Wednesday, February 28, 2007


My Dad and I were left to our own devices on Sunday, my brother-in-law cooked some interesting Chinese dishes, and then took them and his wife away to eat at friends of theirs. I don't hold it against them, I'm just pointing out that this situation allowed me to make something that I had been wanting to for a long while. I remember long ago, one vacation up north, eating at a restaurant that served some German-style cooking. And the dish I ordered had homemade spaetzle, which was delicious, and it stuck in the back of my mind for years, until I came across a recipe that seemed to duplicate the spaetzle of that day. The book is called Step by Step German Cooking. Normally when we make spaetzle, it is store-bought dried noodles, tasty enough, but nothing like freshly made noodles. The dough is very easy to assemble. What I would change for future times that I make this, is to cut each piece much smaller. Each spaetzle swells in size, so these turned out quite large. They too seemed a little heavy, in other words, dense. But tasty and worth making again. We made it with rouladen, or beef rollups, my Dad likes them plain, mine had bacon slices in it.

From Step by Step German Cooking
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 to 2/3 cup water

Set at least four cups of water on to boil. When boiling, add a small handful of salt and reduce temperature.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the beaten egg.

Stir the egg with a spoon, gradually incorporating the flour. At the same time, gradually begin adding the water until the batter is stiff but smooth. If you add too much water, the dough will be sticky, add a little flour and gently knead in.

Spread the dough flat on a floured cutting board, and, with a sharp knife, cut off small pieces of dough. Drop dough pieces into salted boiling water. Cook only a few pieces at a time. The dough will sink at first, then rise to the surface as it cooks. You can encourage them with a spoon if they do not rise to the surface.

Gently boil the spaetzle for 5-8 minutes, or until the dough is completely cooked through to the center. Remove from water with slotted spoon and repeat with remaining dough pieces.

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