Oktoberfest has been in full gear at the Stepford Wives Organization. We recommend a mix of Spatzle, Red Cabbage, and Bockwurst (simply because the leek / scallion taste is delicious). Try googling a local butcher in your area using the keywords “German / Polish sausage.” Or you can call them up. We recommend buying them fresh. From that point on, you can just cook them in boiling water between 5 to 10 minutes (to get the insides cooked), then drain, and pan fry (or grill). Or you can buy them pre-cooked.
If you make Spatzle, remember to spray or brush the collander/spatzle maker with olive oil to ensure the dough will slide off the holes easier!
You can also make Semmelknodel in place of Spatzle. (recipe for Semelknodel)
You want to wash all this down with an ice cold glass of Augustiner Beer, made in Munich where Oktoberfest is celebrated. Of course, it won’t taste as grand and fresh as if you were there (we’ve tried both), but it’s the next best thing.
Fresh Herb Spaetzle
(source: Epicurious )
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
8 teaspoons minced assorted fresh herbs (such as parsley, thyme, rosemary, and chives), divided
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup (or more) low-salt chicken broth
Blend flour, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in large bowl. Whisk in eggs and milk, forming soft batter. Mix in half of herbs.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Butter large bowl. Working with 1/3 cup batter at a time and using rubber spatula, press batter directly into boiling water through 1/4-inch holes on coarse grater, strainer, or wide ladle. Stir spaetzle to separate and boil 2 minutes. Using fine sieve, scoop spaetzle from pot, drain well, and transfer to buttered bowl. (Can be prepared 3 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Melt 2 tablespoons butter with 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add onion; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon oil, and spaetzle. Sauté until spaetzle begin to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup broth. Simmer until broth is absorbed, adding more broth if dry. Mix in remaining herbs; season with salt and pepper.
Red Cabbage & Bacon
1 medium head red cabbage
6 thick slices applewood-smoked bacon or other smoked bacon, cut into lardons (about 1/4-by-1/4-by-3/4-inch pieces)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Slice cabbage in half lengthwise. Use a sharp knife to cut a V-shaped notch around the white core and discard it. Slice both pieces in half again so you have 4 quarters, then thinly slice each piece crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Set aside.
Place bacon in a large Dutch oven or other large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and most of the fat has rendered.
Add onion and stir to coat in the bacon fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the onion softens and the edges begin to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the reserved cabbage, stir to coat in bacon fat, and cook until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and mustard.
Deglaze the pan with the cider vinegar, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Add the chicken broth and season with a few pinches of salt and more freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan tightly. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is soft and soupy and the bacon is tender, about 45 minutes. If the cabbage begins to look dry, add more broth or water.