3/4 cup cold whole milk
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
fresh sage - chopped (amount is up to you)
grated cheese (any kind you like - we used emmenthaler)

Combine milk, eggs, salt and nutmeg in processor; blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add flour and blend until batter is just smooth, about 30 seconds (batter will be very thick and sticky).

Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Working in batches, pour batter through flat grater held above boiling water, pressing with rubber spatula to form strands. Stir gently to prevent sticking. Simmer until spaetzle float to surface, then continue cooking 1 minute longer. Make sure that spaetzle stay in water for too long, otherwise it will turn mushy. Using slotted spoon, transfer spaetzle to large buttered baking dish

Cook 1/4 cup butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Throw in chopped fresh sage and cook for 1 minute longer. Pour brown butter sage mixture over spaetzle. Toss. Top with freshly grated cheese, salt & pepper to taste. Toss.



Vivian said...

Where did you purchase the Spaetzle maker? Any shops in the city, esp. in the downtown area?

Little Lunchbox said...

Hi Vivian,

I didn't use a Spaetzle maker - I used our flat grater instead and just spooned the mixture on top since the Spaetzle maker kind of looks like a flat grater anyway with a cup attachment on top.

Bowery Kitchen Supplies has a Spaetzle maker that looks kind of like a colander that fits over top of the pot for $20.
They used to be on the Bowery, but have now moved to Chelsea Market.

If you can modify something (flat grater, colander, ricer, etc.) that you have to be a Spaetzle maker, I would recommend that, since I don't know how often one makes Spaetzle anyway to justify a purchase of a specialized maker.

Hope this info helps!