Wednesday, June 29, 2005


Spaetzle with Butter

I was tagged for a meme (answering of which has caused me considerable consternation.) that asked about our earliest cooking memories. I was reminded of a time as a girl (in 5th grade. How old are we in the 5th grade?) when my best friend tried to teach me to make spaetzel, (oh how I wish I could flash back to THAT conversation) but we got caught by the nanny, we were subsequently punished for playing with the stove, and the spaetzle never made it into the pot .

My next encounter with this Germanic dumpling was at the hands of Chef Hans Rockenwagner who I had a mad, mad crush on at the time. I was assisting him in a cooking demo, but the stars in my eyes prevented me from actually absorbing any information, and just left me blushing and stammering and hoping his publicist/wife lingering in the wings wouldn't notice my adolescent lunacy.

But now, now, I am a woman, in full control. No nannies, no celebrity chefs (with impossibly broad shoulders) just me, some wet dough and a large pot of heavily salted boiling water. And as luck would have it, spaetzel are just about the easiest thing on earth to make. I served it/them with a classic brown butter and parsley sauce. Not exactly summer fare, but exceedingly tasty, simple to make, and (at least for me) a truly worthwhile endeavor, years in the making.

1/2 cup cold whole milk
2 whole eggs, 1 yolk
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup butter

In a food processor, combine the milk, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the flour and blend until smooth. It should be a little thicker than pancake batter. Add more milk to thin or flour to thicken.

Melt the butter over medium-low heat, and keep the pan on the burner.

Bring large pot of heavily salted water to boil. Working in batches, pour batter through a spaetzle maker, a colander, a slotted spoon or a wide hole cheese grater directly into the water. Stir gently to prevent them from globbing up. They will float to the surface, when that happens, give them another minute or so, then scoop out, and drain, then add into the melted butter. Toss and serve.

Makes enough for six as a side dish


Moving between cars - as well as resting one's feet on the seats, sipping from an open container (even a cup of coffee) and straddling a bicycle while riding the subway - will be prohibited under a new set of passenger rules adopted by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's transit committee yesterday, the first such rule changes since 1994. -NY Times

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Hi Rachael,
Ive been seeing a lot of spaetzel here in Heidelberg but never thought to try making my own. But now you've got me thinking. And as for Chef Hans Rockenwagner, well, with a name like that I'd have had a crush on him too :)
It was so easy it was silly. And it tasted so good, I made a second batch with a pinch of mace instead of nutmeg...SO tasty.

As for Hans, he was SUCH a cutie.

Oh, he's sort of dreamy!
And I simply adore spaetzel alongside grilled or slow-cooked meats.
hans is so hot it hurts.

so glad i'm not the only one who swoons over chefs. ;)
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