Interesting Meals

I am easily bored. I have never liked to eat the same thing over and over again. As a result, I am always making something new and different and we are always going out to try new restaurants. Last week, on a day trip down to Washington D.C., we tried a South African place that served a Portuguese style roasted chicken that could be served really, really spicy. The husband got the spicy version. I got mine mild because, while I like spicy foods, I wanted to test the waters first before plunging in head first. I was glad, too, because the hot chicken was super spicy! Anyway, we love trying out new things and I hope that the boys will continue to love different cultures and foods for the rest of their lives.

For now, the older boy will try just about everything while the younger one is much more reluctant, but coming along nicely. It’s a good thing, too, because if they did not like to try new things, they probably wouldn’t get anything to eat half the time! This week was no exception.


Last night, we had another FFwD inspired meal. I made the Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good, a recipe that the group did a long time ago, and this week’s recipe, Herb Speckled Spaetzle.


First, let me talk about the pumpkin. I used a kabocha squash that I got from the asian store a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping for a red kuri, but couldn’t find any. It was all good, though, because I have been wanting to try this one for awhile. The pumpkin is hollowed out, jack-o-lantern style, and stuffed with a mixture of bread, bacon, herbs, garlic, and cheese. I used goat cheese and manchego. Instead of adding cream, though, I used chicken broth because I am really trying not to eat things that don’t agree with me and cream is one of them.


The squash is a beautiful green color and it smelled wonderful during its two hour bake in the oven. It looked fantastic after it was baked and cut into. I loved the texture of the squash. It’s drier than most squashes, but it had a lovely intense sweetness and a kind of meaty texture. This was a wonderful one dish, low fat meal that I am sure I will make again.

We ate the pumpkin with the Herb Speckled Spaetzle. This is not the first time I have eaten spaetzle. A dear friend and neighbor of mine introduced me to spaetzle a couple of years ago. I loved it. She had a special spaetzle tool that she had bought in Germany. It was kind of like a flat cheese grater that rested on top of your pot of boiling water. Sadly, she has since moved far away or we might have had a fun spaetzle making party. As it was, I was on my own. I gathered a few kitchen tools that I thought might work as spaetzle makers.


The batter was indeed wet and sticky. I tried the grater, but decided it was just too small.


Then, I moved on to the food mill. I had to empty out some of the water in my pot so that I could sit the mill in it without touching the water, but it worked wonderfully. I did not use the crank; just a spatula and elbow grease. It was pretty easy and only took three batches to get through all the batter.


The batter fluffed up nicely in its water bath. After being sauteed in a frying pan with some onions (I had no mushrooms, but will try to have them next time I make this), the spaetzle was ready. It was delicious!


I was surprised how much spaetzle could be made from such a small amount of batter. It’s a good thing there was a lot because everyone liked them. The boys even asked for seconds, which they rarely do, so it must have been good! I am not so sure these two dishes were meant to go together, but Dorie said that spaetzle could go with everything, and she was right. They pumpkin played very nicely with the spaetzle. It was definitely an interesting and delicious meal. Now, if only we could figure out how to pronounce spaetzle!

Posted on January 4, 2013, in Cooking, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Wow, your method worked perfectly. And I was thinking about making the stuffed pumpkin again…great meal…looks like you had some fun with these recipes.

  2. I haven’t had Spaetzle in years! We used to have a wonderful German restaurant in the French Quarter. I’m sure I gained 10 pounds eating there!

  3. oh, man, I love a good kabocha! Wish I could find some around here – it sounds fantastic as the pumpkin stuffed with everything good. And your spaetzle looks terrific! Wish mine had come out as nice!

  4. Had spaetzle and schnitzel on new year’s eve! Yours looks perfect!

  5. I love the Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good! It’s one of my favorites. As for the spaetzle, I apparently need more practice or elbow grease, or something! Maybe a food mill?

  6. Your spaetzle looks great!

  7. Both your spaetzle and stuffed pumpkin look perfect!! The stuffed pumpkin was a delicious choice…one of my favorites from French Fridays!

  8. Is there a button to press to hear the spaetzle pronunciation?

  9. What a delicious meal. So perfectly hearty for this week’s frigid weather. Your batter looks very stiff. Mine started to ooze through the press as soon as I spooned it in. It tasted good though. I was thrilled to discover something new that’s easy enough to make at home.

  10. Your spaetzle look great! I will heed the warning about the quantity and maybe quarter it.

  11. I think a few of us would have liked to have a neighbor with a spaetzle tool this week 🙂

    The pumpkin was a good one – probably one of my favorites from this book .

  12. Your whole meal looks so wonderful – especially your Spätzle look perfectly done and absolutely delicious – this is a wonderful recipe and I am glad that you and your family enjoyed this so much – you manged so well without any Spätzle making gadget, respect! Hope you and your family had a wonderful start to the New Year!

  13. Great choice to do the pumpkin with the spaetzle. That pumpkin dish was a favourite. It’s always gratifying when the family asks for seconds!

  14. The pumpkin is in my Top 10 favorite recipes from the book. Your spaetzle look fantastic – thanks for showing the trial-and-error process from working with different tools. Happy New Year!

  15. Both of those dishes look wonderful. I remember when we made the pumpkin, I thought
    it was delicious. Happy New Year.

  16. The pumpkin was the first thing I made when I got the book – so good! I’m going to try to get the spaetzle done today – yours looks so yummy and I don’t have mushrooms either so I’m glad it works without.

  17. Good call on using the food mill…your spaetzle looks perfect. I’ve always called it spayt-zul…with the accent on the first syllable. I’ll have to go to one of those pronunciation sites to see if I’ve been wrong all these years!

  18. I remember making the stuffed pumpkin recipe and we found it delicious. However, I would love to try the recipe with a kabocha squash or, even better, a red kuri. Good for you for introducing your boys to new foods. And, good for them for being adventurous. I wish I had found the right tool to make the spaetzle although I had fun writing the Post. My kitchen was one sticky mess when I finished my day’s work. The thing is, everyone, whether it was easy to boil or not, was delighted with the taste of this. My food mill doesn’t look like yours so think I will just buy a spaetzle maker. Nice Post.

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