10 May 2013

Simple Spaetzle

When I was a kid, I loved buttered noodles.  We would have them as a side with pork chops and salad (iceberg, hold the chopped vegetables).  Now I realize that what made this kind of meal so Midwestern was actually its German roots, for there are many Germanic peoples in the Great Lakes Region (which still doesn't explain the accent, but anyway...)  When I am in Germany, I love spaetzle, which are German noodles that are basically little clumps of pillowy pasta dough, boiled to perfection.  I don't like the casserole dishes with heavy cream, cinnamon, cherries, and spaetzle (a popular Sunday evening meal in Bavaria)--I prefer plain old buttered spaetzle.  It's not adding much, nutritionally, to your life, but it's so comforting and chewy.  This version throws in some mushrooms for variety.  It makes a nice side, but don't eat this alone day after day.  You might get scurvy.

Jaeger Spaetzle

Serves 6 as a side

1 pound spaetzle (make it or buy it)

For the sauce: 
1 tablespoon butter
4 minced shallots
3 cups mushrooms,  scrubbed and quartered
1 1/2 cups beef or vegetable broth
1/4 cup flour salt and black pepper to taste

Bring salted water to boil and cook the spaetzle as until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Saute shallots until clear. Toss in mushrooms until mushrooms are sautéed. Place flour in a separate bowl, slowly whisk in broth. Pour  broth mixture into mushroom pan boil for 5-10 minutes until thickened, stir fairly often so it doesn't stick.

Mix together the cooked spaetzle and the mushroom sauce and season with salt and pepper.  Some fresh herbs would be nice in there, too.