While on vacation in Sankt Gilgen, AustriaI had this typical Austrian dish called Käsespatzen. It consists of Spaetzle noodles and grated hard cheese that is alternately stacked and garnished with fried onions. The Cheese Spaetzle are pushed into the hot oven after they have been layered, so that the Spaetzle does not cool down and the cheese can melt
Side dishes with Cheese Spätzle is usually Boston lettuce mixture. Applesauce is also common with Käsespätzle in the Vorarlberg Oberland and in Liechtenstein. Leftovers of the Spätzle can be fried with butter in a pan.
The recipe requires an oven safe (400F) frying pan. Here are some of my picks:
If you don’t own a Spätzle maker, you can order one here. Most colanders I had don’t have openings big enough
In Swabia, the Käsespätzle are traditionally prepared with mountain cheese and/or Emmentaler cheese. In Vorarlberg there is a different type of preparation; you can find Montafon Käsespätzle with Montafoner sour cheese, and Bregenzerwald Cheese Spaetzle or Käsespätzle with mountain cheese and Räßkäse
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese (or Swiss if not available)
1 3/4 cups milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper
1 egg (large)
4 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons canola oil (or peanut oil if available)
French Fried Onions (optional)
Whisk the milk, egg and egg yolk in a medium bowl.
In a larger bowl mix the flour, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
Combine the egg mixture into the flour, leaving a few lumps.
Cover and refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
In a large pot bring salted water to a boil.
Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
Hold a colander (or a Spaetzle maker) with large holes over the boiling water. Add about 1/2 cup of the batter to the colander and press it into the simmering water with a spatula or the back of a spoon until everything has been used.
Cook the Spaetzle for 2 minutes longer, then drain.
Transfer the Spätzle to the ice water, swirling the dumplings until all of the ice melts. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, season
Oil a 9-by-13-inch oven safe frying pan. Spread the Spätzle in the dish and dot with some cut up butter and grated hard cheese which is alternately stacked.
Bake 400F for about 20 minutes, or until the Spätzle is hot and the cheese is melted
Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil (1 tbsp) in a medium skillet. Cook the onion over high heat until softened, about 1 minute.
Reduce the heat to low, stirring occasionally until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Lay the fried onions over the Spätzle, some chives for decoration, then serve.
I have been living half of my life in Germany, then US, and traveling since then. My passion is cooking, painting and glass mosaic art. I try to re-create recipes I grew up with or tasted while traveling in Europe.
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