Monday, May 11, 2009

This Week...

Not much has been going on around here. Too much rain to get on the motorcycle...which I haven't been on mine since last fall. The weather has been so odd...cooler and wetter than a normal May. But, hey! This is northeast Texas! really is normal.

Returning from the Aggie reunion in San Antone I found these in bloom.
I've been cooking. For a week now, I've been thinking about banana pudding...made of course with Nabisco 'Nilla wafers. The recipe is on the box. The only thing I do different...the recipe calls for 3 eggs separated. You beat the yolks into the pudding and make a meringue with the whites. I use two whole eggs. Whisk them with the milk for the pudding. Instead of meringue, I top with Nilla wafers.
Do you like spaetzle? I do. Sam doesn't care for it. But I found a recipe in Emeril Lagasse's book From Emeril's Kitchen. Sam like this better than the original.

Creole Mustard Spaetzle

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 ¾ teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon Creole mustard
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Combine flour and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, then add to the flour, whisking until smooth. Add ¼ cup of the mustard and the oil and mix well.
Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl; set aside.
Bring 4 quarts water and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt to a rolling boil in a large pot. Pour half of the batter into a colander and with a rubber spatula, force the batter through the holes into the water. Cook, stirring, until the dumplings rise to the surface, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a long handled slotted spoon to the ice bath. Repeat with remaining batter. Drain and place in a large bowl.
Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is foamy, add the remaining 1 tablespoon mustard and swirl to blend. Add spaetzle, parsley, and lemon juice and stir to mix. Cook until spaetzle is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

My recipe for plain spaetzle comes from a 1950 Mennonite Community Cookbook.

Spatzlein (Little Sparrows)

1 egg 1 cup water 2 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt

2 quarts boiling water 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Beat egg throughly. Add water and beat until well blended with egg. Mix flour and salt and add to liquid. Beat until smooth. Bring salted water and drop spatzlein into water. To do this, tilt bowl containing batter in a position that it can be cut with the edge of a spoon as it purs over the edfge of the bowl. The spatzlein should be an inch long and 1/4 inch in diamter. Cook for 3 minutes after batter is all in the water. Drain in colander and top with brown butter. Makes 6 servings.

I have a double boiler. The top portion has holes in it similar to a colander. I hold the insert above the boiling water while I mash half the batter through the holes. After 3 minutes, I ladle the spaetzle out and into a bowl. Then mash the remaining batter through the holes in the double boiler insert.

You can serve these with plain butter or herbed butter.

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