To give us some inspiration, I booked Ryan and I into a Vegetarian Couple’s Cooking class at the Brooklyn Kitchen. If you remember, I made Halloween candy there last year and had been really impressed with its space, teaching and use of time.
Tonight, the marshmallow ghosts and peanut butter cups were off the menu, and instead, we cooked up cauliflower soup, Brussels sprouts salad, spaetzle and pound cake.
In true Brooklyn Kitchen style, we juggled the four recipes with relative ease and completed the four-course menu in two hours. Of course that was helped by our teacher, Daniel, and his assistant helpfully measuring out everything for us before we got there.
I enjoyed all the recipes, but let me share my favorite with you: spaetzle.
I’d had spaeztle before without knowing it. When I was 14 and on a German exchange, spaeztle was all my host family could shove in my terrified face, because they didn’t know what else to serve vegetarians. But I never knew the name for this higgledy piggledy pasta.
You start by making the batter. For four servings, you need:
1.5 cups all purpose flour; 1 egg; 1/2 cup sour cream; 1/2 cup milk; 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds; 1 teaspoon kosher salt.
We mixed it until it looked like cake batter. Then we prepared a pan of boiling water seasoned with enough salt that it tasted like sea water.
After the spaetzle were all cooked, we left them on the tray while we prepared our veg in a skillet. We drizzled in olive oil and once it started simmering, we added two carrots, which had been sliced into disks, and a bunch of kale, which had had its stems removed.
We sauteed them until the kale wilted and the carrots looked a little crispy, making sure they were well seasoned. Then, after they were browned, we turned off the heat and added the spaetzle to coat it with the oil, veg and seasoning.
Nearly there… but there was still dicing, chopping and seasoning to be done for the other recipes. When there are vegetables involved, there’s chopping involved! It’s actually a lot of hard work and takes a lot of precision, especially if you’re cooking for more than just one. I’ll definitely be looking at this website that explains different vegetable choppers to see which one I’d benefit from purchasing…it’ll certainly save me a whole lot of work in my cooking endeavors!Then, with the cakes freshly out of the oven, we sat down for our four course dinner. That spaetzle was by far the tastiest, but the cake was also deliciously light and moist.
I actually hadn’t been that convinced that I was going to learn tons from the class that I’d genuinely want to take away with me – but the recipes were simple and so tasty.