Friday, 30 March 2007

Unsere Besten Maultaschen - Up close und persönlich

Whew, now that I've wolfed down all my Maultaschen, I'm ready to externalise. As I'd mentioned in my previous post, I found a very good recipe online containing the typical pork, spinach, bread and egg stuffing. I thought the bit about the bread was absolutely innovative and would never have guessed that it (apart from the obvious addition and purpose of eggs) was responsible for holding everything together!

Maultaschen do exist in several other flavours, but for a first attempt, I didn't want to stray too far from the model I had. This will be my own version of events, or how I made mine.

For the stuffing, I defrosted 250g of frozen spinach, and with the water obtained from the spinach, softened about 200g of stale bread. Then I cooked 350g of minced pork and added it to the bread and spinach and blended it all very finely. Lastly, I folded in 2 beaten eggs, 1 tbsp each of salt, ground nutmeg and dried thyme.

For the dough, I beat 3 medium eggs with about 100ml of water and added about 400g of flour in gradual doses, kneading until all the flour is absorbed. I don't see why I couldn't have put the flour in the bowl first, then add the eggs and water, 'cos it seems easier, but I followed the recipe, thinking the result would have differed! Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes (I left it for longer because I actually forgot about it with all the multi-tasking going on) before rolling out the dough into very thin sheets.

If like me, you have a Kitchen Aid with a pasta machine fitting, good for you. If you don't, good luck! I've been there before, rolling out pasta sheets with a rolling pin and I have to warn you, you'd regret it if it's meant for guests! All that effort should only go towards rewarding yourself!

Now, to the serious stuff. Cut pasta sheets into rectangles of whatever dimensions you prefer (I'd recommend a breadth-length ratio of 2:3), but I avoided cutting out rectangles that were too long as they became harder to seal.

Spread a layer of stuffing over each rectangle, leaving a border of about 0.5cm on all sides.

As seen in the picture, fold the lower breadth-wise border onto the stuffing, and pat lightly to remove air pockets separating pasta from stuffing.

Fold one more time to form a roll, again patting lightly to squeeze out air pockets.

Wet the other breadthwise border and fold it over the roll, pressing lightly to ensure that it sticks to the roll.

Pinch both sides of the roll to seal in the filling. If you're afraid of the Maultaschen disintegrating during cooking, fold in the sides one more time to get a sort of double seam.

Voilà! Now you have Schwäbische Maultaschen! Leave them to dry for about an hour. Avoid piling them, even if they're well-coated with oil or flour, as the moisture inside will still manage to permeate the pasta sheet and cause them to stick.

Achtung! Regardless of size, I've learned that you need to cook them for 20 minutes, so that the layer of pasta that has been folded into the stuffing gets cooked, too. When I boiled the first batch, I was impatient, and thinking they were smaller than the ones I had in Tübingen, lopped off 5 whole minutes from the cooking time. Ein Fehler! (A mistake!) :) The insides were slightly firm, and admittedly unappetising, so I had to boil them again.

There are many ways to serve Maultaschen, but the most common, as in my first encounter, which turned out to be my favourite, is in der Brühe (in broth):

A clear beef or vegetable broth is best, with a tiny sprinkling of parsley and fried onions. (I had a soup mix, sorry! The fried onions weren't fried by me, either!) Do not be tempted to cook Maultaschen in the broth itself, otherwise your broth would get all starchy and murky.

The other way I prepared them was by cutting them into thin slices (after boiling them), frying them in butter until they were slightly scorched (not unlike Chinese potstickers),

then stirring them in a creamy cheese sauce before topping them off with more crispy fried onions:

I'll definitely be making a vegetarian or salmon version one of these days!


Jyothsna said...

This one takes a lot of effort!! But its god to learn what goes into various types of cuisine.:)

Lydia said...

I know it wouldn't be exactly the same, but could you make this with ground turkey or chicken instead of the pork? I love the little bundles, and it's just the excuse I need to buy that pasta attachment for my Kitchenaid!

Asha said...

Look at those step by step pics.Looks yummy! I love the thin broth too.Good one Shilpa.

Sharmi said...

hey isnt that something like ravioli? the squares in liquid broth looks similar to ravioli. I am very new to this dish besides being a veggi dear! so dont think "hell what kind of comment is that?"


Mishmash ! said...

Is it something like ravioli or chinese dumplings? Guess what, my aunt is a Deutsch lady and we had plan to visit them last year but had to drop it ; incase if we re lucky to visit them, now i have an idea as to what to ask for :)))


cheese with a spoon said...

Heh heh, I love those fried onions too :-) . I've got a big bottle of them sitting right on our dining table so I can throw them into practically everything I eat. DOLLEE brand, purchased in my local Vietnamese grocery.

The maultaschen look so good in the broth! I bet you could even make them with prawns, and then they'd be a bit like wantans, no?

Claude-Olivier said...

Cela a l'air super bon..tu maitrises la chose avec dextérité, c'est superbe !!! Peut-venir gouter ??? ;-)

Bon week-end

tigerfish said...

Wah, you even have pasta machine maker! You really have the patience *salute salute*
Folding like origami ya? :p

Shilpa. said...

