TINY DUMPLINGS (SPAETZLE)

Ingredients
  

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoon lard melted and cooled + 1 tablespoon lard

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Pour in the eggs, milkand the cooled, melted lard in thin streams, stirring constantly with a largespoon, and continue to stir until the dough is smooth.
  • Bring the water and the remaining 3 teaspoons of salt to a boil in a heavy 3-to 4-quartsaucepan. Set a large colander over the pan and, with a spoon, press the dough through theholes of the colander into the boiling water.*
  • Stir the dumplings gently, then boil briskly for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they aretender to the bite. Drain the dumplings thoroughly.
  • Melt the remaining tablespoon of lard in a heavy 10-to-12-inch skillet and drop in thedumplings. Stirring constantly, cook the dumplings for 1 or 2 minutes, or until they aredry. Serve at once, as a side dish.

Notes

Yield: Serves 4.
Our Hungarian neighbor in Baltimore introduced me to spaetzle
The following recipe is adapted from The Melting Pot, from a series published inthe sixties by Time-Life Books.
There are stores which sell special items for this process. They work well butmay be unnecessary. I have found that an insert from one of our deep-fat fryers has holeswhich are a perfect size for spaetzle. If you have such an item already taking up space inyour kitchen, or something similar, feel free to improvise. Just hold insert over waterwhich is at a “rolling boil,” drop in a cupful of spaetzle dough, rubthrough holes with a wooden spoon, allow to cook a few minutes, until they are all merrilybobbing around on the surface of the boiling water, then skim off the top and do anothercupful.
Andrew and I experimented recently with one of the specialty items. It worked justas well but no better than the improvised spaetzle maker.
If you would like to vary your spaetzle experience just a bit, during thesummer, when fresh basil is plentiful, try Basil Spaetzle. Add 3 to 4heaping tablespoons of finely chopped fresh basil to the flour when you make theabove recipe. If you routinely double the basic spaetzle recipe, as I do,to 3 cups flour, add 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh basil, 1 teaspoon salt, foureggs and 1 cup milk. Be sure you have dried the basil thoroughly beforechopping, or you will affect adversely the consistency of the spaetzle dough.
This recipe has been kitchen tested.
Keyword Rice, Dumplings and Grains