Liechtenstein burger

BH&T Liechtenstein burgerSpaetzle Burger with Mushrooms and Fried Onions
I’ve got to admit that I had little faith that there would be anything interesting to talk write about a country that is only 62 square miles. If you wanted to, you could walk across the country in less than a day. So, other than being small, what else is there to say about Liechtenstein? As a matter of fact, there’s quite a bit of interesting trivia – just search “fun facts Liechtenstein” and see for yourself.

My favorite story about Liechtenstein is the “Great Swiss Invasion of 2007” – ok, I totally made up that name for it, but the invasion was real. Apparently 107 Swiss soldiers got turn around and accidentally wandered about a mile into Liechtenstein. The 37.6k citizens of Liechtenstein didn’t even notice they had been invaded. The Swiss apologized, but I can’t confirm that a couple of cases of wine were exchanged to smooth things over. ūüôā

"Schlossvaduz" by Michael Gredenberg - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schlossvaduz.jpg#/media/File:Schlossvaduz.jpg

“Schlossvaduz” by Michael Gredenberg – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Schlossvaduz.jpg#/media/File:Schlossvaduz.jpg

Theres’s also the story about how Snoop Dogg tried to rent the entire country to film a video. The request was denied, but only because he didn’t give enough notice. About a year later, the principality offered up the opportunity for anyone to rent the country. From $70,000 per night, the package would include street signs and customized currency. ¬†No reports of anyone actually doing this, but if I ever win the lotto, I might just throw a party there – how cool would that be?

Ok, enough silliness. The Principality of Liechtenstein is a small country surrounded by Switzerland and Austria. It has the 3rd highest GDP per capita in the world (after Qatar and Luxembourg). It is a hereditary constitutional monarchy. The land was first purchased in 1719, and the family continues to rule today (although it took them about 100 years before any family members actually lived in Liechtenstein). The economy is fueled by the production of false teeth – it seems that if you want really excellent false teeth, you want them made in Liechtenstein.

courtesy of CIA World Factbook

courtesy of CIA World Factbook

As you can imagine, a country this small does not have a cuisine that is substantially different from that of its neighbors. Although not unique to Liechtenstein, spaetzle is commonly enjoyed and sometimes made into K√§skn√∂fle (basically spaetzle baked with cheese and onions). Since I’ve always wanted to make spaetzle, this seemed a wonderful opportunity. I’ve tried making pasta many times with varying success, the joy of spaetzle is that it’s mostly foolproof. Just make the batter and push it through anything you have that has holes in it – bigger holes=fatter spaetzle. It isn’t pretty, but it’s yummy and makes a great noodle cake for the base of a burger.

Add some beef, cheese, onions and mushrooms and you’ve got a classic burger with meaty yumminess. Oddly the combination didn’t seem heavy, but it certainly is perfect for a cold winter’s day.

This has classic flavors of the region, if you enjoy this burger, you’ll also like the German burger.

Liechtenstein Burger
1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1¬Ĺ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces Gruyere cheese sliced thinly or grated
4 Spaetzle Cakes (recipe below)
Sautéed Mushrooms (recipe below)
Fried Onions (recipe below)

Combine beef, salt and pepper and form into 4 patties.  Fry burgers over medium high heat (preferably in a cast iron skillet) until desired doneness.  Add cheese about 2 minutes before burgers are done, reduce heat and cover to melt cheese.

To plate, place Spaetzle Cake on each plate, add a scoop of Sautéed Mushrooms, cooked burger patty and top with Fried Onions

Spaetzle Cakes
2 cups flour
3 eggs (beaten)
¬ĺ cup water
pinch nutmeg
¬Ĺ teaspoon kosher salt

Lightly whisk together all ingredients (don’t over beat) until combined.

BH&T liechtenstein spaetzle cook1

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Using a slotted spoon or colander, drip the batter into the water in small batches.

BH&T Liechtenstein spaetzle cook2

BH&T liechtenstein spaetzle cook3

Cook for 2-3 minutes, then strain.

BH&T liechtenstein spaetzle cook4

Form 4 discs from the cooked spaetzle.  Coat the bottom of a non-stick pan with a thin layer of olive oil over medium heat.  Fry the spaetzle discs for a 2-3 minutes per side until just lightly browned.  Place in a warm oven until ready to use.

Sautéed Mushrooms
18 crimini mushrooms (aka baby bella)
3 Tablespoons butter

Slice mushrooms ¬ľ inch thick. Melt butter in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat until foam starts to subside. Add the mushrooms and cook until brown – don’t mess with the mushrooms too much, shake the pan a couple times to turn them over, but don’t stir or use any tools – the more they sit on the pan, the more you’ll get nice browning.

Fried Onions
1 large onion
Flour
Salt
Vegetable oil for frying

Slice the onions into rounds and separate the layers. ¬†Place some flour in a bowl and generously salt it. ¬†Dredge the onion rounds in the flour. ¬†Heat the oil to¬†350¬įF. ¬†Fry the onion in batches until onions are lightly browned. ¬†Drain on paper towels and serve hot.

©Copyright 2016 Linda Monach

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7 Responses to Liechtenstein burger

  1. Ken Jones says:

    For the “Form 4 discs from the cooked spaetzle. ” Is this done by using the scientific process of “smooshing”?

    • linda says:

      Great question Ken – truth be told, I should have said, roughly shape into discs, you don’t want to “smoosh” too much or you lose the texture and, truth be told, the “disc” doesn’t completely stay together. That’s ok, you just want the spaetzle browned and yummy.

  2. Carl says:

    They wouldn’t call it sp√§tzle in Liechtenstein but “knopfl” which are chunkier than the German sp√§tzle. Some winters ago when I worked in an Austrian alpine hotel, all we ever got served for staff meals was in 90% of the time, wiener schnitzel with fries.

    Kasnocken or local cheese-onion pasta was luckily sometimes an alternative though. Quite good in small amounts even though Austrian portions are huge (even bigger than American) and you won’t even be close to finish a whole one.

    Anyway, once my Austrian room mate heated up some kasnocken after a drunken night out, fell asleep eating and managed to tilt the bowl with the pasta all over himself. Then he woke up and safely returned to his bed. Turned up it wasn’t his, it was mine – with me asleep in it. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

    • linda says:

      Of course you are correct Carl. I was lazy and used spatzel but it is call knopfl. I love the idea of cheese-onion pasta, (you must send a recipe) but sleeping in it does not sound like fun at all.

      • Carl says:

        The recipe is very very simple. Cheese-noodles-fried onions. That’s basically it. The quality depends on which kinds you use! Much central European food is like that. Very very rustic and simple.

  3. Carl says:

    Hope we’ll see another burger soon. Hang in there!

    • linda says:

      I started writing up Lithuania on Saturday, but didn’t make much headway – thank you for your patience, it’s coming soon… ūüôā

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