Editor's Note: There's nothing quite like tucking into some beloved comfort food. If you're looking for a hearty dish that is filling and comforting, then you'll want to include this recipe for Kasespatzle in your meal planning. Loaded with cheese, this classic comfort food from Germany can be served on a cold winter's night — especially after a long day of work. If you'd like ideas on alternative cheeses to use in this recipe, as well as just the right type of wine to pair with the dish, then take a look at the tips below the recipe's instructions!
PRONOUNCED “KAY-ZEH-SHPET-ZLEH,” THIS DISH IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF TRADITIONAL German comfort food. It consists of only tiny dumpling-like noodles and melty, stretchy cheese that wants nothing more than to cling to your face and hands. Really, can a dish get any homier? This recipe calls for Edam, a lovely Dutch cheese from northern Holland. Young Edam is soft and mild but gets harder and sharper as it ages. We prefer a young cheese for this dish, as it melts easily, but an aged Edam will melt almost as well and provide a much more robust flavor.
To make Käsespätzle, you’ll want to find a device called a Spätzlehobel-or spätzle hopper-which resembles a cheese grater and has an attachment that allows you to move the batter through the holes and into a pot of boiling water. While spätzle hoppers are becoming more common in cookware stores, if you don’t have one, you can easily make do with a flat cheese grater and a wooden spoon to push the batter through the holes. Adventurous cooks can also attempt the traditional method of making spätzle, which involves little more than a wooden board and a wide, flat metal scraper called a Spätzlebrett und Schaber. If all else fails, you can find frozen spätzle at some specialty grocery stores.
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe CourseSide Dish
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ medium onion, sliced
- A few tablespoons water
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces Edam, shredded
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In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook just until they begin to brown. Turn the heat to low and slowly caramelize the onions until they are soft, brown, and sweetly fragrant, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the pan. Add a tablespoon of water here and there if necessary to keep them from cooking too fast. When they are done, move the onions to a bowl and set the pan aside. Do not wash it.
In a bowl, combine the eggs and ¼ cup heavy cream and beat to mix. In another, smaller bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper and mix well. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring with a wooden spoon. If the dough is too loose, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until it is the consistency of a thick batter. Cover the batter and let it rest for 20 minutes.
While the batter is resting, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it’s bubbling madly, add a few tablespoons of salt and bring it back up to a boil.
Set your spätzle maker over the pot and press the dough through the holes into the boiling water a few inches below. If using a flat cheese grater, just press the dough through the holes with your fingers or a wooden spoon. You’ll need to work in two or three batches, depending on how big your pot is. Once the spätzle float to the top, let them cook for another 2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon and set them to dry on a plate lined with a paper towel.
Once all of your spätzle are done, add them to the pan that you cooked the onions in. Turn the heat to medium and cook the spätzle for 2 minutes, tossing a few times to get them to heat evenly. Add shredded cheese and 3 tablespoons of heavy cream, stirring until all the cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with caramelized onions.
Emmentaler, Raclette, any fine young Gouda, Valley Ford Highway One
High-acidity, low-residual-sugar white wines such as dry or off-dry Rieslings, Alpine whites, Chardonnay, or Rhône Valley whites
Additional Pairings for the Cheese
Peaches, apricots, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, cherries
2013 Stephanie Stiavetti & Garrett McCord