I’m ashamed to admit but sometimes for me, trying new foods is a little scary. I remember a couple of years ago Tim and I were in a restaurant for our work Christmas meal. Sat at a table with 10 Swiss men who were looking at the menu with no confusion or fear reminded me how much of a foreigner I was! The menu was a special ‘Wildsaison’, which is basically autumn on a plate usually accompanied by Bambi’s mother. I could work out some of the other ingredients like vegetables but one thing stuck out and I ended up having to ask, What is Spätzli?! (or was ist spätzli?! in my quiet and swiss dialect-free accent). It turned out to be this super tasty pasta/noodle hybrid that looked like soggy Nik Naks and tasted like.. well… Spätzli I guess..! Its pretty much my favourite thing ever so I thought I would share some tips and a little recipe to anyone that wants to try it but needs a little extra push!
So here it is, (do you get the soggy nik nak reference now?!) Traditionally, its home made, probably by some kind of Swiss version of Mary Berry who lives in a beautiful wooden house, has a pet cow and spends her days wearing Dirndls and cooking (pretty much the woman I aspire to be when I retire!) For the most part I’ve been buying this semi-fresh version, maybe I’ll attempt it myself one day, but for now, this tickles my tastebuds enough. As for the ingredients, I believe its mostly egg, flour and salt, and maybe some preservatives for the store bought version. So lets move on, how the flange do we cook it?! (note: you can also get a dried spätzli which will need to be boiled before following this steps).So, to start melt a big old lump of butter in a frying pan (I never said it was healthy!) Get the pan super hot and start frying up the spätzli! Add in some Aromat (or salt) and pepper and let it sizzle and fry up until its crispy.You want it hella crispy because the insides are quite heavy and doughy so its better to have a crispy outter and soft inside! Usually what I do is cook it all up then put it in an oven dish and put the oven on about 100 degrees celsius to keep it hot while I cook the other stuff. I have to do this because my apartment has an induction hob and I’m not about to buy 2 induction frying pans when I have no intention of ever seeing one of these hobs in my life after I move out! (rant over, I like to cook and induction is not cooking!) Anyway, the good thing is that they keep nice and moist but still crispy if you decide to keep them in the oven for a bit. See?! not so difficult is it?! So what do we eat this with? I hear you ask! As I mentioned before, the wildsaison deer/boar etc thing is pretty big here but I like to cook it as a simple week day meal with some chicken or beef. My usual easy ‘go-to’ meal is creamy chicken with spätzli. I call it easy because, it is and I’m lazy so I like that kind of recipe.These little guys are my saviours, I usually buy a couple when we go shopping because theyre pretty cheap, when unopened they last a real long time, and you can get different versions, this is the regular one, I usually get 7% fat (because lets face it, I’ve just smothered the spätzli in butter so the least I could do is cut back a smidge!) I think you can also get a pepper flavoured one, which I haven’t actually tried but maybe I’ll give it a whirl next time! So, for dinner for Tim and I, I cut up an onion and sweat it, then I add two sliced chicken breasts, season them with salt and pepper and cook them a little (just until the outsides go white) then I add the Rama cooking cream. I do this so that the chicken doesn’t go dry, I don’t know why but some people are totally adverse to cooking their chicken in the sauce, which is just crazy to me, do not fry the chicken first, it goes dry and stringy and crusty! Cook it in the sauce, slowly and it’ll be moist and yummy, if its the ever present threat of food poisoning that scares you, take a big piece of chicken out and cut it in half to see if its cooked. Word.Anyway, so the chicken is cooking in the cream, this is when I’d add some chopped mushrooms or something like that to cook up with the chicken, then when the chicken is cooked I add a butt load of pepper, paprika, chilli flakes, aromat and a bit of parmesan. Paprika, parmesan and chilli?! Yes, its delicious. try it and let me know how much you loved it!
Thanks for reading! Yasmin x
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