Monday, March 2, 2009

Real German Cuisine Challange - Käsespätzle

This week's Real German Cuisine Challenge was Käsespätzle or German noodles with cheese.

I was so excited to make this as we have been enjoying spätzle here since we first moved here! However, I had not made it from scratch yet and was eager to attempt this.

The ingredients are easy enough and I didn't even have to pick anything additional up from the grocery store. Don't let easy ingredients fool you though...

I started with the spätzle dough first. It was VERY difficult to mix by hand and I never really saw bubbles. I am going to have to figure out what I did wrong. If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comment section!

Here is Baby Bird showing the consistency of the spätzle dough.

I don't have a spätzle maker so I had to also chop up the spätzle pieces by hand also. It was very frustrating and difficult and I don't think I would attempt this again without one. The picture below shows me cutting up the dough into thin slices. Keeping the cooking board wet seemed like an important step!

As I made the spätzle pieces (I cut them up much smaller than what you saw in the pic above), I put them in the boiling water by hand since they don't easily slide off of the cutting board.

Just as I would put a few in, they would be ready to take out with the slotted spoon! I must have looked mad putting a few pieces in and then grabbing my spoon and taking them out and putting them get the picture!

After the madness was finished, I grated some cheese and cut some roasted red bell peppers to add. The Scientist helped by sauteing some onions. My helper, Baby Bird, made sure that everything tasted ok before we added everything together. (He is a cheese FIEND!)

All the deliciousness we added minus the sauted onions!

We then layered everything together. It looked and smelled delicious! I generously greased the baking pan with butter but didn't add any extra since the onions seemed to be pretty greasy on their own. I did add extra cheese though. (see my cheese fiend pic above)

All together, it was DELICIOUS!! We served it with a green salad and the Scientist also ate it with some leftover Wurst we had. I was content with just spätzle. :)

This was definitely a 2 thumbs up recipe but before I attempt again, see my notes below.

  1. Buy a spätzlemaker before attempting this.
  2. Why didn't I get any bubbles? More water?
  3. One change I made was adding roasted red peppers which were a fantastic addition.
  4. I also deleted some of the butter but made up for it by adding extra cheese.
  5. I am thinking because of my lack of bubbles, the spätzle was a little heavier than it should have been but still much better than store bought!
As Christina pointed out in her post, Schwabian women had to master this before they were considered ready to marry. I am lucky that I am already married and not Schwabian. :)

Are you ready for Apfelstrudfel next week? Come back next to find out another delicious recipe was destroyed made. Thanks Christina!

I also have to say that I am really digging seeing how others are making these recipes. Cooking is fun but cooking together virtually is even more fun!

BTW: Are your hilarious pictures ready for Funny Foto Freitag??? Come back on Friday to post your link!


planetgermany said...

I've got a Spätzle maker.. it's a thing like a gigantic garlic press.

A word of warning of you do buy one... you need to wash it up immediately after use. Otherwise the dough sticks to it like superglue and you'll be chipping away at it for weeks afterwards before you can have Spätzle again!

Christina | said...

I love reading how we each experience the recipe. It's so fun. The bell peppers sound like a great addition. My German is a purist though, so not sure I could get him to go for it. He's still grumbling about me adding Tabasco to the goulash!

Stephanie said...

I am glad that I didn't have to make it by hand - even though the spaetzle maker I have is the grating kind - very hard to use. I am going to have to invest in a press to do this - It would make it go so quick!
The peppers look good in it!

Harvey Morrell said...

I'm in agreement with Christina on loving how we each experience and experiment with the recipes. As for a grating-style spaetzle maker, if you spray some Pam on it before using it, it'll make the grating of the dough and the cleanup afterward much easier.

J said...

I'm quite certain that your goal for your blog is to make me hungry. First the goulash and now this!

C N Heidelberg said...

I love the photo where Baby Bird is testing the cheese!! Too cute!

Agree with Planet Germany - never let the Spaetzle maker sit dirty!! :D

I think I'm going to have to skip the Strudel...unless I really get a wild hair up my ass next weekend. It looks like something I would make a total disaster out of!!

Yelli said...

@planet & CN - Thanks for the tip about the Spätzle maker.

@ Christina - Tabasco sounds great! Purists...harumph... :)

@ Stephanie - The peppers tasted delish!

@ Harvey - is there a way to get Pam here in Germany? I haven't seen any in the stores.

@ J - (pointing at Christina) <--It is her fault! :)

@CN - I probably will make a disaster out of it but I bet it will still taste good!