(German meat-filled pasta dumplings)
Maultaschen are a Swabian specialty from southwestern Germany. The word means "mouth pockets," and they are akin to Italian ravioli, Chinese wontons and Jewish kreplach.
4 to 6 servings
- Spinach, fresh or frozen -- 1 pound
- Butter or oil -- 2 tablespoons
- Onion, minced -- 1/2
- Ground beef -- 1 cup
- Good quality bread, soaked in milk or water -- 3 or 4 slices
- Eggs, beaten -- 3 or 4
- Nutmeg -- 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper -- to taste
- Wonton wrappers, square or round -- 1 package
- Egg, beaten with a little water -- 1
- If using fresh spinach, bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop in the spinach and blanch for 1 or 2 minutes. Drain the spinach in a colander and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Then chop finely. If using frozen spinach, simply thaw, squeeze out the liquid in a colander and chop finely.
- Heat the butter or oil in a saute pan over medium heat and saute the onions until translucent. Add the ground beef and saute until just cooked through, breaking it up as it cooks. Drain any excess oil and allow to cool.
- Mix the spinach and ground beef mixture together in a large bowl. Drain the bread and squeeze it dry. Crumble the bread into the bowl and add the eggs, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix or knead the filling to form a paste.
- Place 1 or 2 teaspoons of the filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper, moisten the edges with a little of the egg-water mixture. Fold the wrapper in two and press down on the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers, laying them on a baking sheet as they are finished.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the finished maultaschen and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and serve topped with bread crumbs toasted in melted butter or in a bowl with a little beef or chicken broth.
- Kräutermaultaschen (Herb maultaschen): Substitute 1 bunch minced parsley and 1 bunch minced chives or scallions for half the spinach.
- Wonton wrappers are the easiest way to make Maultaschen, but if you want to make your own wrappers here is a recipe:
- 4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup water
- Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add the eggs and water.
- Mix the eggs and water into the flour with a fork. When incorporated, use floured hands to bring the dough together and knead it untill smooth. Set aside to rest for 20-30 minutes.
- Roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thick on a floured surface and cut into squares or circles. Proceed with recipe.
- Use different types of bread slices for different flavors: rye, whole wheat. Germans often use stale rolls (Semmeln).
- Substitute ground chicken or lamb for the ground beef. Add a little minced ham or sausages for extra flavor.