We had dinner with friends at a long-standing German restaurant in San Francisco, Suppenkuche. I remember going there in my twenties as the beers were big and you got your moneys worth. Nothing has changed; the beers were still big but the food was even better than I remember. I went traditional and enjoyed a big plate of Wiener Schnitzel served alongside a bowl of spaetzle. The first bite reminded me of the first time I had spaetzle in Germany, and how much I loved it. The following weekend I started working on an easy to make recipe for homemade spaetzle.
What is Spaetzle and what do they taste like?
Spaetzle are a small German dumpling that is irregular in shape and is made with simple pantry items such as flour, water, salt and pepper. The dumplings are boiled before being pan-fried with some butter to golden crisp bite, we like to add fresh herbs such as parsley after the frying process. Spaetzle reminds us of a chewy egg noodle. we prefer them on the savory side but have also seen sweet recipes too.
I am not going to lie, this recipe is easy to make as there is not much to it but it does take some arm muscle. By the time, it is all cooked I felt like I had given my arms a heck of a workout. Do not let that change your mind at all about making these precious little German dumplings.
I tried a few different recipes that called for adding nutmeg and even cheese. I like simplicity so I can enjoy them alongside many different main entrees. The only seasonings with this recipe are some black pepper, butter, and fresh parsley. Fresh, peppery and so good. The perfect side dish for so many different fall and winter meals.
**I do not have a spaetzle maker; I use a metal colander with large holes and carefully hold it over boiling water while using a metal soup spoon to ease the dough through.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
handful Italian parsley, finely minced
Whisk the flour together with the black pepper in a medium bowl.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs and milk. Pour this mixture into the flour and stir with a fork. The dough will be smooth and tacky. Set aside for 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
Scoop the dough into a large metal colander or a spaetzle maker if you have one. If using the metal colander, using a large metal soup spoon work the dough through the holes of the bottom of the colander into the water. Little drops of dough will fall in. When finished cooking they float to the top. Scoop the spaetzle out with a slotted metal spoon and set them onto a paper towel.
Repeat the process until all the dough is used.
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-low heat.
Add the spaetzle and cook until lightly golden brown; about 5 minutes. I stir with a wooden spoon the entire time. As well, we like some to golden and slightly crisp and the others not to be too golden. It is all personal.
Turn off the heat of the stove and stir in the parsley.