Saturday, February 4, 2012


This week I decided to make Spaetzle, just for fun! I mentioned it when we were planning dinners for the week & Justin veto-ed it, thinking it would be too complex, but I couldn't get it off my mind.

Spaetzle is a German side dish, like an eggy noodle with very irregular shapes. We tried it on our last anniversary at a German restaurant & I loved it... although I wonder how much of that had to do with the delicious gravy that topped it?

I'd been eyeing this recipe for a while and decided to make a half batch of that along with this gravy recipe. It was pretty easy to make - you mix the dough ahead of time, chill it for at least an hour, and then push it through the holes of a colander into a boiling pot of water (I didn't have any problems with the steam). Let it boil 2-3 minutes and then remove the noodles into an ice bath, drain & eat.

Spaetzle, wet

I did, however, end up with *very* wet, soft noodles. Not a far cry from scrambled eggs. I tried some with the gravy (which was very good) and decided they definitely needed some of the pan-frying she mentions to stiffen them up a bit. It took a long time for my soggy noodles to brown up but it did improve the texture. (Still not quite right though)

Spaetzle, pan-fried

There were a couple of small goofs that I made that might have caused the problems - 1) I let my batter sit an hour but forgot to actually chill it. I think this would have made the dough stiffer going into the water & I'm sure the finished product would also be a little different. 2) I let the ice bath warm up too much. I should have added more ice along the way because the noodles warmed it up a lot. As I was removing the noodles I noticed the water was not cold at all anymore, so they were probably overcooked (not as firm). 3) I think the water level was too high, too close to the bottom of the colander. This did not give the noodles far to fall, which is why I think I ended up with little balls rather than longer shapes.

Next time I'll make sure to fix those and also think I'll use a different recipe with less eggs. In the recipe she mentioned trying two versions - a more traditional recipe and one with more eggs - and that she liked the egg version better. Since this reminded me too much of scrabbled eggs I'd like to go the more traditional route. I may just follow the ratios posted with the gravy recipe, or maybe I'll see what Martha has to offer.

Have you ever had Spaetzle? Ever considered making it?

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