Spätzle are german home made noodles. Käse is cheese. So this is home made German mac and cheese.
I like to eat this as a main dish. A big bowl with a side salad is dinner.
Serving Size : 4 sides or 2 main dishes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt — plus more for seasoning
pinch white pepper — plus more for seasoning
pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 medium onion — sliced
5 tablespoons butter — divided
1/2 teaspoon hungarian paprika
3 ounces emmentaler cheese- shredded or grated
chopped parsley for garnish
Sift together flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Into the eggs, mix in the flour mixture, beat with a spoon with holes until smooth. It should be about the consistency of thin brownie batter. Let stand for 30 minutes. You want the flour to develop the gluten.
While the batter rests, melt 1 TBSP butter in the large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion, sugar, salt, pepper and paprika and cook until it begins to caramelize, stirring occasionally. On low medium low heat this will take almost an hour, probably until your spätzle are ready.
Bring pot of salted water to boil.
Dip the Spätzlebret and scraper in boiling water, then put a spoonful of dough on the board and scrape small pieces of dough off and drop into boiling water, using caution as water may splash. Boil about 3-4 minutes, stirring gently or until they float. Remove from water with slotted spoon, put in colander over a bowl and continue. (Can be made ahead and chilled until ready to use. Spätzle also freeze well.) Dip between each batch. Make only a spoonful at a time.
You can also use a ricer or several different styles of spätzle makers. In a pinch you can put a colander over the pot, then put the dough in the colander and stir with a spoon while it drips through the holes.
I prefer using a Spätzlebret. They are available on amazon and eBay. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing how to use a Spätzlebret. Frau Lutz uses a thicker dough and really loads up the board, but she has had a lifetime of practice. Notice how often she dips the board in the boiling water. And she really does use only a little at a time. It just takes a little practice. I’d suggest using an offset spatula for icing cakes to scrape the board.
Melt 1 TBSP butter in fry pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs to brown. Reserve.
Now you can do one of two things. You can fry them or bake them.
Saute spätzle in remaining 3 tablespoons of butter until golden brown, toss with onion mixture and cheese and season with pepper and salt. Top with fried bread crumbs that have been browned in butter.
Butter and line a 1 1/2 – 2 quart casserole dish with bread crumbs (“Paniermehl”).
Spread half the spaetzle on the bottom of the dish and top with half the cheese and onions. Repeat with the remaining spaetzle, cheese, and onions. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake covered until bubbly, about 15 minutes.
If you like, brown the cheese topping under the broiler during the last 5 minutes.
Either way, sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve hot.