Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Noodle Hands

We've made our own pasta a couple of times, usually for some sort of ravioli type device, so in the vain of being daring we decided to give the Spätzle a go.  Definitely eaten it before, but never thought about the behind the scenes part of it until now - not even a little.  Now we have...

We normally just work from exactly what is presented.  However, we found a recipe as part of the comments to the challenge which we thought would suit our current eating /  cooking arrangements - we're currently training for a race and the closer we get to race day the longer the workouts are getting, so in an attempt to reduce kitchen stress after getting home late, we're eating the same for lunch as we are for dinner and this recipe seemed more like a meal than a side compared to the traditional one offered.

German Spätzle

We went with the sundried tomato, leek, bacon and gruyere receipe.

Certainly easy enough to round up the ingredients.  Actually, if we stayed with the recipe offered as part of the challenge introduction we wouldn't have even needed to go to the store (yes, we had some buttermilk in the freezer - for pancake emergencies, of course), so yes, easy to round up the ingredients.

Not knowing what optional herbs and spices our little guys would benefit from we just went with what was suggested.  And when given the option to use buttermilk we always try to as we like the sort of gentle zing it brings to the party.

Adding the flour is no drama.  The batter / dough (anyone?  batter or dough?) certainly stiffens up quite quickly, and does get hard to stir.  It did end up quite smooth without too much huff'n and puff'n.

A small technical bit of trickery...  When it gets to the forming part of the process the directions say use a tablespoon.  OK, tablespoon is located.  It only took us one to figure out something was up, because half a tablespoon is a pretty big Spätzle.  We continued along with out tablespoons but barely filled them at all.  When all was said and done we went back and took a peek at the pictures provided - it looks like a teaspoon to us.  No harm done, although if we'd never seen a Spätzle before we may have ended up with the worlds biggest ones...

The recipe we went with called for cooking the Spätzle up as normal, but then shocking it in ice water so as to have ready to fry up with the rest of the fun ingredients. We created our own small problem in that we had completely raided our ice supply so as to get our chosen wine ready for consumption.  Although nothing to cry about, we had to sacrifice a few degrees of wine chilliness for the good of the little guys...

Not sure if it was operator error or just the nature of the 'beast' but we could not get the guys to brown up in the pan.  Well, actually we could, but the second they did it stuck to the pan and separated away from the piece the next time we even thought about stirring.  Oh well, not a deal breaker, just perplexing a little.

Result

Awesome! 

Didn't look even a little bit like the Spätzle we've had in restaurants as a side to something.  We also ended up with bigger pieces than we've seen before, but the texture was pretty much spot on what we expected.

The dish was a great combination of ingredients - someone was very clever to figure them out!  We almost certainly will have a go at using them in a normal everyday pasta dish sometime soonish.

Not surprisingly, our Wine Club had not provided us with a wine that is a known Spätzle match.  We themed on location, so grabbed up an Austrian (something that's name and type of grape is forgotten until we get through the trash and find the bottle later today...) Grüner Veltliner as our best 'match'.  That we'd never seen this grape before we had no idea what to expect.  The wine was a pleasant surprise and worked out just fine with the dish, but it might have been the richness of the sun dried tomatoes that helped more than the actual Spätzle.

Recipes & Destructions Instructions

CLICK

Conclusion

Fun, not hard, tasty and certainly something we could bring out for friends.  Although we ate it as a meal (twice) we would tend toward serving it as a side, perhaps with something like a lamb dish.

Makes ugly, but tasty left overs, which tends to suggest it's really a prepare and eat right now type of dish but in our case it may have been more the Gruyere's fault and less the Spätzle's.

Stay JOLLY!
D&S

ps. you might want to wash your mixing bowl the second you finish forming your little guys.  We're just say'n...

Steph, from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for Spätzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

Comments pre Blog Platform Change

Melanie responded:
Your spaetzle sounds tasty! And I do what to know what wine you ended up serving with it!

Jo responded:
The spatzle sound delish, but I am an inquiring mind as well, what was the wine? Hope you can find the bottle!

andy responded:
sundried tomato, leek, bacon and gruyere - what a great combo of flavours! I'll have to try this one.

Ruth H. responded:
I agree that spaetzle might not be the prettiest dish around, but it certainly is yummy! I am glad you found a recipe that worked for you, and I hope your training is going well!

blepharisma responded:
Hahaha... I laughed at the P.S. Yup, a very sticky and gross mess to clean spätzle - yum, yum, yum! I'm glad you enjoyed the challenge - thanks for sharing!

Mary responded:
That sounds like a great combination of flavours, whether the first time around or left over. I used a slotted spoon and forced the batter (I'm going with that, as it wasn't that thick) through it, for small, squiggly spaetzle. Yum and good luck with the race preparation!

David responded:
Hi guys, thanks for dropping buy. Regarding the wine, we found the bottle and updated the post to provide a link back to the Wine Club article. It was a Grüner Veltliner - a definite mouthful to say, but a really enjoyable mouthful to drink. Specifically, it was 2010 Weingut Stadt Krems but we have no idea how hard it might be to find as we got it through out Club.

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