Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Easiest Noodle Recipe Ever: German Spaetzle

My grandmother, God bless her, was one of those women who really enjoyed spending hours upon hours in the kitchen making egg noodles from scratch. I'm talking hand-cutting them, people. With a knife. So many batches of noodles that she wore a permanent valley in her cutting board from the persistent rocking, back and forth, of her knife-blade.

I am not one of those women. Enter my Spaetzle maker and the easiest noodle recipe ever.

Spaetzle Noodle Recipe

Let me take a few steps back before we get to this recipe. It's about 10 years ago. I'm living in St. Louis with a newborn, a new husband, and a household to make. My Dad comes out from Pittsburgh to visit and hands me this box as a housewarming gift.

German Spaetzle Noodle Maker

My first thought, upon looking at the contraption, was this: "What in the hell am I supposed to do with that thing?" At that point in my life, I had never eaten a spaetzle noodle, let alone tried to make ANY noodles from scratch. In my mind, at that point, I associated noodle-making with the long, treacherous, flour-soaked days in my Grandmother's kitchen, with her cutting noodle after noodle (the short, thin ones, good lord) while I belabored alongside her with my "angel knife."

Fast forward about five months. There is nothing in our kitchen to eat. I have butter. I have flour. I have eggs. And I have the German spaetzle maker. We are also super poor (hey, I was a graduate student), and there was no money in my account to buy any other food until Friday. Spaetzle it was.

My happy discovery? Spaetzle is really f*@cking easy to make (sorry for the cuss-word amplifier. I couldn't think of anything better suited to the situation). And it delivers the most delicious toothsome, chewy noodle I had ever tasted. Spaetzle maker FTW.

So, without further ado, here's my Easy Spaetzle Recipe: From None to Done in 15 Minutes Flat:

Ingredients:

3 whole eggs, beaten and frothy
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup whole milk
Boiling water

1. Get that water on the hob (use a pot that suits the size of your spaetzle maker - nothing worse than a pot too big to hold that maker). Bring it up to a boil.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs.
3. Add salt to the flour and stir with a fork.
4. In three steps, add one cup of flour and 1/3 of the cup of milk to the flour, stirring until the mixture forms into a heavy, wet dough (think a slightly heavier pancake batter; one note, the heavier the dough - more flour rather than less, the smaller the noodle. The thinner the batter, the longer the noodle).
5. Before starting the noodle-making process, I like to prepare another medium-sized bowl filled with cold water, to scoop one finished batch of noodles into before I start in on a second round.
6. Placing the spaetzle maker over the edge of the water (turn your heat down to medium-high, so you're not scalding your fingers), load the basket of the maker to the brim with dough.
7. Slide the basket slowly back and forth over the holes, allowing the dough to drop into the water, forming the noodles.


This is mid-process, but you get the idea. Man I hate my electric stove. Gas one day.

8. The spaetzle are done when they float to the top, as you see in the picture above. Remove the basket once it's empty, give the pot a stir, and then scoop the cooked noodles into the cold water with a slotted spoon. Transfer that batch to a colander, add new cold water to the bowl, and continue with the remaining dough.
9. The rest depends. I love my spaetzle in chicken soup, but I'll tell you what. Those suckers are amazing with just melted butter and pepper. The perfect poor man's - or woman's - dish.

Let us know if you try them and how they turn out:)) (PS You can get your own Spaetzle maker here). If you liked this post, check out some of the other dishes we love to cook around the holidays, linked up below.
Don't forget to also stop by our Christmas Stories and Sweets Blog Series and enter the giveaway. My friend and fellow blogger Betsy is sharing this yummy-looking Spiced Molasses cookie that is safe for children with nut allergies to eat. Happy holidays to you and yours:)!! A/J
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