First of all, spaetzle does not rhyme with pretzel. It’s pronounced as either the two-syllable “shpet zlah “or the three-syllable “shpet zel ah.”
Someone once called spaetzle “the noodle’s ugly cousin.” An egg noodle mini-dumpling-like in appearance, it can easily be made from scratch and then formed into spaetzle. They’re then dropped into boiling water, and when they surface, they’re done.
While there are various methods to form the spaetzle noodle, the best method is to actually buy a spaetzle maker or press. If you are a male reading this, you will immediately be excited because this will require the purchase of yet another tool. Now really. Does life get any better than that?
While spaetzle is very flavorful, its flavors won’t dominate the plate. It goes well with meats and gravies; it’s a great comfort food, and it’s good on its own topped with butter and sautéed onions. We especially love to serve it with Cornish game hens.
Spaetzle With Fresh Herbs
1/2 tspPepper white
1/2 tspNutmeg (freshly ground)
4 TbspAssorted herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
1/4 cup (optional)Mascarpone or small curd cottage cheese
COOKING THE SPAETZLE-
1/2Onion white medium
1 1/2 TbspEVOO
4 oz.Mushrooms chopped
3/8 (+) cupChicken broth
Enter Target Time _______________
Time: Make up to 3 hours before target time.
Begin making spaetzle by buttering a medium-sized metal mixing bowl. Apply cooking spray to the spaetzle maker.
Whisk eggs and milk together in large metal mixing bowl. Whisk in pepper, salt, and nutmeg.
Blend in flour forming soft batter. Mix in ½ of the herbs if using herbs.
Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes.
Bring salted water in the Dutch oven to a boil.
Working with 1/3 cup of batter, using rubber spatula press through the spaetzle maker directly into the boiling water in Dutch oven.
Stir and boil for 3 minutes (the ones that are done will rise to the top). Drain in colander, and transfer to buttered bowl. Cover and let stand (up to 3 hours).
Time: __________ (30 minutes prior to target time)
To cook spaetzle melt 2 Tbsp of the butter and 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add mushrooms and sauté for about 4 minutes.
Add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.
Add remaining 1 Tbsp butter, ½ Tbsp oil, and the spaetzle. Stir until it starts to brown (about 10 minutes).
Add chicken broth until absorbed. May add more if dry (will probably need to).
Mix in remaining herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Keep warm until served.
Note: Absolutely delicious when served with Cornish Game Hens.