Spatzel

I first had home made spatzel in the Czech Republic.  I was a guest in the house of a local restaurateur named Pavel.  I don’t recall when the spatzel came out, but I remember that the rich taste of half dumpling, half noodle was amazing.  I was able to recapture it with this recipe.  You may be tempted to skip the saute step with the butter, but DON’T!  The saute makes the spatzel.  One of the biggest tricks is forming the spatzel for boiling.  The recipe I used was very wet, so I added flour.  Still, the best trick I found was to put the dough in a quart Zip-loc bag, cut a corner and drip it into the pot.  Worked like a charm!  Once, boiled, you can set it aside and saute it right before you are ready to serve it.
Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dry parsley shaker

Directions

1.  Mix together flour, salt, white pepper, and nutmeg.

2.  Beat eggs well, and add alternately with the milk to the dry ingredients. Mix until smooth.

3.  Press dough through spaetzle maker, or a large holed sieve or metal grater. (Note – see plastic bag trick in notes)

4.  Drop a few at a time into simmering liquid. Cook 5 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

5.  Saute cooked spaetzle in butter or margarine for about 5 minutes.

6.  Sprinkle chopped fresh parsley on top, and serve.

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Veprove s Krenem (Pork with Horseradish)

This is a nice recipe from Recipezaar that I found while looking to recreate some dishes I enjoyed while visiting the Czech Republic.   You can serve this with the Czech Garlic Soup and some potato dumplings for a true Czech meal experience.  The original recipe calls for celery, which you can add if you like, but I don’t care for it.  Serves 4-6.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs lean pork, cut into cubes 1-inch
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 onion, medium
  • 1 carrot, medium
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup horseradish

Directions


  1. Brown pork in hot butter.
  2. Add all ingredients- except horseradish.
  3. Simmer covered for 2 hours.
  4. Transfer meat.
  5. Force stock through sieve or puree in blender.
  6. Pour stock over meat, top with horseradish.

Czech Garlic Soup

Recipe – Czech Garlic Soup

Here is a great recipe for a traditional Czech Garlic Soup. It is easy to make (other than dicing the potatoes) and tastes great, especially on a cold day.  Sorry for the slightly different formatting – I posted this recipe about 10 years ago and this is a simple cut and paste!

Ingredients

Amount Description
1 pound Potatoes
6 Cups Water
Dash Powdered Caraway Seeds
1/4 cup Lard (yes, lard)
5-6 cloves Fresh Garlic
2 pinches Salt
Croutons
6 slices Rye bread
1/4 cup Olive oil
2 pinches Caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Pepper
2 dashes Fresh Ground Pepper

Soup

Peel and Dice potatoes

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender (20 -30 minutes)

Mash Garlic with a pinch of salt while the potatoes boil

Add lard, stir in until dissolved

Stir in garlic, cover and simmer while croutons bake

Croutons

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Slice rye bread into crouton sized pieces

Combine olive oil, caraway seeds, garlic pepper and fresh ground pepper in small bowl, alter amounts to suit taste

Arrange bread on cookie sheet and brush to taste with olive oil mixture

Place on top rack of oven, brown top side

Remove, flip bread and brush oil on again

Brown second side and remove from oven

Ladle soup into bowls, top with croutons, enjoy