German Spätzle Recipe

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Making spätzle, or spaetzle in English, has become a Christmas tradition with the Venzel sisters due to our growing family with an Austrian brother-in-law. The dish is so special that you have to own a spaetzle maker to properly cook it. You can purchase one that resembles a cheese grater with a sliding attachment or you can go all out with the antique, ready-for-a-feast model like ours that transports you back to the old days of churning butter.

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The classic spaetzle-maker cooking device. It fits nicely into a large pot!

This recipe is not vegan-friendly (it’s not even healthy, I won’t lie), so I have not been able to partake in the spaetzle consumption of late, but at least I can enjoy the festive, cultural cooking that surrounds the ordeal. And, apparently, vegan spaetzle recipes do exist, so fear thee not if you have a soft spot for German food but are committed to veganism.

In my cheese aficionado family, we sprinkle an assortment of grated cheeses (from parmesan to mozzarella) on top, maybe with a dash of parsley, and then put it in the smoker for added flavuh flav. It does kick butt this way, so if you have access to a smoker, go the whole ten yards.

Ingredients:

1 c all-purpose flour, 1/4 c milk, 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 2 Tbsp butter or vegan substitute, dash of pepper

Serves: 5 people

Directions:

  1. Boil about 1 gallon of water in the biggest pot you can find.
  2. Mix all the dough ingredients together.
  3. For the cheese grater looking spaetzle maker: slide the dough through the slots over the boiling water, letting them plop right in. For the butter churning looking spaetzle maker: ladle one scoop of dough at a time into the spaetzle maker, turning quickly and rapidly. If you don’t move quickly, the dough will clump in the holes and clog your process. This spaetzle maker should fit comfortably over your large pot.
  4. Using a spoon with a drain, scoop out the dumplings after the one ladle-full of dough has been pushed through the holes into the pot of boiling water. They should solidify almost instantly, and you should scoop them out quickly so they don’t overcook. You have to work fast here, people! It keeps things lively!
  5. Transfer the dumplings to a large baking or serving dish.
  6. Add toppings and maybe stick in the smoker for a couple hours.
  7. Serve, eat, enjoy!

This recipe was modified from homemade concoctions and allrecipes.com.

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