Käsespätzle – German mac and cheese.

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.

Käse Spätzle

 

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

2 eggs

1/2 medium onion — sliced

pinch sugar

5 tablespoons butter — divided

1/2 teaspoon hungarian paprika

3 ounces emmentaler cheese- shredded or grated

bread crumbs
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.

 

Frying:

 

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.

 

Baking:

 

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.

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2 Responses to Käsespätzle – German mac and cheese.

  1. In striving to reproduce spaetzle that we all had in Bavaria, my partner first of all tested out pressuring the dough through
    a colander using a spatula. It took both
    of us to do this, and it took a really long time (as in not
    worth it, and why practically no one in the United States is aware what spaetzle is).

    • mlaiuppa says:

      That’s what prompted me to learn to use a spätzlebrett. I had a ricer and putting the dough in and squeezing it out took two hands and wasn’t very successful. My Mom has one of those things that moves back and forth and I can’t say it’s much better. We made a mess in her kitchen. She has a vintage spätzlebrett and did learn how to use it as a child but was never good at it and never kept it up. I’m learning off YouTube videos and practicing.

      My brother’s wife buys dried spätzle (like pasta) in boxes or bags and uses that. I suspect it’s not very good. Sorta like the difference between fresh pasta and buying the dried stuff. If you’ve ever made fresh pasta, you prefer it.

      I’d rather learn to make fresh spätzle myself. With a board.

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