Monday, October 28, 2013

At Home: Jägerspätzle

In 2006, I was in Southern Germany for a few months on a work assignment. There I was introduced to Jägerschnitzel, a dish consisting of fried pork cutlet with a mushroom sauce (Jäger = Hunter, and a sauce made with mushrooms and onions is commonly referred to as "hunter's sauce".)  I just love the homey flavor combination of mushrooms and onions.  Spätzle or spaetzle is an egg noodle with soft texture.  I had the best version ever when I was in Bavaria. It was pan fried with cheese and tasted like a skillet mac n' cheese.  For my next experiment of What Micky Eats...At Home, and in honor of Oktoberfest, I decided to combine my two favorites and make Jägerspätzle. This side dish is the perfect accompaniment to your German-inspired meal.

  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1 egg + 2 egg whites, beaten
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • water for boiling
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup white onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp sour cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste

- Put the flour into a mixing bowl.
- Pour the beaten egg mixture into the flour, and stir to mix well.
- Pour the milk into the mixture in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a large spoon, until dough is smooth.
- Bring water to a boil in a medium to large pot.
- Using a slotted spoon, slowly pour the dough over the spoon, pressing it through the holes and into the water.
- When all of the dough has dropped into the water, stir the dumplings gently to prevent them from sticking.
- Boil briskly until tender about 5 minutes.
- Drain the water from the spaetzle, and set aside.

- Heat olive oil in a large pan.
- Add onions and sweat through until translucent.
- Add garlic and mushroom slices, and stir until mushrooms are soft.
- Once mushrooms have cooked down, add the spaetzle into the pan.
- Toss around to mix everything, and allow the spaetzle to brown a little, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Add the sour cream, and salt and pepper.  Mix well together.
- Serve warm.

I prefer the slotted spoon on the left.
The dough makes a lot of noodles, so your pot will look crowded.  As long as the water is boiling briskly, the noodles will constantly move around.  I prefer to use a slotted spoon with longer ovals instead of a small holes - it just makes for bigger dumplings that look more rustic and more authentic as to what I ate in Germany.  This Jägerspätzle is wonderful with traditional schnitzel, but you can also serve it will grilled chicken or roasted turkey.  The sour cream just gives a little extra creaminess to the dish, and combines with the mushrooms and onions to make a light gravy.  It tasted great with our schnitzel and a cold German lager, and was the perfect meal for a rainy Fall evening in October.

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