Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spätzle Dumplings


61.  One of my families favorite side dishes is a German Dumpling called "Spätzle", meaning "Little Sparrow" in German.  Years ago, we had the opportunity to eat an Amish meal in an actual Amish home.  Three families would prepare a five course meal and serve it family style in their home.  The tables stretched through the living room, dining room and into the library. We were with 25 other people to celebrate a birthday.  The food was outstanding and one of my most favorite dishes was "Spätzle".  The Amish make their dumplings a little bit different, more along the lines of pasta/egg noodles.
My recipe for this delicious dumpling is from 
The New Settlement Cookbook.  
In this cookbook it is listed as "Spatzen" (Egg Dumplings), which is a variation of the name but the recipe is the same.  Basically, the dough is flour, egg, salt and water or milk.  You can either drop them by spoonful into boiling water or force the dough through a Spätzle Hex which is similar to a Ricer.  There are many varieties of Spätzle tools for making these dumplings.  My tool is the Spätzle Sieve purchased in Ohio Amish Country.  The rustic method is to place the dough onto a small board and with a cutting tool or knife, quickly cut off portions of the dough into the boiling water.  If you go onto You Tube and search for "Spätzle", you will be amazed with the variety of methods used and some very hilarious!  It is up to you as to the size, shape or consistency of the dumpling.  Google "Spätzle" as well, there is a variety of sites with recipes, history and tips to follow.

Spatzen (Egg Dumplings)

1 egg
¾ cup flour
⅓ cup water
½ tsp salt

Beat egg well.  Add the flour water and salt.  Stir to make a wet dough.  Drop by teaspoonful into boiling soup (or boiling salted water).  Allow to boil for 10 minutes.  

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With my Spätzle Sieve I have found it difficult to use.  The square box that rests on top of the sieve, that rolls back and forth, sticks and comes off, causing a dangerous scenario, being that it is over boiling water.  So, to remedy this problem, I make my dough a bit more runny so it drips through the sieve freely.  My dumplings are not noodle shaped but mini dumplings.  The shape doesn't matter...it is the taste that counts!
This recipe is a wonderful accompaniment to your meal in place of rice or potatoes. 

I served Spätzle with Baked Pork Chops and Honey Carrots.

"GenieBen Sie Ihre Nahrung"...Enjoy your food!

"Food is our common ground,
a universal experience."
 ~ James Beard

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