I’m simply crazy about spaetzle, the tiny pasta-like dumplings that can be whipped up from just in a flash. In fact I’ve posted about them an inordinate number of times in the year or so since Superspark’s inception, considering what a simple and unassuming dish they are. But I just can’t get over how quick and easy they are to make and I somehow feel that this news must be shared with the world, especially those who regularly slave away with their Kitchenaids or pasta rollers to make fresh pasta. Spaetzle are SO much easier for day to day cooking, people!
All of this goes to say that anytime a new spaetzle recipe passes through my Google Reader, it gets an immediate star, marked for future making. This particular recipe was originally posted here on Eating Out Loud where it was deemed a “breakfast spaetzle”, though I found it through Apartment Therapy: The Kitchen. Being firmly of the breakfast-anytime-of-day school, so this seemed to me a perfect quick dinner option and a good way of incorporating some fresh veggies into an otherwise carb-rich dish. Plus I’m slowly coming around to the merits of poached eggs, having been a scrambled (and scrambled alone!) devotee for most of my life.
In the end, I wasn’t as wowed by the recipe as I had hoped to be. I felt like it was crying out for a little more flavor and sauciness. Seasoned only by salt and pepper, it was, to be frank, a little bland. On the plus side, the spaetzle recipe itself was great and marked an improvement on some others I’ve made. Oftentimes, it’s hard to get the dough through the colander or spaetzle maker and it all turns into a bit of a sticky mess. In this case, perhaps because of the resting time, the dough was of just the right texture to push through easily, forming the delicate little dumplings with surprisingly little ado. So I’d certainly hold on to this recipe for that innovation alone. Beyond that, I like the idea of vegetables in my spaetzle as well as the poached egg idea, I’m just looking for a way to jazz it up and make it a little more flavorful. Any suggestions?
Spaetzle with vegetables and poached egg (serves 4)
1 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 roasted red pepper
2 scallions chopped
1 small head of broccoli, broken into small florets
2 tablespoons butter
1. Put a pot of salted water on to boil. Place flour in a bowl and create a well in the center. Crack 2 eggs into well and add milk. Use a fork to whisk the milk and egg together, then mix in flour with a wooden spoon or your hands until a dough forms. Let ball of dough rest for 10-15 minutes.
2. Using a spaetzle maker, a colander, or a slotted spoon, press dough through holes into boiling water. When the spaetzle rise to the surface of the water, they are done. Skim them off and place into large bowl. You will probably want to make them in several batches, but each one only takes about 2 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat a skillet and add the butter. Add the broccoli and cook until starting to turn bright green, about 2 minutes. Add spaetzle to skillet and turn to coat in butter. Fry until they begin to take on a little color, then add the scallions and roasted red pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Crack the 4 remaining eggs into the spaetzle water (or a clean pan of boiling water, if you don’t mind more dishes) and poach for 3 minutes. Place the spaetzle/veggie mixture on a plate and place poached eggs on top. Season with salt and pepper. Before eating, run your knife through the egg so the yolk oozes down into the spaetzle.