Kaes-Spaetzen (pronounced by my family as Kase-spuchen)
My Dad has made this dish for as long as I can remember. It was always eaten on special occasions and I always loved watching and helping my dad make it (even if it was only to sneak handfuls of the cheese).
Dad is German and he is an incredible cook. Like me, he cooks from instinct and makes the best Bavarian feast ever! He tells me Kaes-spaetzen is a peasant dish, something anyone could make, because all you need is flour, eggs, onions and cheese - and most families had these ingredients available on their properties. (It’s kind of like a German Mac and Cheese – just way better) .
Tonight we are having Malcie and Maurice over for dinner and even though they have already tasted the "famous" Kaes-spaezten, it is New Years Eve so I’ve decided to do it once more before the year ends. I’ll serve it with crispy iceberg lettuce with a garlic and mustard vinaigrette.
Here goes with my take on one of my favourite meals ever....
This will serve 6 very generously or 10 normal servings with salad;
Preheat your oven to 150 c
Start with caramelising the onions because they take a while;
10 large brown or red onions chopped finely then fried in 3 tablespoons of olive oil - I used a mixture of brown and red because that's what I had a home. The onion take about 30 - 40 min to get really brown and yummy.
|Chopped onions - I found out after the fact, that I had not used enough so use heaps, because as you see they cook down to nothing .|
|been on for 10 min......|
|been cooking for 20 min.......|
|ingredients for Spaetzle + water|
|Spaetzle machine ready to go......|
Pour the mixture into the spaetzle thing over boiling salted water and move back and forth until the mixture has gone, refill and do it again. Once the little pasta comes to the surface its ready to take out - I do this with a smaller sieve.
|the messy bit|
|Yay it's working.....|
|This is what the little pasta look like|
|scoop it out now so they don't over cook|
|pay me some attention mother !|
|Are you proud Dad ?|
Now each time you finish a batch of spaetzle you do a layer of spaetzle then a layer of cheese and you pretty much repeat this till all the pasta is done and the cheese is finished. Remembering each time to put it back in the oven with the lid on.
|first layer with cheese|
|Layer upon layer upon layer......|
Now once you have finished, take your very caramelized onions and cover the top of the Kaes-spaetzen, then cover the onions with the chopped parsley.
|clearly not enough onions, needs to be disguised by parsley|
|give me my food mother !|
|or I'll tip this water all over the floor !|
|cutting into the deliciousness....|
Ready to serve, bring the pot to the table with your salad and dish up
|You have know idea how good this tastes !|
It is mandatory to have salad at the same time on the plate with the Kaes-spaetzen, I think it’s the vinegary juices mixed with the onions and cheese that is just to die for.
Anyway my nearest and dearest to me have all tasted my Dad’s and I have to say Dad, mine is nearly as good as yours!My critics gave me a 10/10-can’t ask for much more than that !
We all ate way too much, as you do with Kaes-spaetzen, and there were even leftovers for the morning to fry up as is tradition in my Dad’s house the next day.
Anyway the night ended with an incredible dance preformed by Mima and Wilco – choreographed by Malcie, and fireworks at the fishpond park.
Happy New Year Everyone !!!
photo's by Max and Jemima Doyle
©michelle Schoeps 2013