Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Smoked Ricotta Spätzle

I like my spätzle to be tender, but also firm.  Soft and mushy is not a good thing here. Adding ricotta cheese helps create a tender noodle, without making it too soft, so long as the dough has enough gluten development and not too much moisture or fat.
175g smoked ricotta
110g whole eggs
65g egg yolks
4g salt
200g bread flour
Mix everything with a whisk, except the flour, in a bowl until it is uniformly combined. Stir in the flour with a spoon and work it for a few minutes until it is evenly integrated, stretchy, and elastic. Cover the bowl tightly and place under refrigeration for at least 3 hours(It can sit for at least two days if covered well, I have never tried longer). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and shape the dough into noodles as
you place it into the water. This can be done by hand, individually, or with a spätzle press, or with anything that has holes that you can press the dough through(check out the picture to see how I chose to do it). Whatever method you decide on using, boil the noodles for 1 minutes and then place in ice water, remove, lightly oil, and store until you want to reheat and eat them.

I smoked the ricotta myself using two 6 inch half hotel pans clam-shelled around a 2 inch perforated hotel pan that had the ricotta sitting on it. I did all of the smoking on my stove top. Smoking at home requires adapting to each unique environment. I did find that in order to get a distinctive smoke flavor to come through in the finished product you should stir the ricotta at least once. Leaving it in its starting position limits the amount of total smoke flavor it can absorb. Stirring gets ricotta in contact with smoke that otherwise would not have. Here is a picture of what mine looked like before stirring.
Plate it up!
Braised pork belly with smoked ricotta spätzle, fiddlehead ferns, homemade sauerkraut puree and pickled ramps

Sauerkraut, pork, alium and spätzle is a tough combination to beat.



Post a Comment