Spaetzle (or spätzle) is a flour dumpling that comes from somewhere in Europe, according to Wikipedia the original source is unknown. Every time I have ordered it from somewhere it's been from either a German or Austrian place. So there you have it, now on to the fun part.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
The basic recipe I use is a very simple one, though I have seen others that vary mainly in garnishment. You will need:
1 cup flour (any kind should work, maybe you should try a fancy one, I just use white flour)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
a pinch of freshly ground pepper (this is totally optional, though again, try something fancy like white pepper)
a gallon size zippered plastic bag (or a pastry bag if you have one)
Step 2: Mix the Dry Ingredients
In the plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper if you are using it. If using a pastry bag just mix in an appropriate sized bowl.
Step 3: Mix the Wet Ingredients
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and mix in the milk.
Step 4: Mix the Wet and Dry Ingredients
Pour the milk and egg mixture into the plastic bag, zip it up and knead it until thoroughly mixed and sticky.
Step 5: Get a Big Pot O' Water Simmering
I mean pretty big here, we're talking like a gallon of water.
Step 6: Prepare the Bag
Try and smoosh all the dough into one corner of the bag, even if you doubled the recipe (you'll probably want to once you try it) there should be plenty of room in the bag. Once it's all on one side, clear the very tip of the corner (pic 2), and cut it off (pic 3.) The smaller the hole, the smaller the dumplings (that's how I like it.) Keep in mind that the hole will stretch over time, and the longer you let the dumplings cook will also determine their size.
Step 7: Squeeze 'em Out
Gently squeeze the dumplings into the simmering water. I try not to make them too long. Let gravity help you. They will sink to the bottom and when they are done, they will float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to scoop them out and place into a frying pan. Also, clean your stove and counters before taking any pictures.
Step 8: The Finishing Touches
Add the butter to the frying pan with the spaetzle. If you are making more than the recipe states, you may need to do more than one batch, or use a larger frying pan. Now, turn the heat up to medium or medium-high and saute the spaetzle in the butter until it is a nice golden brown color.
Step 9: Serving Suggestions
The way I usually eat mine is with brown gravy. I just use the cheap packets that you just add to water. For this particular meal I was preparing, I served polska kielbasa cooked on sauerkraut, along with the spaetzle. If you wanna try this, just throw it in a casserole dish and bake until hot.
Step 10: Eat It!
Go enjoy your creation. I love this stuff and eat it all the time, especially with other eastern European foods, like wienerschnitzel, sauerkraut, corned beef, bratwurst, and whatever else I can get my hands on.