Can you say Schinkenknodel? Someday I will tackle the Czech/German language, but right now I'm satisfied just to cook a little casserole with Bavarian influence. Not too long ago you would need to make your own spaetzle which is a Bavarian noodle (knodel). With all the international markets sprouting up it's nice to get the variety I never had as a child. It was always a real treat to have Grandma come over with a pot of red cabbage and sauerkraut to accompany a roast pork and dumplings! Yum. I am very fortunate to have a beautifully handwritten red cabbage recipe from Grandma that I cherish.
When I went to the International market I picked up a bag of spaetzle. I knew I would be preparing a Czech style casserole, eventually. If you've never tried spaetzle, I urge you to give it a try. It cooks very quickly like couscous or pasta and you can create different flavors to suit your style. I chose deli ham, mushrooms and onions for a base because that's what was in the refrigerator at the time. The results were surprisingly good! Great Czech comfort food and made with love and memories!
1 1/2 c sliced mushrooms
1/2 c onions, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder or fresh can be used
1 T oil
1 c cubed deli ham (1/2 inch thick)
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
2 T water
1 cup chopped spinach (for health)
1/4 c heavy cream or half and half
1/2 c goat cheese or Gouda might be more authentic
8 oz dry spaetzle noodles
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cook spaetzle according to directions. Meanwhile in a large skillet saute onions, mushrooms with garlic in the oil. Then add the ham, mustard, caraway seeds and water and simmer for about a minute. Add the cream and spinach. Mix well. Add the spaetzle and cheese of choice while blending the flavors. Prepare a 1qt - 2 qt baking dish. (using butter or spray) Pour mixture into the casserole pan and bake for 15 - 20 minutes, covered and 5 more minutes uncovered.