Thursday, September 29, 2011

Recipe Thursday: Oktoberfest Edition

I would like to note that yes, it is September and Oktoberfest always happens in September. One time I knew the reason. Now I don't.

Part of the fun of this challenge is finding the new recipes that I will try each week. This week's recipe is from a culture that I have never cooked from and contains some cooking techniques I have never used before. For recipe 4/16 for my 30 before 30 list, I take a trip back to my mother land, Germany.

In 2006 I went over to Germany to travel around during the World Cup for about two weeks. During this trip abroad I saw a ton of really cool things, drank some yummy German beer and ate a ton of delish food.  Here in the states, there isn't a lot of German restaurants, and the ones that I have seen don't have (one of the) yummiest side dishes I had while I was over there: Kaese Spatzle.

Spatzle is a noodle/dumpling thing. Kaese Spatzle is a cheese version of this. Think German Mac-n-Cheese.
I had pretty much given up ever tasting this again until this weekend when I was watching the Food Network and the 5 ingredient lady made Spatzle. I watched what she did, and it seemed easy enough. While she used ricotta in her recipe, I knew it wasn't the same thing I had 5 years ago. So, I turned to the king of all cook books:
And what do you know, there was a recipe for Spatzle AND for cheese spatzle. Who knew, I had the recipe this entire time? I also did a quick search on and found several other recipes too. I combined the one from the book and one from allrecipes and here is what I came up with:

Kaese Spatzle
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 onion, sliced
1 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk together eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Mix both until smooth. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter. Let it sit about 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If you don't have a spatzle maker (and who does??) set a colander on top of the pot. I put mine on it's side because my pot isn't very deep. You want to make sure that the water in the pot isn't touching the colander.
Put part of the batter in the colander and push through the holes into the boiling water.

Remove the colander and watch the little noodle dumplings float to the top. When they float to the top they are done. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl with a handful of the cheese.
Repeat this process until all the batter is cooked.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions until caramelized and yummy. Add the spatzle noodles and the rest of the cheese and mix until blended.

We ate ours with chicken apple sausage and a cucumber salad.

So, how was it?
I was really nervous about making this. I have never made noodles and definitely never cooked by pushing batter through a colander, but it couldn't have been easier, and it was fun to make too. I am really happy to say that this was really good. The Mister had never had spatzle before, so he didn't have anything to compare it to, but he liked it. I actually liked this better than the homemade mac-n-cheese I made earlier this summer, and it was easier. I also want to try to make some other versions of spatzle now. You should try this out, it is a nice change to other starchy side dishes and it looks fancy :)

What dishes do you make that are a little different?

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