Bavarian Kaese Spaetzle

Kaese Spaetzle is the German version of maccaroni and cheese – only much better with its homemade egg noodles!  It is particularly delicious served with a side cucumber salad.  Spaetzle can also be eaten without the cheese, as a lovely side dish smothered in a pork or beef gravy.

KAESE SPAETZLE

4-5 eggs
500 grams of flour
1.5 cups of cold water (approximate)
1 tsp of salt
1.5 – 2 cups of shredded cheese (swiss, emmanthaler, gouda, smoked gouda, or edam)
3-4 medium onions (finely chopped)

Prepare a large glass bowl – grease with margarine – and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Add the eggs to the bowl and stir in with a wooden spoon.  At the water, a little bit at the time.  The mixture should be realtively smooth (it’s impossible to get all of those lumps out), thick and gummy.

In a tall pot, bring cold water with a dash of salt to a boil.  (Cold water boils faster than hot water and with a lid).  The pot should be tall enough so that the water is at least 4 inches below the top of the pot.

Using a hobel (see below) drop the batter into the boiling water so that it makes a thin layer across the pot.  They only take a minute or two to cook in the boiling water.  They are done when they rise to the top, but I usually give them another minute.

Remove with a slotted spoon from the water and add to your prepared bowl. Add a layer of cheese on top of the spaetzle.

Repeat these steps, boiling the pasta, layering in the bowl, and adding cheese until the bowl is full.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, or 190 degrees C.  In a saute pan, brown the chopped onions in butter or margarine.

Add the onions to the top of the spaetzle bowl.  Place it into the pre-heated oven until the cheese melts and is bubbly, about 20 minutes.

NOTES:

  • I suggest doubling the recipe.  If you are going to go through the trouble of making your own pasta, why not double it?  If you don’t eat it right away, you can freeze the rest of the spaetzle.
  • Spaetzle can be frozen.  To do this, run the spaetzle under cold water so that it doesn’t stick together.  Let it air dry.  Then pop it into airtight ziploc bags.
  • If you are using the spaetzle right away for Kaese Spaetzle, be sure to layer with cheese as you go along.  Don’t make make all of the spaetzle first and then try to create the dish.  The hot spaetzle will stick together.
  • Hobel – I use a traditional hobel.  But there are many types available. If you don’t have one, you can also try using a potato ricer, colander, or cheese grater.  The trick is to be sure to keep it far enough above the water so that batter does not harden on the tool.
  • Clean up trick – Use cold water on your spoons and other tools  before washing with hot soapy water to make the clean-up easier.
Update 4/2012 – On a recent trip to Germany, my Uncle told me his secret ingredient – Berg Kaese.  He mixes it for flavor with the Emmanthaler and Gouda. 

VARIATIONS:

  • Add nutmeg, milk, and/or parsley to the batter.
  • Fry them up in a pan with onions, mushrooms, bacon drippings and/or parsley

CUCUMBER SALAD:

Thinly sliced cucumbers
Apple Cider Vinegar
Vegetable Oil (Canola or other – I don’t use olive oil for this, but you can try it)
Little bit of cold water
Black pepper to taste
Dash of salt
Dash of sugar (I always use a small dash of sugar with venegar to cut the acidity)

Place cucumbers in a glass bowl.  Add salt.  Add vinegar.  Add sugar.  Add remaining ingredients.  Toss.

GUTEN APPETIT!

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11 thoughts on “Bavarian Kaese Spaetzle

  1. Some added suggestions to make them like a real “schwab”.

    1. Put 3 or 4 tablespoons of the “cooking water” into a cup add 3 teaspoons of “distilled vinegar” (or any vinegar) to the read spaetzle and cheese – it gives a light bite to the heavy cheese and makes slightly creamier.

    2. Drop the cooked spaetzle into a sieve sat in ice water to stop the spaetzle overcooking after they rise and you take out of the pot.

    3. Let the mixture sit to relax for 1-2 hours before cooking at room temperature.

    4. Limburger or even better “romadur” (Stich – Ruderatshofen makes the best) cheese flavor with 45/45 emmentaler and gruyere.

    • Swabia!

      Thanks for the input, Dave! My family would never add vinegar, but they do often eat it with a vinegary cucumber salad on top. We never use cold water either. But we do lay them out in a big pan so they don’t stick together as they cool. Letting the batter relax is a good point too, but I’m too impatient for 1-2 hours. 30 minutes max or my stomach starts to grumble! 🙂 And I am sure your mix of cheeses is nice too! But as my dad would say, “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.” Berg kaese, emmantaler, swiss, and smoked gouda. Have to admit though, I love gruyere and will try it sometime. Happy New Year!

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  3. I toss thinly sliced onions in seasoned flour (a combo of flour, Seasoning salt, garlic powder) and deep fry them until golden brown and crispy. Then I serve them as a side dish instead of cooking them on top of the spaetzle. Oh, and I add pats of butter on top of the spaetzle before putting it into the oven. I know, more calories, but OH so good!

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