Hi Jyothsna, you said it... after all that effort, I only obtained 4 - 5 servings out of these! Luckily I didn't use a rolling pin! :)

Hi Lydia, (slaps forehead) I should've spoken to you before doing this! Poultry did not once cross my mind, but yes! Why not? I often replace pork with chicken in other dishes, and I'd have preferred it by far, it just didn't occur to me in this case! D'oh! ;-) Do buy that attachment! Not only does it make life easier, I actually get a childlike kick watching the pasta go through the rollers! :)

Thanks, Asha! Me, too, I'm very much into clear soups, but strangely, they're not very popular around here, so ready-made mixes are not very easy to find!

Hi Sharmi, yes, it's almost like ravioli, but much heavier, so you only need about 5 or 6 to make a meal. :) Haha, don't worry, when I make the veggie version one day, I'll give the recipe, too!

Shilpa. said...

Hi Shaheen/Mishmash, I guess you have a point, Chinese dumplings also contain meat and vegetables, just not the same kind of vegetables! :) Where in Germany does your aunt live? Hey if you're squeamish like me and don't want to eat blood sausauges, they're called "Blutwurst", so you know what to avoid, haha!

Hey there cheesewithaspoon, you mean there are enough Vietnamese in Carcassonne to have a Vietnamese grocery store? ;-) Teasing!! I don't even bother with bottles, my fried onions come straight out of a 1kg bag, not sure of the brand, but I bought it from Ikea! :) Now now, don't make me make Maultaschen again this weekend!!! I have a weakness for prawns, so that idea was NOT one bit welcome!! :)

Oh merci merci Claude! Malheureusement c'est mon mari qui maîtrise mal l'appareil photo! :) Il y a une paire de photos qui ne sont pas nettes! Tu es toujours le bienvenue ici, mais avant les Maultaschen, tu as intérêt d'abord à goûter le maroilles qui "schlingue" si tu n'as pas déjà fait! :) Bon weekend à toi aussi!

Hey tiger, actually I've had the pasta maker for almost 2 years but only used it for the first time now! :) So because the new broom sweeps well, I'm tempted to make other types of pasta this weekend again! :) No lah, still not up to standard for origami, that's a different story, my hands are not that deft! :)

Sandeepa said...

Like it how you have used it in different ways !!! The broth makes me hungry though I have had my dinner :)

WokandSpoon said...

I really shouldn't read your blog before having breakfast! It makes me super hungry! The Maultaschen look like a nice alternative to wantan!

Melting Wok said...

shilpa *hands down* I can never make delicate stuffs like that, aiyoo, you're so patient !! :)

Lera said...

shilpa, you are a consumate cook, a dish that's absolutely great. It's wonderful to know that you have a great deal of patience to try something like this that takes in a lot of effort ! Thanks for sharing :)Good day to you !

eastcoastlife said...

aahh... a new dish to me! Looks yummy. I have no luck with making my own pasta. It always turns out yucky.

Hey, if those are your hands, your fingers sure look like sausages. muahahahaha.....

Shilpa. said...

Dear Sandeepa, ah, I get bored easily eating the same kind of food over and over again, so I had to look for other ways to prepare these! :)

Dear Wokandspoon, you, too, a blog junkie? On weekends I'm on the computer earlier even before I make tea! :) Thanks! I think wantans have thinner skins and cook faster! These things are monsters! :)

Dear Melting Wok, heh heh, I'm not always this patient! :) And oh no, I don't suppose you realise from the photos that these dumplings are actually quite big, so not delicate at all! Any clumsy person could do it, haha!!

Thank you so much Lera! :)I should have saved some of my patience and energy for this weekend, I'm beat! :) Have a good weekend, too!

Hey ECL, funny you should think that my fingers look like sausages! Aren't yours broken?!? haha!! Why are you still blogging like no tomorrow instead of letting that hand heal? mwahaha! Why's your pasta yucky? The only difficult thing is the rolling, apart from that, I think they're quite basic.

Kajal said...

Hi Shilpa,
I see your blog first time. I see your comment to Jyothsan. Nice blog with different verity. Step by step picture understands how you fold.
Good day.:)))

eastcoastlife said..., my fingers r not broken! Only the bones on the right palm is fractured.

I'm using Voice Command. So not so much typing. ei, can comment faster lor.

I dun have enough strength to mix the pasta dough la. I'm fragile, cannot exert.... puke!

Shilpa. said...

Hi Kajal, welcome and thanks for leaving a comment! :) I saw your blog, and I enjoyed your step-by-step ketchup lessons, too!

Hey ECL, wow, such stylo technology! Does the voice command make a lot of mistakes? I'm skeptical about such things! Sorry, haven't been visiting your blog for the past few days, so busy lah, but I will!

Sia's corner said...

cant make this. i am not lucky one to have equipped with pasta maker and toooooooo lazy to roll them:)

Shilpa. said...

Hey Supriya, that's where your husband can do his part for the kitchen, heh heh! He can do the rolling and kneading or buy the machine for you! :)

Sandeepa said...

How come no cooking on a weekend ? Hope you are doing fine

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