Apologies all for the long delay in posting - it's been rather hectic in P's kitchen of late. Well, more to the point, I haven't really had much of a kitchen due to our extended house move.
But - long story short - moving is now complete, so you can anticipate some rather lovely culinary adverntures coming up shortly. Here's the first, to fulfil a promise made long ago. It's the recipe for a traditional Swabian dish (from Southern Germany) that I wasn introduced to by my friend Mel. It's a carby, cheesy mouthwatering feast of naughtiness, which I am sure you will appreciate.
(these are the pasta noodles that form the basis for the dish)
500g plain flour
pinch of salt
1. Mix the flour, eggs, salt and some of the water together and beat in as much air in as possible, so that you get bubbles in the dough. Gradually add in as much water as necessary to gain a thick, sticky consistency (you probably won't need all of it). Mel rather appealing describes the desired consistency as being "like chewing gum".
2. Next comes the tricky part, for which a large potato ricer will come in handy. In the absence of a potato ricer, there is a cutting method, whereby you spread the dough on a wet board and then cut thin slices with a knife, as shown on this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Y6Ga9hMm4Y
3. Next, the Spaetzle have to be cooked. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, and add the Spaetzle. When they float to the top, scoop them up with a slotted sppon.
The Spaetzle can be served as they are, in accompaniment to a meal, but my favourite recipe is Kässpätzle (cheesy spätzle):
Spätzle from 700g of flour
200g Gruyere or Emmental cheese, grated
250g Edam, grated
200ml single cream
Salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste
1 dried stock cube
1. Grease a large ovenproof dish, and spread half of the Spätzle across the dish. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then cover with half of the cheese and cream.
2. Prepare a second layer in the same way, and bake for about 20 minutes at 200 decrees celcius (until light brown).
(Crispy onion garnish)
onions (about 4-5 onions for 3 people)
1. Slice the onions and cover in flour, then brown in a generous amount of oil until most of them are crisp.
It might sound like a lot of complicated steps, but it's definitely worth it - that's what helps to make such a simple series of ingredients just so darn tasty.
And because I'm nice like that, I'm passing on an official Swabian Housewife's tip that Mel passed on to me: when you wash utensils use cold water, otherwise the dough won't come off!