Spaetzle (Austrian Egg Dumplings)
Yield: Serves 6-8
"Spaetzle -- tiny egg dumplings -- goes well with robust stews like beef Burgundy and coq au vin. Gourmet shops sell special spaetzle cutters, but you can improvise with a round cookie cutter (or topless and bottomless tuna fish can) and a flat grater or spatula with holes in it." --The Bernerhof Inn, Glen New Hampshire
- 2-3/4 cups flour
- 1 cup milk
- Scant teaspoon each salt, fresh white pepper, and freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 to 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 quarts rapidly boiling water, lightly salted
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
Combine flour, milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl, and, mixing with a whisk, add enough egg to obtain a thick but fairly loose paste. Let stand for 5 minutes. Using a spaetzle cutter, or an improvisation thereof, cut small bits of dough and drop into boiling water sprinkled with a little oil. Cook for 1 minute or until the spaetzle rise to the surface. If preparing the spaetzle ahead of time, transfer the cooked dumplings with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water sprinkled with a little oil (this prevents the dumplings from sticking together). The spaetzle can be prepared up to 48 hours ahead of time to this stage and stored in cold water.
To serve the spaetzle, drain thoroughly, and sauté them in foaming butter in a large frying pan, sprinkling with parsley and salt and pepper. Alternative: freshly cooked spaetzle can be served with melted butter or sour cream.