Monday, October 8, 2012

Semolina Spaetzle with Caramelized Onion--October Special

Last week, when I visited the nearby World Market store, I stumbled on a huge October Fest promotion of German food products. I bought two bags of dry spaetzle. My kids like them and these little German noodles could be a great time saver when I am preparing their lunch. I usually serve them with meat sauce. But when I came home wondering what to prepare for dinner I thought that the October Fest was a good excuse to make some home-made spaetzle.

Any kind of home-made spaetzle are so good that they taste best almost on their own. Simply just some melted butter on top makes them delicious. My favorite are spaetzle served with chanterelles in cream sauce, when they are available in the fall. The most demanded in my home however are the traditional rustic spaetzle, served with caramelized onion on top. The dark gold and slightly crispy onion gives a nice contrast to the mild and somewhat firm spaetzle.

Spaetzle recipes call for quite a lot of eggs. The proportion usually is 2/3 cup of flour per egg. This time, I used the semolina flour, which gave my spaetzle not only a strong yellow color but at the same time more texture.

I brought from Poland a special colander for making spaetzle. If you fall in love with spaetzle, as much as we did, it is worth investing in such equipment. Otherwise, a regular colander with large holes would also work.

At the dinner, while gulping the spaetzle at an enormous speed, accompanied by half sour pickles, my son asked what they were made of. "Just flour, eggs and a bit of milk". "Wow! That is all? So simple and sooo delicious?!" Yes, it is.

Semolina Spaetzle with Caramelized Onion

4 large eggs (preferably organic,
1 cup fine semolina flour,
1 cup all purpose wheat flour,
1/2 cup milk, 2 tbsp melted butter,
1 large onion, butter or olive oil for frying, salt and pepper to taste.

1. In a medium bowl beat eggs with milk until they are well combined.
2. Add both kinds of flour to the eggs mixture and mix with a whisker until a smooth batter forms. If it is too thick add a few tbsp of milk. Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.

3. In the meantime peel off and chop the onion. Heat the 3 tbsp of butter or olive oil in a frying pan. Add chopped onion and fry it for 5-8 minutes, until it becomes dark gold.

4. In a large pot heat 5 quarters of water with one tbsp salt. Transfer a batter into a colander with holes and place over the pot with boiling water.

5. When the water boils vigorously, rub the batter through the colander using a plastic spatula or a wooden spoon.
6. When the whole batter is in the water bring it again to the boiling point. Turn down the heat and cook spaetzle for about 3-5 minutes.
7. Drain the spaetzle on a colander.
8. Transfer to a serving plate. Drizzle with caramelized onion and pepper on top.

Serve with green lettuce or sour cucumbers.