September 30, 2010

My Special Spaetzle Dinner

I made a very good dinner tonight! What it lacked in beauty, it made up for in deliciousness. I clipped this Basil Spaetzle recipe a long time ago from an old Taste of Home magazine. Since I have an abundance of basil (quite the miracle since I've long ago given up on watering the garden) I decided it was time to try it. Here's the recipe as written, check it out then I'll detail the changes I made.


3 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil
3 teaspoons salt, divided
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup cold water

In a bowl combine flour, basil and 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in the eggs and add the cold water. Mix until dough is smooth. In a large kettle bring 4 quarts of water and remaining salt to a boil, then reduce heat. With a rubber spatula, press dough through a colander into the simmering water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring gently so the spaetzle do not stick together. Drain and toss with butter.

So, since this spaetzle business is all new to me, I cut the recipe in half in case it didn't turn out. Though I probably did include the whole 1/3 cup of basil. The biggest problem I had was the colander part. My dough absolutely would not be pushed through the holes. I even tried my steamer strainer thing with larger holes and it was a no go. It was too sticky and thick. I ended up just pinching off bits of dough and dropping them in the water. That took a while so some pieces cooked much longer than others, but it all turned out fine. Actually, it turned out wonderful! They were chewy little funny looking dumplings with a very nice buttery basil flavor. I sauteed onion, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in some olive oil then tossed it all together with the spaetzle and some parmesan cheese. YUM!!!

And, I must talk about my cauliflower too. I found a recipe on for Roasted Garlic Cauliflower. I've never cooked cauliflower before and it's been a very long time since I've eaten it raw. I forgot that I really like it! And this recipe turned out great. I made a couple changes in the method based on reviews and my fear of broiling. I covered the pan with foil while baking. After 25-30 minutes, I tossed it with panko crumbs and parmesan cheese then just baked it for about 5 more minutes uncovered (instead of broiling it). Broiling makes me nervous. I avoid it whenever I can so that my dinner won't go up in flames.

It was a tasty vegetarian meal. My son LOVED the spaetzle, he was so-so on the cauliflower so I made a little cheese dip to go with it and he managed to eat a few pieces. Hubby gave me that famous "compliment" he gives me every so often, "it's not as bad as I expected." He is not a cauliflower fan, so I give him props for trying it. He liked the rest of the meal just fine though. I'll definitely be making both of these dishes again!


Dagni said...

I'm going to try that spaetzle, as I've got basil in the garden I need to use up. Thanks for the recipe.

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

I'm totally going to make this meal sometime. It looks delish!