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Rach created this recipe for our "12 Days of Thanksgiving" countdown. You can "use this pairing for a small vegetarian Thanksgiving or as two unusual sides for a traditional turkey and gravy meal," she says.
She uses a spaetzle maker to create perfectly sized German Spaetzle. You simply set it over a pot of boiling water, slide your dough over the holes and the dumplings fall into the boiling water to be cooked.
- 1 medium red cabbage, quartered and cored, then each quarter cut into 3 wedges and thinly shredded across
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1½ teaspoons cumin seed (½ palmful)
- 1½ teaspoons caraway seed (½ palmful)
- 3 large shallots or 1 red onion, chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 large bay leaf
- About ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- About ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 apples, peeled and chopped or thinly sliced, then tossed with juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, or 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons cider or sherry vinegar
- ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- ½ cup lat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1½ pounds mushrooms, crimini or white, rubbed clean with damp cloth then sliced
- 2 large shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup vegetable stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley and dill, finely chopped, to serve
For the Spiced Red Cabbage, process your cabbage and place a large deep skillet or Dutch oven on stovetop and heat over medium heat with neutral oil, 3 turns of the pan. Add cabbage, cumin and caraway seeds, shallots or onions, bay leaf, nutmeg, and allspice, then cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add apples and cook 15 minutes more. Add sugar and stir, add vinegar, nuts and parsley, remove from heat, and serve hot or at room temperature.
Place water on to boil, 5 to 6 quarts, for spaetzle.
For the Mushroom Cream Sauce, heat a large deep skillet or wide saucepot over medium to medium-high heat, melt butter, and when it foams, add mushrooms and brown, then add shallots, garlic, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper. Soften 5 minutes or so, stir in tomato paste, then add brandy, stir, add wine, stir a minute more, add vegetable stock, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Add cream.
For the Simple Spaetzle, in a mixing bowl, whisk up eggs and milk. Stir up flour, salt, nutmeg and white pepper, add the dry to the wet and combine the batter. If it seems thick, add a little water.
Salt the boiling water, place spaetzle maker over pot, and add ⅓ to half the batter. Have butter waiting in wide skillet barely melted and warm. Drop the batter into the boiling salted water, moving the maker handle fairly quickly back and forth to cut the dumplings and drop them. When they float, 2 minutes, remove to melted butter and repeat.
Toss the buttery spaetzle with parsley and dill and serve with sauce.