Baked Cheesy Spaetzle with Crispy Onions

I will eat them in a house. I would eat them with a mouse. I would eat them in a box. I would eat them with a fox.

Okay, maybe the mouse part is stretching it.

Noodles.  I’m referring to noodles. Pasta. Dumplings. Whatever they’re called where you live.  Any which way I can get them.

I have made spaetzle before, in fact, I had a recipe on this blog. But, I will admit, it wasn’t anything like what I ate in Austria and Germany last month, therefore, I returned from my vacation determined to re-create the spaetzle I had in both countries.  I just don’t want to live without them.  Yes, I’m dramatic.  That’s me.

Spaetzle is found in the cuisines of Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and a few others.  This version is basically a European home-made macaroni and cheese.  It’s no surprise that it’s popular in so many countries and was on every menu that I saw in Germany and Austria: macaroni and cheese is one of the most popular comfort foods for a reason, not just in my house, but in many parts of the world. Almost every culture has some form of noodle, pasta, dumpling in their history of food, and cheese is never too far away.

I started noticing spaetzle on the menus in Germany.  It was often used as a side to meat or sausage, but it was also very popular as an entree on it’s own, as any good pasta dish would be.  This is one of the last ones I had in Austria.

germanspatzle

Yum. While my family had moved on to different German treats, I had spaetzle at every meal possible.

I will admit, I did pick up a spaetzle maker to help my noodles look prettier than they used to.   I used to make them with two spoons, but I found that they were too big and thick and I prefer them small like I enjoyed in Germany.  The version that I bought fits right on top of my large pot, like this one on Amazon.  There are a few versions out there if you’re interested in getting one, and they’re all pretty reasonably priced.  But, don’t fret if you don’t have one or don’t want to buy one, you can use a metal colander if you like.

I personally think this recipe works better if the mixture rests in the refrigerator for an hour.  One of the times that I tested this recipe I left it in the fridge overnight and it still turned out great.  Of course, I live in a crazy hot and humid place so if you don’t have time, you can use the mixture right away.

It’s as simple as making the batter, much like pancakes, pushing it through whatever you are using, waiting until they float to the top of the water which takes only a few minutes, and voila! You’re done.

While I am providing the recipe for a baked cheesy spaetzle, feel free to make just the noodle and serve them with a goulash.  Yum, all that saucy goodness soaking up in these home-made noodles?  Perfection.  I have a super easy Hungarian Chicken recipe here.

Enjoy!

 

CHEESY BAKED SPAETZLE WITH CRISPY ONIONS

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 2 TAB butter
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere or Emmental cheese
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 TAB neutral oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together milk, egg yolks, and egg.  In a separate large bowl, whisk flour with salt and pepper.  Add the wet mixture to dry and stir until combined but still lumpy.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to overnight.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Put whatever utensil you are using to make the noodles over the pot.   Add about 1/3 of the batter and push it through the utensil so it falls into the water.  Once done, remove utensil from pot.  When noodles float to the top, they are ready, about 2 minutes.

Drain with a slotted spoon and repeat until all batter has been used.

*If you are not adding cheese and baking, you can simply drain, toss with the butter, and serve with your meat and sauce. 

Preheat oven to 375°.  In a bowl, mix the butter, cheese and noodles together.  Pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish.  Bake about 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

While the spaetzle is baking, heat 1 TAB neutral oil in a skillet on medium-high heat.  Cook the onion until softened and lightly browned, about 15 minutes, watching that it doesn’t burn.

Remove spaetzle from oven, top with onion and garnish with chopped parsley or chives if you so choose and serve immediately.

 

Serves 6.

Adapted from: Epicurious

 

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