The cold winter months seem to have finally come to an end, making room for warmer weather. Thank god. The flip side of the coin is that many of my favorite wintry dishes will -naturally- be superseded by spring/summer recipes. And they indeed are lurking behind the corner, waiting to boot perfect comfort food such as Käsespätzle aka Kasspatzn (would literally translate to: little cheese sparrows…now, how tempting is that?).
Like a whole array of hot soups, Käsespätzle have been providing great comfort during the snow-plagued months. If you have traveled to the more southern regions of Germany before and deliberately been exposing yourself to German food *grin*, chances are you have had these. Based on how Spätzle are made I guess the term micro dumplings would do them justice. They can be bought ready-made at pretty much any German supermarket, but once you prepared them yourself, there’s no way you’ll ever buy them again.
Topped with butter-browned onions and a good deal of cheese (Emmenthaler, Mountain Cheese, Gruyère, Appenzeller or Sbrinz – whatever floats your boat) they are super yummy and will leave you happy AND stuffed…
We’ve made them so many times throughout the past months, that making the dough has become a piece of cake – the ratio between the flour, eggs and water now seems ideal. The upside is, that -of course- you can have Spätzle as a side to other dishes such as medallions of venison with saucy cranberries. So it’s not quite Goodbye, at the most, a brief time out.
Since the dough should rest for about 20 to 30 minutes, start with combining flour, eggs (and egg yolk) and a good-sized pinch of salt. Blend well with your kitchen machine and add – if necessary – water spoon by spoon. The dough should not be runny, but soft enough to gradually follow gravitation. Then set aside and allow to rest.
Note: If you think you added a bit too much salt, you’re probably just about right. The cooking process will equalize the saltiness.
Meanwhile heat butter in frying pan over low to medium heat, add onions, and let them slowly gain a golden brown color. Don’t let them get too dark, as they tend to become bitter. Drain on a paper towel, then set aside.
Bring a large pot of water briefly to a boil, add a pinch of salt, then reduce heat. The water should simmer throughout the whole process, but not boil strongly. You can either cut and shape the Spätzle by hand, or, which makes things a 1000 times easier, use a Spätzle maker (a colander may work, too!?). Cook Spätzle for about 2-3 minutes ’till they float back to the surface, then remove them with a slotted spoon. Aim for two or more runs to avoid a big sticky something as opposed to cute little Spätzle.
When done, drain the water, melt 1-2 tbsp of butter and return Spätzle to the pot. Shake the pot a few times to evenly distribute the butter, then add the grated cheese and mix well.
Now simply add the browned onions and chopped chives on top and serve immediately – preferably with a big bowl of mixed greens!
Recipe source: own creation
Prep time: 30min.
Ingredients (serves 2):
5 eggs + 1 egg yolk
a good pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp water (if necessary)
2 tbsp butter
150-200g cheese, grated (Emmenthaler, Mountain cheese, Gruyère...)
for the onions:
2 mid-sized onions, cut in rings
2 tbsp chives, chopped