12 October 2011

Recipe: Spaetzle Gratin


Germany has been represented at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival since the beginning and this recipe was featured on their 2009 menu.

Recipe
2 tbsp butter
¼ cup diced onions
¼ cup diced ham
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
¾ cup whole eggs
2 cups Spaetzle (home made or purchased)
¼ cup Gruyere cheese
½ cup or more Cheddar cheese for topping
Salt and pepper to taste

Spaetzle noodles
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¾ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups whole milk
3 large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp olive oil

  1. Prepare the Spaetzle noodles first. To make the pasta, first bring a pot of salted water to a boil and keep at a bare simmer. Fill another large bowl with very cold water and set aside.
  2. Whisk together flour and 1 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together milk, eggs, and heavy cream in another bowl, then whisk into flour until batter is smooth. 
  3. In the pot with simmering water, push the pasta through the Spaetzle machine. You could also use a colander with larger holes to create the noodle strands. When they start floating to the surface after about a minute, transfer the noodles to the bowl of cold water.
  4. Toss the drained Spaetzle with a little oil. You can find Spaetzle at a German Specialty store if you prefer to purchase them. 
Sauce
  1. Start by adding butter to a sauté pan. Sauté diced onions and ham in butter. In a separate bowl, mix heavy cream, milk and whole eggs. That is going to help congeal the pasta together and give the dish its binding and great flavor. 
  2. Add the sautéed ham and onions and Gruyere cheese to the Spaetzle. Add the cream-milk-eggs liquid inside the casserole dish and mix together. Don't forget to add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. The last step is to add extra aged cheddar cheese over the top of the mixed Spaetzle.
  4. Put in a 350-degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes.

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