Sunday, May 29, 2011

Pasta - I think.

Tonight I decided to try and make some home made noodles.  It did not turn out so well.

Start with a recipe from a cookbook published in 1944.

Homemade Noodles

1 egg
1/2 teasp. salt
About 2/3 c. sifted all-purpose flour

Beat the egg, then add the salt and enough of the flour to make a very stiff dough.  Knead on a floured board for 3 or 4 minutes, then roll out in a thin sheet.  Cover with a towel and let stand about 20 min.  Then roll up as you would a jelly roll, cut into thin strips, unroll, and lay out to dry thoroughly.  Store until needed.  Then cook until tender as in Boiled Noodles, p. 389.  Serve seasoned as a vegetable.  Or add to soups.

Boiled Noodles

1/4 lb. fine or wide noodles
2 teasp. salt
2 qts. boiling water.

Break noodles into 1 1/2" pieces.  Add the salt to the boiling water, then add the noddles gradually, taking care that the boiling does not stop.  Cook the noodles uncovered, stirring frequently with a fork, until a piece of the noodle rubbed between the fingers is tender - the time varies with the noodles - about 10 minutes. Avoid overcooking especially if the noodles are to be added to a sauce.  Drain, rinse with boiling water and used as indicated in individual recipe.  Or add 3 tablesp. melted butter or margarine, and a dash of pepper and serve as a vegetable.  Makes about 3 c. and serves 4.

So, reading the recipe over again, then writing down the quantities (because I don't want to take a cookbook from 1944 anywhere close to anything liquid) I head in to my kitchen feeling brave, confident I can do this and I pull out a bowl and get an egg and start.
Now I measure out the flour.  This is when it hits me, I have no idea as to whether I am to measure out 2/3 cup flour, then sift it.  Or if I am supposed to sift out some flour and then measure out 2/3 cup of the sifted flour.  I precisely measure with my 1/3 cup measure, twice, then I sift it.  I did notice that 2/3 cup flour, sifted, turns into about 1/2 cup.  Mixing the flour in it begins to make crumbles, then like a snowball it all starts sticking to each other to grow in to one big crumble.  I take my hands and finish mixing it together in to a ball.  Knead that for a about 3 minutes (because some one once told me it is bad to over work the dough, of course that could be for bread.  I have no idea) and then I let the dough rest.
I let the ball of dough rest, setting the timer for 20 minutes.  Nice little ball of dough, but little is the key word.  Of course, let's ignore the fact that I was supposed to roll it out then let it rest.  See, I should have written down the complete directions to take with me as well.  I go forward though, because I did not know I had messed this step up.
Yep, after 20 minutes I rolled the dough out flat, rolled it back up like a jelly roll, cut it into strips then unrolled the strips for the noodles.  I think I had about 9 noodles.  But they were a bit long so I went a head and cut them down to size and then let them dry.

I don't make jelly rolls, have never made a jelly roll, don't think I want to make a jelly roll.  Tell me to roll it up like tortilla appetizer, like a fruit roll up, even a taquito, something I can understand.  Not a jelly roll.  I thought about my mom's famous pumpkin roll and used that as my visual.  I like pumpkin rolls, the cream cheese filling and all, have always wanted to try one, but I don't have a jelly roll pan and have always been a bit intimidated by the directions of rolling the pumpkin layer in a tea towel, letting it sit, then unrolling it, spreading on the filling and rolling it back up.  

I am pretty sure that I would not get that to work for me.

Although my oldest daughter, that never much cooked when she was living at home, plowed in and made one that all her in-laws raved about and now request she make each holiday.

Back to the pasta story.  Tonight I really impressed myself with our dinner.  Normally I have to have a precise recipe to follow, then hope that I can understand it.  Not tonight.  I had some pork chops that needed to be cooked, had thawed them out a couple of days ago.  I put tenderizer and seasoned salt on them, browned them lightly, then put them in a pan to bake in the oven.  Now, at this point I normally spread on a can of cream of mushroom soup.  Tonight though I got a wild hair and I just poured a little wine in the pan, covered it with foil and baked them.  I wanted a white wine, like they use in the cooking shows, but we didn't have any open so I used a Zinfandel, pink variety.  The kitchen sure smelled great.  Now, what to go with it.  I noticed a pan of left over cornbread, headed to the trash with it, realized it was still good, so instead of bagging it up to just mold I decided to make a savory type dressing dish.  I chopped up some onion and bell pepper, sauteed it in butter with a little minced garlic.  Then put the cornbread in the food processor along with a couple of hot dog buns.  Mixed the crumbs, sauteed mixture, an egg, some sage, celery salt, black pepper and a little bit of chicken broth and water.  On a lark I heated up some sliced almonds and threw them in the mix, poured that in a baking pan and put it in the oven with the pork chops.  Also whipped out a pan of green bean casserole.  I only had the cream of garlic mushroom soup on hand and used the original recipe for the casserole.  Do not like it nearly as well as what I usually make.  Dinner was a success though.
The noodles were not pretty, a little doughy, but it was all pretty good if I say so myself.  

Next time I make pasta though, am making a larger quantity and will pull out that pasta maker I have, in the cabinet, still in the plastic wrap, never been used.  

Have a great night all.

1 comment:

  1. looks good. Gonna try it again?