I made a delicious dinner last night that is very easy to make and rather fast to prepare. Other than the spatzle(a type of egg noodle/dumpling), which in this case I bought, this meal can be prepared in a matter of minutes. I’ll get back to the spatzle later and I’ll start by going over the other items on the menu…
I bought Atlantic salmon that looked very nice and seasoned it with salt, pepper and olive oil when I got home. I put it in the fridge knowing that I wouldn’t prepare dinner immediately.
When Carolina called to tell me she was coming, I took it out and let it warm to room temperature as I prepared the rest of the food. I took out my kale, washed it properly and set it aside. Following that, I took out 3 garlic cloves that I roughly chopped. I peeled 3 carrots and quartered them lengthwise. I heated a pot with some water in which I diluted miso paste and added thin slices of ginger. I heated my iron skillet at low-med heat, and thinly sliced some shallots. I took out a large and deep pan that I would use to cook my kale. I added enough olive oil to brown my roughly chopped garlic and zested a lemon while waiting for the garlic to develop enough color.
I seared my salmon skin side down and let it cook slowly as I added the carrots and spatzle to my steaming miso/ginger water. When the garlic was ready I added the still wet kale to the pan and let it wilt in the pan imbibing the sweet pungent flavor of the garlic. After a minute or two, I took some of my miso water from the steaming pot and added it to the kale pan that I then covered to let the robust leafy green cook through. I turned the salmon over to brown the flesh, added the thinly sliced shallots to sweeten them a bit, and made sure everything was ready to eat. I added lemon zest, salt and pepper and olive oil to the spatzle. I added fresh lemon juice(which unfortunately discolors its vibrant green…) and salt to my sauteed/steamed Kale, and I flavored my carrots with olive oil.
The whole thing took me 20 minutes if not less
There are easy ways to adjust this recipe if you are missing some ingredients. Using potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, gnocchi, or pasta instead of the spatzle will work. If you don’t have any miso, substitute a veggie or chicken stock, or just use water. Green beans instead of kale would also be nice, as would swiss chard among other things.
As for the spatzle: I am very lucky to live near a small German/Austrian grocery store that sells delicious freshly made food that includes spatzle. Very simple, it is nonetheless a wonderful complement to a number of foods. Soft and slightly sweet, they, like gnocchi, are great at absorbing other flavors. Traditionally, in my family they were served with things like chicken paprika, and goulash. I’ve also seen it mixed with cheese in what appears like a spatzle gratin. Many also serve it sauteed in bacon with some chives and sour cream. The truth is that it’s great with a lot of things. Think of it as an alternative to pasta, with a different culinary history.