Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Homemade German Spaetzle (My Dad's Recipe)

This stuff is soooo good.  We love getting it in restaurants in Germany, and love it when we're visiting my parents and my Dad makes it, but now I know I can make it at home!!  I'm so excited!!  After boiling the spaetzle, my Dad dries it for a bit and then cooks it in some oil to get some browned, crispy edges.  This is an authentic German recipe from an older German lady my Dad used to know- Frau Mohn.  It makes a TON!!!  (See below).
The picture above is what it looks like after boiling.  I'm kind of drying it out here.  I just let it sit out for a few hours, and then sauteed what we were eating that night in some oil (I threw in some butter too, just for good measure!)  I kept the rest in the fridge, and to heat it up, I just put it in an oiled non-stick skillet. 
The recipe calls for "frying" the noodles, but I would say I sauteed them- just used about a tablespoon of oil/butter, or so.  Some of them will be deliciously browned and crispy, but they don't turn hard.  These noodles are light and kind of chewy- they are so good!  We ate these with Beef Stroganoff and everyone LOVED it!  Beef Stroganoff is delicious on its own, but these noodles take it to a whole new level!!
My parents were kind enough to give me my own Spaeztle Press, and I'm so glad I finally got around to using it!!  It was so much easier than I thought it would be, and it was FUN!!  Lol.  You mix up a super-easy dough, let it sit for a few hours, and then press it through the press. 

The dough comes out like stringy worms and drops directly into salted, boiling water.  In about a minute, the noodles float to the top, you skim them out and lay them on a cutting board, and you're done!  Unless you decide to cook them later in some oil.  They are really good that way!  I think you can just eat them immediately though, if desired.  Like I mentioned before, I chose to only saute the noodles I was eating right away- I stuck the rest in the fridge and sauteed them as needed.
What to do with leftovers, if you have any?  I chose to make Mac & Cheese with them!!  I made the cheese sauce from this easy recipe, mixed it with the rest of my boiled spaetzle, and baked it!  We loved the Spaetzle Mac and Cheese.  (See bottom of the recipe for photo, below).

My Dad's Spaetzle
originally from Frau Mohn

5 1/2 cups flour (750 grams)
6 Tablespoons of dry Cream of Wheat cereal (wheat farina)
6 eggs
salt, about 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup milk
1/4- 1/2 cup water (add to desired consistency.  I did not need to use all of it because of my super humid climate)

1.  Mix everything (except water) until the batter comes together.  Add the water gradually, mixing until wet and sticky, and no traces of flour remain.  The dough will be very sticky and wet, but not too wet.  It should be quite soft, but not too loose.  You do not want it to fall apart when pressing through the press, but you don't want it to be super hard to press, either.  Think of this when mixing it up. 

2.  Let stand 1-2 hours.  I put it in the fridge for two hours, and removed it about 30 minutes before cooking, so it would come to room temperature and not be too stiff.  Run through a Spaetzleschwob (Spaetzle press) into salted, boiling water.  When the spaetzle rises to the surface, skim it off with a slotted spoon and set aside to dry on a board.  (I used my three largest cutting boards). 

3.  After it has dried (anywhere from 1 to 3 hours- it doesn't have to completely dry out here), saute it in a non-stick pan with a litte oil, until pieces are golden brown.  (Like my first photo, above).  I used 1-2 tablespoons of oil (and added a little butter, too) for a little over 1/3 of the spaetzle. 

4.  I stored un-sauteed leftovers in the fridge.  When ready to eat, saute cold spaetzle in butter or oil.  Or you can use it as-is in a baked pasta dish, like Macaroni and Cheese, pictured below.

**This post and photos are property of http://dishingwithdish.blogspot.com/ **


LadyJayPee said...

Oh man that sounds SO good! I want to try it. Thanks for posting it!

What a Dish! said...

It is so good! Wish I could make it for ya!

Emily said...

This looks so good! I'm making your Swedish Meatballs and want to make this too. Do you think a potato ricer would work?

Emily said...

Do you think a potato ricer would work? I want to make these with your Swedish Meatballs. Looks yummy!

What a Dish! said...

Emily, maybe. Although I've never used one so I have no idea how they really work. I think it might be the same idea. But, I think the holes on a ricer might be too small. Like I said, I have no idea how big the holes are though. You could try it. Just make sure your dough is pretty soft (wet) so it goes through easier. If you do, let me know how it goes!

Unknown said...

I got a flat spaeztle maker with a scraper, and the first try came out like little dumplings. It came out OK. I tried to make the batter thinner the second time, to try to get noodles, but it turned out like mush. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. Should the water be at a high boil, or just simmering? Is it not enough egg, or the consistency should be thicker or thinner? Your spaetzle looks beautiful, I just can't get it to come out that way.

What a Dish! said...

Hi, Unknown. I think it's the press you're using. I've heard those kind are very difficult to use. I've never used one, though. I think the dough will always come out like dumplings with yours. Which is ok-sometimes it comes that way in Germany, too. It won't form noodles unless you're using the press like I have (similar to a potato ricer). Did the dumplings still taste good? Because that's what matters. :)