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What to serve with the Herbed Spaetzle recipe?

I am trying new things on my uber picky DH, and I'm starting with side dishes. I got him to eat, and like, Orzo last week. Now I want to try the Herbed spaetzle recipe that is here on Chow. I need something really simple to go with it. I have some cornish hens, rib eye steaks, country style pork ribs, and ground beef in the freezer. Any advice? I want to have some kind of sauce for the spaetzle to soak up, other than just a plain gravy, but it has to be very simple, with nothing like mushrooms, capers, or anything a picky kid wouldn't eat.

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  1. I think they would be best with the Cornish hens, if you can make a pan sauce after roasting them.

    5 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      I was leaning towards the cornish hens or the steaks, but how would I roast the hens? On a rack to keep the juices, or should I add some wine or something in the pan? It seems like when I roast the juices dry up.

      1. re: danhole

        I've only made them once, using a a JC recipe. I rarely use a rack, but you could deglaze the pan using wine, then add some chicken broth etc.

        1. re: danhole

          Danhole, adding wine might work, or I wonder if using a smaller roasting pan might help to minimize surface area and prevent all the juices from evaporating.

          My friend Anny serves her spaetzle with schnitzel and creates a gravy using basically flour and chicken broth. She adds sliced mushrooms, but you've already specified those won't work.

          Good luck!

          1. re: eefoodgeek

            I agree about using a small pan - when roasting, I usually use as small a pan as I can, even if it is not a traditional roasting pan.

            1. re: eefoodgeek

              I'd really like to try a schnitzel, but I am taking this slow. Too many different things will freak him out!

              I wonder if I spatchcock them and put in a sheet pan, if that would yield more juice? Then I could make a gravy with chicken stock and some nice herbs - or maybe not since the spaetzle is already herbed.

        2. Spaetzle, normally without the herbs, are a common side to German and Austrian meats and stews (schnitzel, goulash, sausage, roast pork, etc). Or they can be dressed up with butter and cheese and served on their own. Didn't you mention that your DH liked butter noodles? These are just a home made version of noodles.

          How about 'Swedish meatballs' with the ground meat? Or braise the country ribs with what ever flavorings you both like (though I would stay away from BBQ style sauce).

          paulj

          1. Rouladen is a very traditional German pairing with spaetzle.

            2 Replies
            1. re: tbrownex

              Rouladen! It's super-easy and verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry tasty. Elizabeth Schuler has a good recipe, takes about 1/2 hour all in. Rouladen is simply roulades of beef, wrapped around chopped up bacon & onion and stewed for a bit. To my mind it's the gravy that really dresses up a spaetzle, and you get lovely gravy with rouladen. Also, a schnitzel is just a breaded and fried veal/pork/chicken cutlet, nothing scary at all. You'd serve the schnitzel with a lemon wedge; you don't get gravy from a fried cutlet. My mom also makes sauerbraten with spaetzle, which is a beef roast that's been marinaded overnight in a vinegar and ginger mixture, and when roasted tastes just like a tangy pot roast. Also, I have had roast duckling with spaetzle, another delicious combination.

              Personally, I'd count spaetzle as my "last supper" meal, and could eat a bucketload just plain or with buttered breadcrumbs on top, but you should definitely go German and put it on the side of some meaty dish with gravy. Oh, I'm making myself hungry... Good luck!

              1. re: sloepoke

                I myself love spaetzle, and always have, but for some reason I never thought to make it for the DH. Then I got a pasta cookbook that had this wonderful recipe for a spaetzle with appenzeller cheese. It looks very good, but he won't eat cheese, so . . .

                As far as the Rouladen, he won't eat onions. He doesn't mind if I use them in cooking, but don't put them on the plate. I wonder if I could adapt the recipe and put the onions on the side as it stews. I like sauerbraten, but not sure if he would go for it.

                I may take paulj's advice and try a pork roast, or braise the country ribs. Of course I would never use a BBQ sauce to serve with spaetzle! I hardly use BBQ sauce in the first place. I wonder what I could braise the ribs in that would compliment the german influence. Back to google! Oh, and swedish meatballs are on his will not eat list. It's sad! And very hard for me to plan meals.