Käsespätzle (Cheese Egg Noodles)

Spätzle, an egg noodle or dumpling, is a very common dish served in German speaking parts of Europe. Its exact roots are unknown, but every region prepares them pretty much the same way, with subtle differences. In Switzerland, the noodles are sauteed in butter after boiling and sometimes topped with Parmesan cheese. Austrians add cheese and fried or caramelized onions. I've had them in Germany, with cheese, but no onions. So...

This version is from an Austrian cookbook, and includes cheese and onions. Throw in whatever cheese sounds good, or don't; maybe just add some butter. Personally, I like Gruyere in mine. The nuttiness of the cheese paired with the caramelized onions is so good. Leave out the onions if you choose. And, consider this your warning: this is one messy dish to prepare. Your kitchen may look like a bomb went off...Once you get the hang of it though, you'll be glad you tried this European staple. Of course, you could, buy them already prepared, too. I have done so on many occasions...

Käsespätzle (Cheese Egg Noodles)

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cups (470 g) flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper and nutmeg to taste
  • 8 ounces (226 g) shredded cheese (Gruyere, Parmesan)
  • 3 Tablespoons (42 g) butter
  • 1 onion, sliced

Directions

Combine ingredients from flour to nutmeg, allow to rest 15 minutes. The dough should be just a bit thicker than pancake batter. (The weather can mess with the batter. Use more milk or flour as needed.)

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onions in the butter over medium low heat until golden brown. Do not burn!

To cook the spätzle, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Spray a large holed colander, ricer, or spätzle lid with baking spray. Run the dough over the holes, dropping the bits through the holes and into the water. When the noodles float, they are done, maybe a minute or two. Remove the spätzle with a slotted spoon and add them to the pan with the onions. When all the noodles are finished, add the cheese to the skillet and stir over low heat until melted. Check seasoning and serve hot. Alternatively, add some butter and stir until melted.

From österreichische küche cookbook

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