Spaetzle With Caramelized Onions

This weekend, Claud and I decided to have a very lazy time. We didn’t have any visitors, Daphne was at a friend’s house and Jack is now living in England. We didn’t have any visitors arriving until Sunday. So, we decided to spend Saturday in our pajamas and read or watch television most of the day. I don’t have cable television anymore. I only have Apple TV. So, I usually watch Netflix or Hulu, which is great for lazy days binge watching shows.

At one point in the day, I was in the mood for a good cooking show. I looked through what was available to watch. I was surprised that most of the shows were competitions. Although, I do enjoy the competitive cooking shows, I wanted some good old fashioned home cooking shows. I found an old early 2000’s Martha Steward episode. She made Portuguese kale soup. The show seemed so slow and old fashioned but I enjoyed it. The soup was super simple. She sauted onions and garlic, added chicken stock, piled in tons of kale, and simmered this all in a large pot. Then, she topped it with sausages. That was it.

Next, I found an old Emeril Lagasse episode. He was making a series of vegetarian entres. He made an udon noodle recipe, which looked delicious. He created a sauce out of sriracha, ponzu, oyster sauce and miso. He topped the udon with tons of vegetables and then coated everything in this sauce. Finally, he sprinkled on freshly grated carrots and slices of green onion. I am definitely going to make this dish. He also made lasagna and used zucchini instead of pasta for the noodles. That looked interesting but my daughter won’t eat squash. I really loved listening to the discussion about the benefits of a vegetarian diet and how Meatless Monday’s originated. This was an old show and we have become so much more educated about these matters since this first aired.

Once I finished with Emeril’s delicious vegetarian meals, I looked around for more and got sucked into a competitive cooking show. Years ago, Claud and I used to watch the original Iron Chef. We loved this show even though we had to read the subtitles. It was hilarious. Then, they made an American version and we could watch it and listen to it in English. It wasn’t as crazy and funny as the original but it was still entertaining. I decided to watch one of these episodes during my food show marathon.

If you have never seen Iron chef, the main person chooses one ingredient. The regular chef goes into battle with one of the iron chefs. They each have to prepare five dishes with this one ingredient within an hour. Then, they present these to a panel of judges. Usually, the judges are restaurateurs, food critics, food writers, chefs and an actor. They always slip an actor in there for variety. In the end, the dishes are evaluated, judged and given a numerical value. One of the two chefs becomes the champion based on the points.

The person who chooses the ingredient chose oats for this episode. The chefs quickly got to work. Desserts were cooking. Cereals were being made. Then, someone started making spaetzle. This captured my attention. I remembered hearing about spaetzle. It’s a German or Austrian noodle. I grabbed my iPad and started looking up recipes. Spaetzle is so versatile. You can make it and serve it with all kinds of sauces. I found recipes, which used sauces such as lemon and herb, marinara, mushroom gravy, brown butter and seasonings, or several different cheeses. Of course, I went with a cheese topping. I decided to make spaetzle with Gruyere cheese and caramelized onions. It turned out better than I had anticipated. I think it tasted like a grown up macaroni and cheese. I loved the addition of the caramelized onions. Give spaetzle a try and top it with your favorite type of sauce or give my recipe a try.

Spaetzle With Caramelized Onions:

Time: 2 hours

Serves: 6

Caramelized Onions:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large yellow onions, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

cup sugar

Heat the oil in a saut pan over medium high heat. Add the onions once the pan is hot. You want them to sizzle as they go into the pan. Saut them until they are clear and wilted. Add the sugar and lower the heat to medium. Cook them this way stirring occasionally for about fifteen minutes. You want them to turn golden brown. Set these aside.

Spaetzle:

1 cup milk

4 large egg yolks

1 large egg

3 cups flour

black pepper

5 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded

In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg yolks, and the egg. In a larger bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until it is lumpy. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Have a large bowl of ice water ready. Hold a colander over the boiling water. Add a bit of batter at a time and push it through the holes of the colander into the boiling water. Repeat this until the batter is finished. Cook in the boiling water for two minutes. Remove with a strainer and place the spaetzle into the ice water. Strain the spaetzle from the ice water and place into an oven safe dish. Top this with Gruyere cheese. Place into the oven and cook for twenty minutes. Just before it comes out of the oven, heat up the onions. Remove from oven and top with the onions. Serve.

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