March 22, 2010

bouletten with homemade spaetzle

bouletten or German hamburgers with homemade spaetzle and pan fried potatoes

Eating out always offers an opportunity to try new flavors and learn about different cuisines. German food has always been one of our weaknesses so when a new German restaurant recently opened nearby, it didn't take us long to pay them a visit. I was glad my husband told me about the bouletten, the German counterpart of the hamburger, which he tried before. It was so good that I had to recreate it at home. I decided to make it as soon as I found a recipe for it. I used ground lean beef mixed with a few slices of bread, torn and soaked in milk, then drained and mashed. I also added minced parsley and minced onions to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into patties then pan fry until fully cooked and well browned. For the gravy, add more olive oil and butter to the same skillet. While scraping the pan with a spatula, sprinkle some flour and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the beef broth or water with beef bouillon and continue to add more if needed. Stir in some mustard and a tablespoon of tomato paste (optional) then season with salt and pepper. Spoon the gravy on the bouletten at serving time.

(1) the spaetzle maker fits well on top of the pot (2) the plastic container filled with the dough glides along the stainless part when pushed (3) the spaetzle dough then drops into the boiling water through the holes ~ it takes only a few minutes to cook (4) spaetzle served warm with butter.

Along with a few German cookbooks, my husband also bought a spaetzle maker, shown above, which worked quite well. The plastic and stainless combination makes it easy to use and to clean as well. Making spaetzle at home allowed me to add whole wheat flour to the soft dough. It was quick to make, thanks to the neat gadget.

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