International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Spätzle

Spaetzle with Zwiebelrostbraten

(German egg dumplings)

Image Creative Commons by pixelfehler

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Spätzle (SHPEHT-sluh) is a simple egg dumpling popular in southwestern Germany and parts of Switzerland and Austria. It is served as a side dish, often with roast pork, sausages, schnitzel or goulash.

It is sometimes spelled Spaetzle. Other names are Spatzen, Spätzli and Knöpfle.

6 to 8 servings

Ingredients

  • Flour --3 cups
  • Salt -- 1 teaspoon
  • White pepper -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg (optional) -- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Eggs, beaten -- 3-4
  • Water or milk -- 1 cup

Method

  1. Sift the flour, salt, pepper and optional nutmeg together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl beat together the eggs and milk or water. Mix the egg mixture into the dry ingredients and beat well with a fork or whisk until smooth. Add a little more liquid or flour as needed to get a thick and elastic yet pourable consistency.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches of 1 to 1 1/2 cups at a time, pour the batter through a sieve or colander with large holes (about 1/8-1/4 inch) so small bits drop off into the boiling water. Let cook for about 1 minute, or until the spätzle noodles float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon to another bowl. Continue with the remaining batter until it is all used up.
  3. The finished noodles can be tossed with butter and some toasted breadcrumbs and served as a side dish.

Spätzle Variations

  • Another way to make the spätzle is to spread a thin layer of batter on a smooth cutting board and scrape pieces off into the boiling water with a knive. You can also use a spätzle press, a utensil that looks a lot like a potato ricer but with bigger holes.
  • Käsespätzle (Cheese spaetzle): Layer spätzle with shredded Emmenthaler cheese in a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350˚F until the cheese is melted, 15-20 minutes. Top with onions browned in butter, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
  • Kräuterspätzle (Herbed spaetzle): Mix a variety of chopped fresh herbs—parsley, thyme, marjoram—into the batter. Serve tossed with butter and sautéed onions.
  • Spinatspätzle (Spinach spaetzle): Blanch 1 pound of spinach and squeeze dry. Puree in a blender or food processor and use in place of the water or milk. You may have to add a little water to get the correct batter consistency. You can use frozen spinach if you like. Defrost and squeeze dry.
  • Pilzspätzle (Mushroom Spatzle): Toss the spätzle with sliced mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter.

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