|Gluten Free Spaetzle with Sauteed Collard Greens|
a.k.a. Gluten Free Pasta Noodles
Spaetzle, meaning "little sparrow," is a type of German egg noodle. It isn't quite the same as a pasta noodle, although it'll do in a pinch to substitute for them. If you have the right sort of equipment, and most people do, it's surprisingly easy and quick to make. My German Omi (grandma) frequently made spaetzle when I was a kid and while I can't say with any assurance that spaetzle is a traditional Easter dish, it's one that I'm incorporating into this year's Gluten Free German themed Easter dinner. Like last week's Easter dish, Vegetarian Cabbage Rolls (holopchi), spaetzle is like comfort food for me.
I went off in search of a gluten free spaetzle recipe and lo and behold, I found one! More than one in fact. However, most of them simply replaced the regular flour in the spaetzle recipe with a prepackaged flour mix. First let me say I have no problems with pre-packaged gluten free flour mixes. For most people, they are a great alternative, as they can be used as a 1-1 replacement for flour in recipes, thereby eliminating the stress of struggling with gf flours. However, they can be are more expensive than buying single flours, and if a recipe calls for one type of mix and you have another, well, this can be a problem, as some mixes have yeast in them and others don't = no rise to your bread or pizza crust if using the wrong one. So I don't bother with them.
Anyway, I did try one gluten free spaetzle that I found here and it turned out ok, very soft and tasty, but I found that the spaetzle was really sticky, and stuck to each other in clumps. Since the dough mainly consisted of starches, I thought that the second time around I would cut way back on the starches and use brown rice flour for a bit more fibre and nutrition. While spaetzle is traditionally boiled, then fried in butter and smothered in onions and gravy, I decided to give it healthy fusion update. I know, German cuisine is not like Asian or Indian, you don't often see "German fusion" in fancy restaurants, but, like with the Vegetable Cabbage rolls, I'm determined to make my old favorites in a healthy veggie version. So I skipped the frying and covered it with collard greens sauteed in butter with garlic and lemon juice. Of course, if you miss traditional spaetzle, you could certainly serve it with gravy and onions and lots of cheese!
|Tapioca Flour and Glutinous Rice Flour|
1/4 c potato starch OR tapioca starch (
1c + 1Tbsp brown or white rice flour ( I ground my own)
1/4 c sweet rice flour (aka glutinous rice flour)
1/2c tapioca flour / starch
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c water + more as needed
2. Slowly add the water and mix with a fork until the paste is able to form ribbons. Add more water as needed. The dough should be thinner than bread dough, but thicker than pancake batter.
3. Bring a few inches worth of water to a boil in a large pot and add 1 Tbsp oil and a few shakes of salt.
4. There are a few ways to add the spaetzle to the water:
a) use a spaetzle cutter (these are available for about $10 on Amazon)
b) place a large-holed colander over the pot of water and, using a spatula, press the batter through the holes in to the boiling water – do this in batches, or work quickly as the batter on the bottom of the hot colander will start to cook onto the colander. Also, make sure there is enough water in the pot so that the spaetzle doesn't pile up on itself and clump up.
c) Add about 1/3 of the batter on to a cutting board and, using a knife or spatula, slide thin ribbons of batter off the board in to the boiling water.
5. Boil for approximately 2-3 minutes, until all the batter floats. Strain with a slotted spoon or hand held strainer and mix with a small amount of butter, or oil, to prevent sticking.
Sauteed Collard Greens
1 bunch collard greens, washed, with the hard stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp butter or margarine or olive oil
1 clove garlic, grated or chopped fine
1/2 tsp salt
Salt and pepper to taste.
1. In a large skillet, heat the butter or oil over low-medium heat until melted. Add collard greens and saute until they begin to wilt and turn bright green.
2. Sprinkle with lemon juice and add garlic and salt. Saute for another minute and remove from heat. Stop sauteing before the greens begin to turn brown. Salt and pepper to taste and serve over spaetzle.
I hope you enjoy my "German Fusion" Easter dish, which can, of course, be served any time of the year!
*OAS Info: While this recipe is free of the most common OAS foods, it does contain potato starch. I am unsure if this could cause a reaction, particularly since the flour is boiled. However, if in doubt, sub corn starch instead of potato starch.
This recipe is linked to the following fantastic sites:
Meatless Mondays on My Sweet and Savory, Just Another Meatless Monday on Hey, What's for Dinner Mom?, Gluten Free Wednesdays on The Gluten Free Homemaker, Allergy Free Wednesdays on Tessa Domestic Diva