August 28, 2009
German Dumplings: Spätzle
Almost every culinary culture has some sort of dumpling. Koreans have our mandoo and soojaebi, the Chinese have, well, about six million different kinds of dumplings (=i love you), the Italians have their gnocchi, and Germans have their....spätzle??
I seriously didn't know what this was until this morning, as i was eating my Lemon Blueberry Muffin with coffee, and flipping through channels. By flipping through channels, i mean i was watching the Food Network. And one of the chefs was making some sort of dumpling with a funny name beginning with [ʃp]. With that consonant cluster, I was immediately sold. I had only caught the end of the show, so i didn't get to see how it was made or what it was, even. I turned to Wikipedia, and i found this.
Apparently, spätzle is a noodle/dumpling eaten around Germany, Austria, etc. You make the runny dough, then you drip it through over hot boiling water. Once it drops in there, you boil it for a few minutes, then fish it out and serve. Cool! I had to try it.
Ingredients (2 servings)
-1/4 to 1/3 water
-1 cup flour
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp chicken powder
-a few shakes of pepper
-a few shakes of any italian herbs (i used dried oregano)
1. First, i mixed the eggs and water. You don't need a picture of that. Moving on.
2. Then in a separate bowl, i mixed all the dry ingredients.
3. I slowly whisked in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
4. A loose dough begins to form. Mm, smells good already.
It should be the consistency of cake batter. If it's not runny enough, add more water. Too runny, add more flour.
5. Then, i brought a pot of water to boil, and then the creativity had to flow. I don't have a steamer insert for my pot, and my colander's got weird shaped holes. I needed something with large enough holes for the dough to fall through. Then i found my grater. My trusty purple $1 grater.
I turned the thing upside-down, then poured the dough right on top...
pressed it through with a rubber spatula...
and dripped the dough into the pot.
Excellent. Worked perfectly.
6. After a few minutes of boiling, i fished out the spätzle with a slotted spoon (which "can't hold much soup").
This is what it looks like in the pot after 3-4 minutes.
Then I served the hot and steamy spätzle on a serving plate.
Topped it with some grilled chicken.
The dish is 280 calories a serving without the chicken, and you can easily add some grilled chicken and have a 350 calorie meal.
I loved the texture of the little funny-shaped dumplings, which just take that form as they hit the hot, boiling water. I'm absolutely in love with it! Try some tonight!
Edit: a German buddy of mine found this video of spätzle (or spaetzle) being made the traditional way. super neat to watch!