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Späßtzle |

Käsespätzle is a to die for cheesy, doughy comfort food, served with crispy onions that make it go off. This recipe is from Meredith Erickson's Alpine Cooking: Recipes and Stories from Europe's Grand Mountaintops.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Makes: Enough for 2 to 3 depending on strength of character


Crispy Onions:

1/2 onion

20g plain flour

1tsp paprika

55g unsalted butter

Spaetzle dough:

120g plain flour

120g semolina flour

3 small eggs or 2 large

75ml milk

40ml sparkling water

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of pepper

Pinch of salt

Spaetzle toppings:

60ml chicken or vegetable stock

200g grated Emmental or Gruyére cheese

2 tbsp fresh chives or

1. The onion garnish

You want to cut your onion in half breadth ways and then slice it into to thin circles. In a bowl mix 20g flour and 1 tsp paprika. Toss the onion in the flourika mix. Make sure they're all nice and coated.

Melt your 55g KNOB (emphasis because this a large amount of butter) in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat.

Give your floured onions a little shake to get rid of any excess dry ingredients. And then toss them (not literally) into the bubbling butter.

Keep the heat low and let the onions become golden and crispy over the course of 30-45 minutes. Treat it like it's a grumpy teenager and you're its mother, and give it some space (but not out of intimidation in this case). Stir only occasionally. Make sure they are golden like an autumn leaf, if they get too dark they get bitter.

2. Spaetzle

Set some water to boiling on the hob, in a largeish saucepan. Whilst it heats up, get going on the spaetzle dough. In a large bowl, 120g of both flours, 3 eggs, 75ml milk, 40ml sparkling water, a pinch of pepper, nutmeg and salt.

Use a whisk to get the mixture going, stir all the ingredients together. Once it has thinned out, you can start to mix it with a spatula. The end result should be elastic, not runny, but also not too thick.

3. The ol' spank and smear

There's many ways to get the Spaetzle from dough to dish. A potato rice is possibly most effective, but you can also use a chopping board and dough scraper, or, like we did, a colander.

Now that your water is boiling you can bring your colander over and hold it above (this might need an extra pair of hands, so call in a fellow spaetzlier). Put half the dough into the colander and start spanking and smearing the dough to get it through the holes and into the pan.

Once in, the little tadpole like Spaetzle will take two minutes to cook.

Make in batches so the pan doesn't get crowded. Strain with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl to the side, to wait for their doughy kin to join.

4. Bring the chiz together

In the same pot, or a cast iron skillet if you want to serve this fancy Alpine style, warm the 60ml chicken stock. Then, add the Spaetzle back in, give the pan a shimmy to mix it with the stock. Reheat the Spaetzle and then add the grated cheese.

Mix well, this process is more effective food porn than any mac and cheese you ever did see.

Once the cheese has melted, serve up in a shallow bowl (or the skillet). Top with those crispy fried onions and your chopped herbs (who said this wasn't a healthy recipe?!).

Dinken unds sinken!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "This was my first spätzle making and eating experience, and it set the bar pretty high for all future spätzle. It was a little bit of faff to actually get the spätzle through the colander, so I think in future I'd use a potato ricer. But when it came together it was very tasty, especially with a large helping of crispy onion and the essential herbs. All in all it was a delightful, formative experience. 9/10"

Kate says: "Our first GWS in person together <3 we were reunited in Munich and therefore thought we'd try our hand at a German recipe. I feel like all we've been making recently is comfort food (hey, it's Autumn and there's a second lockdown on the horizon so don't come for us) but this was INCREDIBLE. It's like mac and cheese on steroids, topped off with a pile of buttery, crispy and delicious onions. I should say, the process was tricky - it took two of us and was quite a work out - mostly because my colander had very few holes in its base. Our (patent pending) spank and smear method seemed to work quite well ,but a quick youtube search may provide you with a better method. Still, a solid 8/10, you will quite quickly feel bready, cheddy and ready for beddy"

8.5/10 Gasps


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