Jennifer Hebenstreit, Austria
This hearty dish is served in Austrian and is called “Kaesespaetzle”. The food in Austria is very differently as to America. If you ask an American person, if they know what Kaesespaetzle is or some other Austrian food, they will not know it.
How to make it:
For the spätzle:
- 9 oz (250g) flour
- 5 eggs + 1 egg yolk
- a good pinch of salt
- 2-3 tbsp water (if necessary)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 5 – 7 oz (150-200g) cheese, grated (Emmenthaler, Gruyere etc….)
For the onions:
- 3 oz (75g) butter
- 2 mid-sized onions cut in rings
Start with combining flour, eggs and a good-sized pinch of salt. Blend well and add, if necessary, water spoon by spoon. The dough should not be runny, but soft enough to gradually flow. Then set aside and allow the dough to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile heat the butter in a frying pan over low to medium heat, add onions, and let them slowly turn a golden brown color. Don’t let them get too dark, as they tend to become bitter. Drain on a paper towel and then set aside.
Bring a large pot of water briefly to a boil, add a pinch of salt and then reduce heat. The water should simmer throughout the whole process. You can either cut and shape the spaetzle by hand, or, which makes things easier, use a spaetzle-maker or a colander. Cook the spaetzle for about 2-3 minutes until they float back to the surface, then remove them.
When done, drain the water, melt 1-2 tbsp of butter and return spaetzle 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.
Spätzles have an interesting history.
The name comes most likely from the German word Spatzen, which means “little sparrows”. Why little sparrows? Some think that before there were Spätzle tools they would put dough into their hands like holding a little sparrow and put small pinches in the water. Another idea is that it as the dough was formed with 2 small spoons making little oval shapes like little sparrow bodies. How it got from Spatzen to Spätzle is not clear, as are many names of dishes in food history. For example if you see “Chili Size” on a menu in the U.S. how would you know that it is a chili burger?
About The Batter for Spätzle
It is amazing there are so many opinions for a batter that basically consists of just flour, eggs and water. Some Germans are at polar opposites when it comes to making the batter. So you will have to figure out which way is best for you.
While some folks like to use warm water, others like cold.
While some folks swear by mineral water, others prefer milk.
Even in some regions they will put some quark, or sour cream, in the noodle dough.
Some like to coordinate their Spätzle batter with their housework for the perfect dough. You start it at 8:00 am and every time you walk by it you stir it for a minute. By noon it is ready and perfect.
Others feel that to make perfect Spätzle the lazier the cook the better. Just a few strokes, and you should even be able to see the eggs and the flour.I like to beat the Spätzle dough until you can see it get a bit stretchy off the sides, and I know it is developing some gluten.
For a Spätzle Press you should make the dough very thick.
In Switzerland, they eat the Kaesespaetzle with apple puree. In Austria, we eat the Kaessespaetzle with potato salad. It depends on what type you are. Do you prefer to eat sweet or salty cheese?
I love Kaesespaetzle and I prefer this food for everyone to try. It is easy to make and is very delicious. I love the way the author described Kaesespaetzle. I was very interested in its history about Kaesespaetzle. I would suggest that the author add that people have to rinse up the spaetzle with cold water after its boiled.