Spätzle are little dumplings. They’re often served like pasta, as a side dish to accompany saucy dishes like our Apple-Sage Stuffed Pork Chops with Cider Pan Sauce. Making spätzle batter goes against every batter-making principle you’ve ever learned, as you beat the mixture until it is thick and sticky as glue.
Game plan: If you are in need of spätzle-making pointers, check out our video on
“How to Make Spätzle.”
Special equipment: You could run the spätzle batter through a colander with large holes, but if you plan on making it often enough, think about getting a spätzle maker.
1/4 cup minced mixed fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, and thyme
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Combine the eggs, milk, and 1/2 cup water in a large mixing bowl, and beat well with a wire whisk. Add the nutmeg and salt, and season with freshly ground black pepper. For pointers, view our video on “How to Make Spätzle.”
Add the flour in two parts, using a whisk to mix well after each addition. Mix the batter until it is smooth and all the lumps have disappeared. Batter will be thick and gooey. Stir in the minced herbs, and set batter aside to rest for 30 minutes.
Bring a large, wide pot of salted water to a simmer. Fill a mixing bowl with cold water and set aside. Place about 1 cup of batter into a spätzle maker set over the pot, and press the batter through into the simmering water. (Alternatively, you may use a metal colander with large holes and a rubber spatula to make the spätzle.)
Simmer the dumplings until they rise to the surface of the water, then cook them for about 1 minute more. Remove the spätzle to a bowl filled with cold water to cool them. When all the spätzle are cooked and cooled, drain them well and set aside.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When it is very hot, add about half the drained spätzle and cook until the dumplings are well browned. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and place in a serving dish. Repeat with the remaining butter and spätzle.
Riesling, Riesling, and more Riesling! The rich butteriness of this dish screams for a wine with super-high acidity to cut through it and prepare your palate for the next bite. The delicate sweetness of a Riesling from, say, the Mosel region of Germany is the obvious choice. The 2004 Carl Schmitt-Wagner Longuicher Maximiner Kabinett is simply superb.