Spaetzle Recipe Without a Spaetzle Maker

OK, two confessions. The first is that this spaetzle recipe is nearly identical to Tyler Florence’s spaetzle recipe.  Also, his version claims it’s six servings. I suppose that’s as a side dish. Or maybe it’s a typo. My second confession is that it was soooo good I ate the whole thing. All at once.

First of all, it was delicious! But that alone wouldn’t make it something I’d normally share, especially since I made so few changes. The important thing about this recipe isn’t that I adapted it or altered it. What I did do was figure out a way to make it without any special equipment.

I hate single use gadgets and while the recipe is really good, I wasn’t going to go out and buy a special spaetzle maker. Besides my dislike of one-use gadgets, there’s just no place to keep the thing. Tyler’s recipe, as well as many others, suggest using a slotted spoon or a cheese grater instead of the spaetzle machine. I tried both of those. They just didn’t work very well.

Then I had a brainstorm. The potato masher! It worked perfectly! Just hold it in one hand, scoop up some batter with a spoon in the other hand, and scrape the spoon back and forth over the masher (like you were grating cheese). Ta da!!!

You want the flat-bottomed sort of masher, with lots of holes, not the squiggly kind that looks like a bicycle rack.

There’s no brand name on the one I have, so I don’t know exactly what it is, but the masher on the left is the closest I could find. The holes on mine are rectangular, not round, but I think that will be OK, since real spaetzle maker holes are round. The key is that there’s a flat surface, with lots of holes in it.

I included the image below so you could see what it should look like.  That design will work fine.  The one on the right will mash potatoes, but will be useless for spaetzle.




Flat potato masher
Squiggly potato masher

Spaetzle Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • Serve with grated cheese, like Emmenthaler or Gruyère
  • Cook some onions until caramelized, add them to the spaetzle (with or without cheese)
  • Cut off small pieces of dough and flick them into a pot of simmering chicken soup or broth (like mini dumplings!)

More Pasta Recipes

white ragu papardelleWhite Ragu Pappardelle Pasta for One

Earthy porcini mushrooms, rich sausage and bee, white wine, and a touch of cream simmered gently and served with hearty fresh pasta.

 

butternut squash cream sauce pastaButternut Squash Cream Sauce Pasta

A welcome change from the usual tomato or cream pasta sauces. And nothing says fall like butternut squash.

 

smoked salmon pasta with tomato cream sauceSmoked Salmon Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

A silky smooth sauce with just a bit of cream, layered over pasta. It tastes decadent, but it isn’t.

 

pasta olives tomatoes capersPasta with Olives Tomatoes and Capers or Puttanesca

The name is a little risqué, but this pasta has nothing to be ashamed of.  The briny capers, salty olives, and sweet tomatoes meld together in your mouth. It’s spicy, zesty and takes very little time to prepare too.

 




Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Apples

Huddled up at home waiting out the virus? Want dinner that’s both comforting and easy? Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Apples is just the thing. It’s filling, it’s quick, and it’s dinner all by itself. All in one pot.  Some say this dish is German, others call it Polish.  Whichever, it’s delicious!

I adapted this recipe from one I found online. That recipe called for first cooking the kielbasa on a grill, then putting them in the oven, while starting the onions on the stove, and making the rest of the recipe. That would leave you with a grill, a baking sheet, and a frying pan to clean.   No! No! No! Not doing that way.

Plus, it’s  early to stand outside and  grill anything here. Even if I had a grill.  This way is much easier.

My version only uses a single pan.  And, it’s ready in about 20 minutes.  Much better!

The kielbasa makes this dish filling, while the sauerkraut adds a little bite. Cooking it mellows out the sharpness (a bit like cooking onions or garlic), and the apple gives it a bit of sweetness and balance the richness of the sausage and the sourness of the kraut. The honey mustard horseradish sauce is also sweet/spicy so it complements the rest of the dish perfectly.

Use an apple that is slightly tart (I had Crimson Topaz, but a tart apple such as Granny Smith would work fine).

No kielbasa? Bratwurst would work too.




Kielbasa with Sauerkraut and Apples Substitutions and Variations

  • Add a little apple cider to the pan
  • Use some dark beer
  • Experiment with different kinds of sausage, even plain frankfurters
  • Add sliced potatoes for an entire meal in one pan
  • Serve with rye bread, or add some caraway seeds
  • Leave the sausage whole and put it on a hot dog bun (cook it a bit longer)

More Sausage Recipes

Polish sausage with cabbage and potatoesOne Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

Another great one-pot fridge stable/shelf stable meal, with only a few simple ingredients.  The cabbage mellows as it cooks, and the potatoes make it a filling, hearty meal.

 

creole cabbage and sausageQuick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

Travel (in your imagination) to New Orleans with these quick skillet dinner. Spiked with creole seasoning and creole mustard for a burst of flavor (don’t worry if you don’t have those things, you can easily make them with common ingredients).

lamb merguez sausage with rice and vegetablesLamb Merguez Sausage with Rice and Vegetables

Spicy sausage, sweet carrots, and largely pantry ingredients. It does call for eggplant, but you can skip it if you don’t have it.  Add more carrots instead. Or some mushrooms.

 

 




Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut and Apples

Now that fall has finally arrived, it’s time to start switching light meals and salads for something more substantial. This cider braised pork chop with sauerkraut is full of classic fall flavors, from rich pork, crisp apples and sweet cider. That sweetness is balanced by savory onions, piquant sauerkraut, and just a touch of brown sugar.

It’s great simple comfort food. This is a good dish for a weeknight dinner or even for company. You only need to use one pan, so there’s not a lot of clean up involved. And, after a bit of chopping and slicing it’s ready in about half an hour. Just be careful not to overcook the pork. Put everything together, deglaze the pan, and then cook it gently for 15 or 20 minutes.

There are lots of variations on this idea. Some add bacon. Others roast the pork. I added carrots, but you can also skip the carrots in the main dish and make my honey mustard glazed carrots as a side dish. The sweet honey and the savory mustard complement the pork nicely.




Cider Braised Pork Chop with Sauerkraut Substitutions and Variations

  • Use white wine or chicken broth instead of the cider
  • Replace the carrots with potatoes
  • Add some sausage
  • Saute some bacon in the pan first and cook the pork in the bacon fat instead of the oil
  • If you find commercial sauerkraut too salty, mix in some raw cabbage to cut the salinity.

Pork and Cabbage Recipes

Polish sausage with cabbage and potatoesOne Pot Polish Sausage and Cabbage with Potatoes

An entire meal: meat, potatoes, and veggies all packed into one single bowl (and one cooking pot).

 

creole cabbage and sausageQuick Creole Cabbage and Sausage

Fast, pantry-friendly and delicious. Colorful too, especially if you use red cabbage.  Just add some rice for a full meal.

 

chinese chicken noodle cabbage soup

Chinese Chicken Noodle Cabbage Soup for One Person

Fragrant with garlic, spicy chili, and a hint of sweetness from honey, this Chinese chicken noodle cabbage soup tastes good and knocks out germs too.