Monday, October 7, 2019

German comfort food: Bacon and cheese spaetzle

My segment this week is centered around German recipes in honor of GermanFest this weekend at the Athenaeum in Indianapolis. I’ve never been to Germany and I’m not German, but I did have a lot of help with these recipes! My mother-in-law’s family is from Germany, and my husband grew up eating many of her delicious German dishes.

One of his favorites was spaetzle.

Spaetzle is best described as a short, chewy egg noodle. The batter is mainly made of flour, eggs, salt, and milk.

The pasta can be used as a blank canvas for whatever you want to serve with it, but the recipe I’m sharing today showcases one of the more traditional ways to serve it: with bacon, cheese, onion, and sauerkraut. It’s everything great comfort food should be!

You can, of course, make your own spaetzle. However, I’m going to be using store-bought spaetzle. My mother-in-law says it’s almost just as good, and I trust her opinion. I got the spaetzle from a local German store called Heidelberg Haus. If you’re in the Indianapolis-area, I highly recommend visiting it! They have a great cafe and bakery with a lot of tasty cakes, strudels, and pastries.

If you don’t live in Indianapolis, you can find spaetzle in the ethnic section of many local grocery stores or online.

Bacon and cheese spaetzle
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 (9-ounce) box spatezle, cooked (about 600 grams cooked spatezle)
  • 8 ounces sauerkraut, drained
  • 4 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces emmantaler cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Parsley for garnish
  1. Heat a skillet to medium-low heat, and cook the bacon until it is crispy, or about 8 minutes total (4 minutes per side).
  2. Remove bacon and place on paper-towel lined plate. Cut into thin strips. 
  3. Drain all but 2 Tablespoons of bacon grease from the skillet.
  4. Add onion to skillet and saute until translucent and caramelized. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine bacon, onion, spatezle, sauerkraut, 2 ounces of gruyere cheese, 2 ounces of emmantaler cheese, pepper, and salt.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared 8x8-inch casserole dish.
  7. Top with remaining cheese and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes or until bubbly.
  8. Serve warm with parsley sprinkled on top.

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