I had the good fortune of growing up in a family that loves food. We love everything about it – shopping, finding new things to try, cooking, serving and of course, eating. Part of this love comes from my mom, Gwenae, who is a great cook, and her Hungarian heritage. Growing up, I remember enjoying these dumplings more than any other Hungarian dish. They are called Nokedli in Hungarian and Spaetzle in German. No matter what you call them, they are delicious and easy to make.
I love serving these with pork chops, grilled chicken and stews and in place of egg noodles. Nokedli is the standard accompaniment with one of Hungary’s best known dishes, Chicken Paprikash. Everything you need to make them is already in your kitchen – flour, salt, water and eggs. Once they are cooked i like to cook then on a pan with a little butter and my mom said her mom used to serve them with melted muenster cheese on top. Give these a try when you want serve something different with dinner.
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp Kosher salt
¾ c Warm water
2 c Flour
2 tbs Butter
1 tsp Parsley (fresh or dried)
In a bowl, combine the eggs, water, salt and half the flour, mixing gently. The dough should be soft and sticky, a bit thicker than gravy but not as thick as pancake batter. You can add more flour if needed and discard the rest if your dough is the right consistency.
The key to this super simple batter is to let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
If you have a spaetzle maker, pour the batter into the basket and move it back and forth to drop the dough through the holes into the boiling water. (Click here to see the great one I bought at Bed, Bath & Beyond for less than $10.00. Not an ad, just a fan.) If you don’t have one, you can put the dough on a large spoon and drop small amounts into the water. A flat panel grater would work well too.
The dumplings are done when they float to the top, about three – four minutes.
Drain them into a colander and return them to the pot, cooking with the butter till coated. Transfer to a bowl and top with parsley.