Guten tag. Willkommen. I love to travel and since school is in session right now, I am grounded but that cannot keep me from virtual travel. I have joined Joan of FOODalogue’s culinary adventure called A Culinary Tour Around the World and I have decided to meet her in Germany, let’s say inside the pink Schwetzingen Palace gardens, OK? I have been wanting to do a few German dishes for some time and jumped at the opportunity. Many of you know that Himself and I lived in Germany for 3 years in the small village of Hockenheim, just south of Heidelberg. Our apartment building was on the edge of the village and most of the traffic that passed us was folks walking their dogs out to the great sunflower fields. Each day at 4:00 pm a horse and buggy would go by which was very entertaining to my young son. We loved everything about living in Germany; the people, scenery, food, chocolate, bread, wine, beer, and way of life. In the picture above we (notice my Princess Di hairdo) are in Bremen, Germany, posing by the famous Town Musicians of Bremen statue and like others we grabbed the front legs of the donkey insuring that all our wishes come true.
A LITTLE ABOUT GERMAN FOOD
While there, I learned to cook from some of my husband’s co-workers and other German friends we made during our time there. My SIL, Ellen and I took a USO cooking class given by German women and man oh man we learned to cook some great dishes. I found the German cuisine delicious. Most dishes consisted of meat, potatoes or nudels, some type of sauerkraut or salad. Stews were popular as well as some excellent soups. Pizza was a huge treat and a bit different than ours- thin crust and lighter on the sauce and cheese. A very popular pizza with the Germans was the Hawaiian- pineapple and ham. Their bread is delicious, the pastries are not sweet as ours, and they laugh at the fact that Americans like PBJ. Many Germans are not entirely fond of peanut butter. The beers are gigantic and quite good, one being a beer I had at a local brewery that had a touch of cinnamon flavor. I think my favorite meal in Germany was breakfast- brochen which is a small roll, butter or Nutella, fruit, egg, some type of meat, yogurt, and pastry or any assortment of those mentioned. Of course just give me the roll and Nutella.
INTRODUCTION TO SPÄTZLE
I am going to teach you how to make spätzle as taught to me by my friend Jürgen. He said his mother made this noodle dish the old-fashioned way by scraping the spätzle batter off a wooden board into boiling water. Now there are some very modern and useful spätzle makers preferred by most today but I find it is just one more gizmo to wash and store. Spätzle are a wonderful side dish to sauerbraten, schnitzel, or wurst but can be a main dish or dessert of its own. In the following video I will show you how to make Spätzle, Schupf Nudel, and Käsespätzle- cheese noodles or the German version of Mac and Cheese. This method makes a very rustic looking noodle, if you want prettier noodles then you will need to get one of these. I have done the scrape technique for guests and not only do they like watching, they love these delicious Spätzle.
In a bowl beat all the ingredients together except the butter. The batter will be thick. Have a large pot of salted water boiling on the stove. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter on a small wooden cutting board and using the flat end of a knife or a rubber spatula scrape 1/4 – 1 inch “wedges”- depending on the size of the noodle you desire- of batter into the water. Once the noodles float to the top of the water let boil one minute and remove to a bowl using a skimmer, spider, or slotted spoon. Toss with a small amount of butter and serve as a side dish with a big bowl of gravy or plain with butter. See video for other recipes and technique. Serves 4-6.
Note- It may help a bit to dip the spatula in the boiling water every so often. Sometimes I spray it with PAM.
I am very bad at pronouncing German words, forgive me. Enjoy.
Join Joan as she travels to other wonderful cities around the world. Go to her site and check out the details here. The round up to this German event will be posted on FOODalogue on 1/28/09.
Joan has also linked this event to Blogger Aid to fight world hunger. They have a Foodie Blogger cookbook in the works as a fundraiser to help in this effort. Go there if you would like to contribute a recipe.