We got so many inquiries relating to the Spätzle we made a week or so ago during our Hurricane Ernesto cooking day that we decided to do a video going thru the whole process, and also to show you how to make a traditional Oktoberfest variation on the dish, käsespätzle which is essentially the German take on Mac and Cheese. I can assure you that its totally worth making and it’s one of the best mac and cheese dishes you’ve ever head. Plus it goes really good with sausages and beer.
Here is the basic recipe:
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1-2 Cups of Quark Cheese (if you don’t have Quark, use 1/2 Swiss, Gouda, Emmentaler, or Gruyere combined with 1/4 of sharp grating cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana and 1/4 creamy/runny cheese like Brie. I’ve been told Quark is like a creamy cottage cheese, so perhaps some Marscapone and Ricotta mixture combined with the other cheeses for flavor.)
2 Onions or one large one
1 Bunch of Chives
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below to see step by step instructions and photos.
Finely chop up your chives.
Grate your cheese. Here we’ve used Gouda, Parmigiano and also some domestic Brie which we have simply chopped up and mixed up with the rest of the cheese.
Thinly slice the onions and cook in fat (butter, olive oil, or even better rendered bacon grease or lard) on medium heat in a saute pan to caramelize.
Stir together the flour and salt. Combine eggs and milk; stir into the flour mixture. Pour the batter into your Spatzle press or Potato Ricer and place it on the lip of a large saucepan or pot (with a diameter of at least 20 cm or 8 in) of boiling, salted water. Turn push down the lever with one hand, keeping the press gently in place with the other.
Take care to let the extruded pieces of dough (the Spätzle) fall into the slightly bubbling water and let them cook for approximately 2-3 minutes. Generally, Spätzle swimming on the surface are sufficiently cooked and may be gathered with a large slotted spoon, drained and placed into a casserole dish.
After removing each layer of noodles from the pot and into the casserole dish, layer a bit of the caramelized onions, cheese, chives and dust with salt and pepper. Repeat until you’ve cooked all the noodles and made multiple layers. Bake casserole at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
I know, its a English stout type beer and not a German lager or a Weissbier. But dark beer is perfectly acceptable with Oktoberfest food, and I didn’t have any German beer in-house.
For those of you who think this plate of food is too beige, I will state for the record that Rachel cooked up some green beans, but I refused to photograph them on the grounds that the Germans would be perfectly happy with the above plate.