Provenance of Dish
I first tried Spaetzle a few years ago at a German beer garden near me - it's a simple dish consisting of flour, milk, water and eggs. The simplicity of spaetzle is you don't need a lot to make it, it seasons well and even if you mess it up, it'll still be delicious! To make this recipe I paired it with a Hen of the Woods we found near our home, which has such a wonderfully earthy flavor and when cooked in butter, gives a nice crispy addition to this simple German dumpling recipe. Enjoy!
For the Spaetzle:
Two cups all-purpose flour (11 oz. / 300 gr.)
1 tsp. salt
.5 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 medium sized eggs
.5 cup milk (4 oz.)
.25 cup water (2 oz.)
2 Tbsp. butter
3 oz. Hen of the Woods (3 oz. / 90 gr.) fully cleaned and sliced longways
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
.5 tsp salt
.25 tsp. pepper
.25 tsp. dried thyme
Large pot for boiling water, preferably a wide and shallow
Colander or Spaetzle maker, which can be found on Amazon
Whisk or Kitchen Aid mixer with paddle
.25 cup white wine (Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay)
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
In a large mixing bowl combine sifted flour, salt and nutmeg
In a separate bowl combine the eggs, milk and water and whisk until smooth.
If you have a mixer, (mixing by hand is just as good) put the flour in the mixing bowl first and mix on low, gradually adding the wet ingredients until fully combined. Continue mixing for an additional minute.
Let mixture sit for 30 minutes.
While waiting put water on for a simmer and prepare your colander or Spaetzle maker
When the batter is ready, take the colander or Spaetzle maker over the simmering (not boiling) water and add one third of the batter.
Slowly take your spoon and swirl the batter in the colander - making miniature dumplings which fall into the water.
Once the batter is sieved through, allow to cook for 4 minutes, stirring to break up the dumplings which can get stuck together.
When cooked, take your slotted spoon and remove the cooked dumplings into a bowl, stirring in a little bit of butter to keep them from sticking together
Repeat the dumpling making process two more times, or until the batter is gone.
Once the dumplings are made, toss out the cooking water and return the pan to medium low heat
Add in butter and melt.
Add mushrooms and sauté for three minutes
Add garlic, salt, pepper and thyme and continue to sauté until mushrooms begin to crisp up and are fully cooked, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would like add wine, do so a minute after you add the spices and cook for four minutes, or until the mushrooms are crispy.
When the mushrooms are done, add in your cooked Spaetzle and cook together for an additional minute, getting all of the flavor back into the dumplings from the mushrooms.
Serve in a large bowl and top with fresh parsley. For a lighter and more summerly flavor, add a Lemon wedge.