Cheese

Käsespätzle

4/27/2017 10:09:00 PM

Käsespätzle

When I told you all about that huge German feast we held recently (Sausagefest 2017!), I purposely didn't say much about our carb side, that delicious vat of cheesy pasta known as Käsespätzle. And that's because I wanted to give it its own post! Spätzle ("little sparrows") is a short egg pasta that's found widely throughout Germany and German-speaking countries. I love it so much! Sandra makes Spätzle from scratch reasonably often, and when eaten plain, it's great as an accompaniment to rich stews or anything with sauce. (I say plain, I mean "doused in butter and chopped chives"). When mixed with cheese and topped with sautéed onions, it becomes Käsespätzle, or "cheese Spätzle". Super delicious! You could eat it as a side dish, or as a hearty vegetarian meal in itself. And given the cold, wet weather that we've suddenly gotten in Melbourne, I could really do with a big bowl of this for dinner!

So, let's look at the Spätzle. It's a simple dough of egg, flour and water.

Spätzle batter

To turn the dough into little Spätzle, we use a Spätzle-press! We bought this in Germany, but it's similar to a potato ricer, which is available at lots of kitchen shops here. (I've seen Spätzle made on TV by pushing the dough through a colander, so maybe give that a go to see if you like the pasta before you invest in your own Spätzle-press! And don't forget, you can make Spaghetti-Eis with a Spätzle-press! Bonus!)

Spätzle-press

You fill the Spätzle-press with the dough...

Batter!

...and then press it directly into salted boiling water.

Forming the Spätzle!

Once they float to the top, the Spätzle are cooked! (It only takes a minute or so).

Cooked

Ta-dah!

Spätzle

Fish them out, refresh in cold water to arrest the cooking, and they're done!

Cold water

So like I said, if you just wanted plain Spätzle, you'd drain these now and eat them as a side with whatever dish you like! If you're turning them into Käsespätzle, however, there are a few more steps.

First up, you need to sauté onions! Sandra sliced these really finely, and then cooked them slowly in a lot of butter until melting and golden brown.

Onions!

Sautéing the onions

Sautéed

Then you gotta layer the Spätzle with the cooked onions, grated cheese and chives.

Layering the Spätzle

Now with cheese!

Ready for the oven

The final step is popping it in a hot oven, until the cheese is melted and the Käsespätzle is hot all the way through. Traditionally you don't cook it until it browns on the top; you just want it to melt until it becomes a creamy, melty, cheesy bowl of comforting deliciousness.

Käsespätzle
An original recipe by Sandra!

Ingredients
500 grams flour
5 large eggs
Pinch of salt
Approx. 200-250 millilitres water
2 large onions
40 grams butter
Bunch of chives, finely chopped
250 grams grated cheese (Tasty, Emmental, Gruyère)

Method
Place the flour, eggs, salt and water (start with 200 mls) in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add more water if needed, to get a soft dropping consistency. (See pictures above). Allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Put a large pan of salted water on to boil. Fill a Spätzle press (or potato ricer fitted with the fine attachment) with the dough. Press the dough through the press over the boiling water. Allow to cook until they float to the top. (This should take less than a minute!)
Scoop the cooked Spätzle out with a slotted spoon and refresh in cold water, then drain.
Repeat with the remaining dough until all the dough is used up.
Peel and finely slice the onions. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan. Add the sliced onions, and cook on a medium-low heat until golden brown and really soft. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
In a large dish (like a lasagne dish), layer the cooked spätzle, cooked onions, cheese and chives.
Cook the dish in the oven until the cheese is melted and the Käsespätzle is hot all the way through.
Makes one big vat of Käsespätzle

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2 comments

  1. That looks amazingly good! And it's the perfect food for Winter coming up too :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Spatzle worms! And everything tastes better with butter and cheese!

    ReplyDelete

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