Whoever reads this blog post today can visualize me rushing around preparing for my upcoming trip to Germany, where I'll be buying a literal boatload of new marvels and wonders for Castle in the Air. Every time I visit Germany, I always partake of one of my favorite dishes -- spaetzle! Here's a truly authentic version that I sometimes make with my spaetzle maker when a bunch of friends spontaneously drop by. It replicates a memorable meal I had in my favorite smoky German pub.
Spaetzle - A Taste of Germany
3 cups of flour
1 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
Beat eggs until foamy and then combine with milk. Mix together flour and salt. Add to eggs and milk gradually. The dough will be very stiff and elastic.
Fill square basket of the spaetzle maker with dough and place over a pot of boiling water or cooking soup. Slide the basket back and forth over the pot and dumplings will drop into the liquid. When done, they will rise to the surface (in about 2 or 3 minutes).
Use a large slotted spoon to remove the dumplings from the liquid. Repeat until all the dough is used. Spaetzle is quite versatile and can be used in place of noodles, rice, or potatoes.
My favorite preparation is spaetzle in cheese. When the dumplings are done cooking in the broth, toss the whole lot into a frying pan with a quarter stick of butter and approximately one pound of grated sharp cheddar cheese. Fry the spaetzle in the cheese until there are plenty of crispy bits. Serve in a large bowl and top with lots of pepper. Add wine to the table and you have a party.
Mmm -- comfort food!