I am perpetually amazed at how little I know about food. Until I started down this endeavor to purposefully make items from a “foodie bucket list”, I never really knew how simple it was to make certain items.
In many cases in the absence of knowledge, I generally assumed certain food items were more difficult to make than they really are.
- Pasta – Mix eggs and flour, roll thin and cut. That’s it.
- Tortillas – Flour, baking powder, salt and lard. Mix, roll thin and fry.
- Mozzarella Cheese – Heat milk, add enzymes, press.
Another one of those items that I hadn’t thought about (and by default assumed was difficult) was spaetzle. I don’t make German food often, but when I do it is my go-to starch. In the past I would walk down the “ethnic” aisle and at the European Foods section pick up a box of spaetzle. Boil some water and drop it in.
In a conversation with a co-worker a number of years ago, she mentioned that she was going to make spaetzle that night. She proceeded to describe how easy it is. Make a quick batter and push it through a grater into hot water. Easy peasy.
After making it the first time, I found that the grater I had (box kind) was not the best one for this purpose. First, it was difficult to navigate inside the box. Second, it was too short to lay across the top of the pot, so I really needed a hand to hold it while I pushed the dough through the holes. After the first time I bought a spaetzle press.
I love me some spaetzle.
Not much to this.
What an ingenious device. It is a flat grater that is long enough to sit over the pot (with a slight lip to help lock it in place) and has a box to put in the dough.
Mixing up the dough.
Press down on the dough and slide the box back and forth over the grater and drops of the dough drop into the water making spaetzle.
After the boil.
Once you are done with the quick boil, sauté up in butter and serve.
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 minutes | Cook Time: 0 hours 5 minutes | Makes: 4 servings | Difficulty: Easy
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- Kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter; 2 tablespoons melted
- Freshly ground pepper
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Mix the flour, eggs and a pinch of salt in a bowl, then gradually stir in up to 1 cup water to make a smooth, batter-like dough. Beat with a wooden spoon until bubbles form, then stir in the melted butter.Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Place about 1 cup of the dough in a colander with large holes; use a rubber spatula to push the dough through the holes and into the boiling water. (Or use a spaetzle press.) Cook for about 1 minute after the spaetzle float to the surface, then transfer with a slotted spoon to another colander. Repeat with the remaining dough. Rinse the spaetzle in cold water if not serving immediately and set aside.Before serving, saute the spaetzle in a skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter until warmed through. Season with pepper and garnish with parsley.Photograph by Kate Mathis