Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fun with Spaetzle!

Congratulations to Julie Hyzy for a starred review for her new book Grace Under Pressure! Yay, Julie!

Yesterday, Mystery Lovers' Kitchen was the proud recipient of the One Lovely Blog Award -- twice!

Thanks to Lorna Barret and Laura Hinds for this honor. We're thrilled that you like us!

And now --

Fun With Spaetzle!

I can almost guarantee children will love Spaetzle. First of all, there's the name. Shpeh -- tslee. Then there are the funky shapes. It's made by dropping dough into boiling water, so the pieces come out kid-size and in all sorts of wiggly-looking shapes.

The taste is never overwhelming. In fact, I realized recently that spaetzle is a major comfort food for me. It has that reassuring warm tummy-filling thing going on. No weird ingredients, either. You probably always have the basics on hand -- flour, milk, and eggs.

It's a common food in Germany. If you've never had it, I'd have to say it's closer to egg pasta than anything else, but it's not really pasta, either. It is yummy, though. Those odd little shapes do a nice job of capturing sauces, so it's a natural with goulash, or stroganoff, or even osso buco. Like pasta, it can also be served as a side dish with just a little bit of browned butter.


3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

large pot of salted water

Measure the milk in a 2 or 4 cup Pyrex measuring cup. Add the eggs and whisk together. Mix the salt and nutmeg in a bowl with the flour. Gradually add the liquid to the flour, stirring (I use a whisk) until well-mixed. It gets thick, and sort of like pancake batter, there may be some smallish lumps that disappear when you cook it.

Bring the water to a boil. I had this handy-dandy spaetzle maker available, so I placed the batter in the container on top. It drips through the holes and you run the little container back and forth. Kind of fun, actually. Note that the little bits of spaetzle are dropping into the boiling water below. They cook almost instantly.

If you don't have a handy-dandy spaetzle maker, you can accomplish the same thing by letting the batter drip through the holes in a colander or the top part of a double boiler. Don't worry about the shapes. The funkier, the better!

Pour into a colander to get rid of the water --

and, voila! Spaetzle!


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  1. I think you're right--my kids will LOVE this recipe. Everything about it is fun--the name, the preparation, and the way it tastes. Thanks Krista!

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Whoa, what a fun and very different food. I've never eaten spaetzle but I certainly have heard of it. Now I know what it is and I'm eager to give it a try. Without a handy-dandy spaetzle maker, I'd have to go with the colander approach, and I think the family would get a huge kick out of this. Thanks for sharing, Krista!
    And thanks to Lorraine and Laura for the "lovely" awards!


  3. OMG I love this stuff. One day I will attempt to make this. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. When I lived in Germany for a semester during college (lucky me), I helped my German "mutti" make spaetzle. It is a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Fun kid food is right!

  5. The dudes will love this! I can't wait to give it a go. I'm all about comfort food and fun food and this is both.

  6. Elizabeth and Jenn, your kids are so lucky to have moms who make cooking fun! Can't wait to hear what they think of spaetzle.

    Julie, I hadn't thought about it, but this is a really great basis for a vegetarian meal for your daughter. Add a tomato veggie sauce and it's really hearty. Of course, that presumes that the vegetarian eats eggs.

    Juju! I'm so glad to hear someone else likes spaeztle. It's very easy to make.

    Avery, I'm so glad to have brought back warm memories for you. I'm sure it would work fine with gluten free flour, too.

    ~ Krista

  7. I grew up with Spaetzle in Germany, and I really miss them. There is nothing quite like it, and they definitely fall in the category of comfort food. I always describe them to people who've never had them like something in between pasta and gnocchi as far as taste goes.

    Thanks for bringing back some childhood memories with this post!

  8. My husband, who has an Austrian mom, said to tell you that his mouth is watering over this! And though I do not have any Austrian ancestry, I am coveting this spaetzle as well!