How exciting is spätzle? Why it's, uh, well... spätzle are German egg dumplings that are a welcome side to many stews, roasts like sauerbraten, and even swedish meatballs. And that is good enough. It has a role and fills it well. What more can you ask from any dish?
I like to use milk rather than water for a richer taste. I also add a bit of Dijon mustard for a little flavor enhancement. Traditionally, spätzle are made with a spätzle maker, but I don't have one. I have heard of people using colanders or food mills, but the easiest method for me is to use a large-holed, slotted spoon. I place a small amount on the spoon and use a separate spoon or spatula to force the batter through the holes into the hot liquid. This allows me to work with just a little of the batter at a time. The spätzle cook very quickly and if over cooked become dense and chewy. So keep a close eye on them.
Once cooked, they can be pan fried in a little butter until the edges are browned and crisp, but I like to keep it simple and enjoy their delicate texture with just a drizzle of melted butter and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Sunday Dinner two years ago
Sunday Dinner one year ago
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and mustard. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, beating well with a wooden spoon to create a fairly elastic batter; set aside.
In a large saucepan, bring the water and stock to a simmer. Using a spätzle maker, a colander with large holes, or a large slotted spoon, drop small bits of the batter into the hot liquid. As soon as the spätzle float to the surface, lift them with a slotted spoon or strainer and transfer them to a serving dish. They should be delicate and light, although slightly chewy. If they are too heavy and dense, add a few more drops of milk to the remaining batter before continuing.
Once all of the spätzle have cooked, drizzle them with the melted butter and sprinkle with the parsley. Enjoy!
Source: Adapted from the Joy of Cooking, 1997