Recipe classic of the Kleinwalsertal: Käsknöpfle
Enjoy the Walser classics at home, too. Chefs from Kleinwalsertal chat about their recipes. Today in the blog: Käsknöpfle (Chääschnööpfle)
Käsespätzle, Kässpatzen, Chösschnöpfli, Käsknöpfle.... many names for one delicious dish! In winter as a power source on the slopes or in summer as a delicious feast at the hut. Käsespätzle enjoy the status of the must-eat dish on vacation throughout the Alps.
But what if we also get a craving for the classic dish at home?
Gregor Keck from Alpengasthof Hörnlepass shares his recipe*:
For the salad dressing, mix the vinegar with the sugar, salt and water and whisk everything together. You can make this basic dressing in any quantity you like as you can use it as the basis for numerous different dressing recipes. Whisk the basic dressing with the mustard and the egg white in a tall container. Then gradually blend in the oil, the herbs and the pepper with a stick blender or food mixer until you achieve a smooth consistency.
Here at the Hörnlepass, we dry the herbs that we harvest from our own alpine herb garden during the summer and the autumn so that we always have a supply of our own herbs that we can use during the winter. If you don’t have the opportunity to grow your own herbs, you can obviously buy them from a store. Using your own produce usually tastes so much better and costs much less.
When the dressing is ready, it is time to wash the salad leaves and herbs and tear them into bite-size pieces. Put the salad and dressing to one side. Do not mix them together yet.
Preparing the main dish:
1) For the Spätzle, firstly place a pan of salted water on the hob.
2) To make the dough, place the flour in a large bowl and add the salt and nutmeg. Then add the five egg yolks and the milk. Slowly mix everything together with a wooden spoon. As soon as all of the dry ingredients have formed a cohesive dough, you can start to knead the dough to introduce some air. The dough is ready when bubbles form and it looks smooth. It should be firm but slightly loose.
3) Next, add the butter to a pan and gently sauté the sliced onions on a low heat. You need to be patient during this stage as it takes a while for the onions to take on a lovely brown colour. The results definitely merit the wait.
4) You can start cooking the spätzle when the water has come to the boil. You can add them to the boiling water using a special spätzle grater or press. Stir the pan once to ensure that the spätzle do not stick together and allow to boil for a few minutes. Be careful to ensure that you do not add too many spätzle to the water at the same time otherwise they will very easily stick together. As soon as the spätzle rise to the top of the pan, remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a pan or dish. Repeat this step until you have used up all of the dough.
5) Now add a layer of spätzle to a pan or dish and cover with some grated cheese. Then add another layer of spätzle and another layer of cheese. The quantities should enable you to add four layers of spätzle and three layers of cheese.
6) Finally, pour the golden brown onions and butter from the pan over the dish, add the dressing to the salad and to mix them well together. The dishes are now ready to serve.