After a visit to Budapest in February, where I ate Goulash with Spätzle, I wanted to eat Spätzle again. Goulash is traditional in Hungary, and is a meat and vegetable stew which is seasoned with paprika. Usually it seems to be braised beef and seasonal winter vegetables, with a tomato flavour. Aldi didn’t have the things in to make Goulash so i settled for making a variety of Spätzle and a red cabbage stew instead.
Spätzle is usually made with an instrument which shapes the dough into small pieces, even a potato ricer or the like. Unfortunately I don’t have anything like that and doubled up the recipe I had, so I opted to make larger, dumpling like shapes rather than the little noodles.
Ingredients first, then the method.
Spätzle/dumplings – 4 cups of plain flour, 4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup of water, table salt and butter.
Stew – 3 chicken thighs, 1 white onion, 1 red cabbage, 1/2 punnet mushrooms, 1/2 bottle white wine, water, paprika, salt, pepper, cornflower, basil.
First to make the batter for the dumplings, mix the eggs, water and salt. Whisk together in a large mixing bowl. Add a teaspoon of table salt. Whisk in the flour a cup at a time. This forms a thin-ish, sticky dough. Let it rest for a bit (or go and wash your hair?) Leave 10-20 mins.
Come back and dice the onion into tiny pieces for the stew and fry of on a med-high heat using an oil of your choice. Put in a really big pan. While this is cooking dice the chicken breasts into small pieces and add to the pan. When the chicken is sealed (all white on the outside) put a splash of white wine in the pan. Leave 5-10 minutes for the chicken to cook through.
Slice up all of the red cabbage and mushrooms. Bring lots of water to the boil (2/3 kettles full). In a different pan, have it full of boiling salted water to cook the dumplings in. In the onion/chicken pan, put in the cabbage and mushrooms and fill with water, leaving about an inch of the food in the pan un-submerged. Pour in wine to taste, (half a bottle should do it, unless you really like wine). Stir and add salt and pepper and paprika, leave it on a gentle boil for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Stir regularly.
While this is cooking it’s time to make the dumplings! Using 2 tablespoons, take small amounts of dough into the pan of boiling salted water. It should sink to the bottom at first and will float to the top when it is cooked. When it’s ready, use a holey ladle to take them out and drain in a colander. This amount of dough might take up to 45 minutes to cook…
When the stew is ready, the dumpling should be all cooked and probably a little cold. Fry them in butter or olive oil to re-heat, just before you’re ready to eat and season them with basil.
This will do about 6 servings, happy dumplings 😀