I just recently got around to posting a traditional recipe that I made months ago for chicken schnitzel, one of my all-time favorite simple dishes. I was inspired to finally make it when I found a package of spaetzle pasta at the grocery store. I wish I’d had this recipe at the time, as an all-around home-cooked meal would have been so much more satisfying. Unfortunately, Food Network Magazine didn’t think to publish it until their October issue as part of a menu for Oktoberfest. I’m not complaining too much though. The spaetzle were fun to make and went perfectly with the pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin with plum chutney that I served them with.
If you don’t know spaetzle, you should. I’m no expert, but from what I can tell it’s a quick form of pasta that’s made with a few more ingredients that the traditional version and resembles a bit more like dumplings as they’re flash-boiled while the batter is still rather liquid. The result is something chewy and eggy that’s even better when sautéed in a little butter right before serving. I think this would be a great recipe to make with kids, but whatever you do make sure you have an extra set of hands around the kitchen: the spaetzle cook very quickly and getting them through your colander can be a real bit of work!
Recipe from Food Network Magazine, October 2012
Ingredients (serves 8, prepare for leftovers!):
3 C flour
Pinch of nutmeg
1 C sour cream
1 C seltzer water
1/3 C chopped herbs (I used parsley)
1 T mustard
2 T olive oil
4 T butter
Salt and pepper
Combine the flour, 2 t of salt and a pinch of pepper, and the nutmeg in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the sour cream, eggs, seltzer, mustard and herbs together before adding this mixture to the flour. Stir to combine.
Heat some water in a saucepan until it begins to simmer. Add in a pinch of salt. Prepare an ice bath for the finished spaetzle, and the fun begins. Hold a colander over the simmering water. Place about a cup’s worth of batter into your colander and push it through the holes into the water. Try to work fast: each batch of spaetzle will cook fast (once it rises to the surface after a couple of minutes, leave it about one minute longer) so you need to try and get as much in at the same time as possible. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath. Repeat as many times as necessary.
As your ice bath fills up, remove the spaetzle and either let them dry on a bed of paper towels or pass them through another colander. Once fairly dry, place in a storage container and toss with a bit of olive oil until you’re ready to eat. I highly recommend sautéing them just before eating. Heat a bit of butter and a little bit of olive oil over medium high heat and throw the spaetzle in. Don’t stir too much, just let them crisp up for about 3-5 minutes, then serve immediately.