Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin


Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin The great thing with spaetzle is that it’s a made from scratch type of pasta is quick to prepare and doesn’t need great skills to put together. Continue reading

Personally I love the consistency and taste of spaetzle. For this gratin recipe I’ve added mushrooms and spinach because they are a delicious flavour combination that is easy to find all year round. I served this dish with a simple salad but if you want to serve some meat, a nice piece of chicken would marry well with the rest of the ingredients.

Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin Spinach Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Spinach & Mushroom Spaetzle Gratin

 

Recipe for 4

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 40-45 min

 

Ingredients

 

Spaetzle:

400 g flour

4 eggs

1.5 dl milk

1.5 dl water

2 tsp. salt

 

Gratin:

2 knobs butter (plus more to grease the baking dish)

150 g chestnut mushrooms

150 g cooked spinach (frozen one are fine too)

200 g sour cream (I used ½ fat)

A splash of cream

80 grams grated Swiss cheese (I used Sbrinz)

2-3 tbsp. breadcrumbs

Salt and pepper

 

Recipe

Place the flour and salt in a bowl.

Beat the eggs together and mix them in the bowl with the flour.

Combine the water and the milk and gradually add them to the other ingredients while whisking. The batter should be dense but still a little runny.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and place a large holed colander (or even better on a spaetzle grater) on top. Take about ¼ of the batter, put it in the colander and press down so the better falls in the water. Once the spaetzle come to the surface it means the are ready. Place them in a bowl and set aside.

Finely chop the spinach and slice the mushrooms into 0.5 cm thick slices.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan and add the mushrooms. Once they have browned on both sides remove them from the pan and set them aside. Using the same pan melt the second knob of butter and add the spaetzle to brown for about 7 minutes, tossing from time to time. Add the spinach and mushrooms, mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the pan from the fire and add the sour cream, cream and 50g of the grated cheese. After mixing all together transfer to a greased baking dish and sprinkle on top the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 25-30 min at 190°C. Once the top has browned remove the dish from oven and wait a few minutes before serving.

The Proposal and Arugula Spaetzle (or Spaetzli)

Arugula Spaetzle
As I wrote last Thursday, my boyfriend and I went to Basel for the weekend. I was quite looking forward to the trip but I wasn’t aware it would turn out to be such a memorable moment. Continue reading

We got there on Friday evening and went to the tapas restaurant we always end up going to. We always enjoy it and anyway, we were so hungry that I think anything would have gone down at that point. After dinner we picked up the dog that had stayed at the hotel and went for a walk. We reached the Mittlere Brücke, a place my boyfriend has been fond of since he was still a student there. We stopped there and that’s where he presented me a ring and asked me to marry him! My heart is beating faster even as I’m writing this. I’m so happy that I can’t contain myself. Well, I guess I don’t even need to tell you my response (which I shouted out while by passers looked at me awkwardly). Little after we went to celebrate with yet another bottle but this time it was champagne. We finished that bottle too, left the dog at the hotel and headed to a club where we danced among the students till three o’clock in the morning. The following day we were in a quite pitiful state and during most of the day we walked around like two zombies; sometimes I actually felt like it was the dog taking us for a walk. Our Saturday evening was quieter and after an aperitif with a tarte flambée we went for yet another round of tapas (we are animals of habit). Our Sunday consisted in traveling back home and getting some rest. What could someone expect more from a weekend? I’d say nothing. Soon we’ll start planning the main event, I want to share the experience. Besides posting recipes I also want to use this blog as a diary.

In the Swiss German part of Switzerland, spaetzli is something often eaten in this time of the year with game dishes. I find it’s something which works just as well with chicken or beef or vegetable… Since we were in Basel I though it would be an appropriate recipe to post. I adapted this recipe from the Swiss Cooking book (from Alfred Haefeli).

Arugula Spaetzle

Arugula Spaetzle

 

Arugula Spaetzle

 

Recipe for 4-6 as a side dish

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 30 min

 

Ingredients

300 g arugula

4 eggs

400 g flour

1 dl milk and water

0.5 dl water

1 tsp. salt

Butter

4 tbsp. dry roasted pine nuts

Grated Sbrinz cheese (alternatively use parmesan)

 

Recipe

Place the washed arugula in a pan and cook until they are soft. Place them in a strainer and press to remove excess moisture. Now, either finely chop them or, place in a food processor (like I did).

In a bowl mix and beat the flour, eggs, milk, water and salt with a wooden spatula until small bubbles form then, mix in the arugula. The consistence should be a little like a pancake batter, if it’s thicker just add a little water.

Fill a pan with high sides with salted water and bring to a boil.

If you have a spaetzle make use it by placing the batter on its surface and push down the mass so that it falls into the boiling water. Alternatively use a wooden board and form the spaetzle by scraping the surface with a knife and letting the dough drop into the water. Once the spatzle rise to the surface remove them with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.

In a non stick pan melt some butter and add the spaetzle to brown on a high heat for a couple of minutes (you might have to do this in more batches). At the end add the pine nuts, toss place in a serving dish and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

 

 

Pumpkin Knoepfle / Spaetzle with Sage Butter and Caramelized Onions

Pumpkin Knoepfle 6As a student, I remember going to the supermarket and buying the ready made spaetzle. Continue reading

Once you have tried home made ones I can tell you: there’s no comparison with the commercial products. Now I know why I wouldn’t get excited over the store bought ones: plastic consistence and a lack of flavour in general. When I made these ones, the bad memories of the flavourless disappeared and was replaced this version. I found the recipe in a book I recently bought and instead of using spinach I used pumpkin. I like the way it turned out from the first try. Next week is my turn to cook for our new weekly event: the ladies’ night. I thought I could make some knoepfle, maybe served with some meat. Anyway there’s basically still one week to go and I know I will probably change my mind three or four times before I take a decision. Thinking about it, I get the same dilemma when I have to choose which shoes to pack when leaving for a weekend. So, this is my version of the spaetzle / knoepfle or as we call them in Switzerland spaetzli and knoepfli.

Pumpkin Knoepfle 1

Pumpkin Knoepfle / Spaetzle with Sage Butter and Caramelized Onions

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:

300-400 g pumpkin cut into cubes

400 g white flour

4 Eggs

1 tsp salt

0.75 dl milk

0.75 dl water

¼ tsp nutmeg

2-3 tbsp butter

A small bunch of chopped sage leaves

2 red onions

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 small tbsp sugar

 

For the knoepfle:

Soften the squash cubes in a pan with a couple tbsp water on a low-medium fire.  Once they are soft (after about 15 minutes, depending on cube size) remove from fire and mash well. Set aside to cool (if there is, remove excess of liquid).

Add the flour with salt, nutmeg, milk, water, eggs. Mix all together with a wooden until bubbles form. Add the mashed squash and mix it in. Set aside to rise for 30 min.

Heat water with salt. Divide the dough into four parts and use either a knoepfle sieve or scrape the dough on a cutting board, making the small pieces fall into the water (these will be larger and will become spaetzle). When the knoepfle rise to the surface they are ready. Remove them with a skimming ladle and rinse under cold water.

Heat 2 -3 tbsp butter with the sage leaves. Once the butter is starting to colour, add the knoepfle to brown.

 

For the caramelized onions:

While the dough is resting cut the onions in ½ and slice them.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on a low fire and add the onions. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the onions don’t burn.

Once the onions are soft (personally I like them when still have a bit of a bite) add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until caramelized.

 

-Serve the knoepfle with the caramelized onions and eventually some good grated cheese.