Friday, January 4, 2013
The problem with getting behind in posting (and I guess procrastinating in general) is that it just keeps getting harder to get caught up. I've actually made every recipe (except for one) over the past two months so there is a very long catch-up post in my future, but I've decided to just try to start posting on time again and write the catch-up post when I get to it.....So, spaetzle. I've always wanted to try making spaetzle (Sara Moulton has an excellent-sounding recipe for it that I keep meaning to try) so I was glad when I saw the recipe schedule for this month. One of my few problems with AMFT, is that Dorie always makes everything sound so easy. The way she describes it you mix the batter, put it through something with holes in it, boil it, and then very soon dinner is ready. I thought it sounded perfect for a weeknight dinner! I was very wrong. Maybe it would have gone better with a spaetzle maker--I'm very curious to see if anyone has one and how much easier it made things--but I spent an awful lot of time holding my hands over a pot of boiling water trying to push the thick, sticky dough through the holes of the largest disk of my food mill. (I also tried a colander and big slotted spoon, but this seemed to be my best option.) My mom happened to be over and offered to help, but after trying for about a minute she said it was impossible and gave up. Luckily, my mom did come to the rescue when I noticed that I didn't have anything to finish the dish. I skipped buying the mushrooms (still don't like them) and I couldn't find the onion half that I'd saved for this purpose. I probably would have panicked but my mom--who's much better at substitutions and cooking with what's available than I am--suggested adding celery and garlic and it worked quite well. Dinner was very late on Wednesday, but we definitely both enjoyed it. I made the spaetzle with half all purpose flour and half of an ancient grains mix that I bought from KAF, and really liked the nutty flavor that the anxious grains added. The only thing I wish is that the spaetzle had gotten crispier. A few of mine browned nicely but most did not. I think next time I'll use a bigger pan to fry them in, and also won't skimp so much on the butter and oil (I was trying to be healthy!).