Posts Tagged noodles

Sesame Noodles, Untamed

Sesame-Noodles-680Sesame Noodles are like the Nectar of the Gods. There’s just something about the combination of that sesame flavor with soy sauce that makes them a unique culinary experience. You can make them mild or hot. You can use fresh Chinese noodles, or linguine. And there’s no limit to what you can add to them — Snow Peas, peas, peppers, cucumbers, or shredded carrots. This recipe calls for frozen peas, but use your imagination. As you might guess, mine are also on the spicy side. If you want to make them hot, there’s nothing like making your own chili oil. You can, of course, cheat and buy hot oil, but I recommend you make your own.

This recipe calls for 16 oz of noodles, which makes a lot. The beauty of these noodles is that they taste better as they age. Put the leftovers in your refrigerator, then simply bring them to room temperature and give them a toss when you’re ready to eat them.

Ingredients

16 oz of noodles*

Salt (just enough to put in the noodle water)

1/2 cup Tahini paste (sesame seed paste)

1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar

6 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce or Tamari

4 tsp toasted sesame oil

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

Bunch of scallions (whites and greens separated, thinly sliced; plus slice some of the greenest part of the scallion thinly lengthwise for garnish)

2 tbsp of sesame seeds (I use one tsp white and one black)

1.5 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 tbsp fresh hot peppers, chopped (tabasco, habanero, jalapeno — your choice)

1.5 cups frozen peas (defrosted)

Directions

While you’re making your hot chili oil, bring a pan of water (and some salt) to boil and cook your noodles.  Remember to use a big pan. The noodles cook faster and they will not stick together. When noodles are done, strain and rinse well with cold water. Allow to drain completely.

Pour the 1/2 cup of canola oil into a skillet. Add the scallion whites, sesame seeds, chopped peppers, red pepper flakes. Simmer over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes or until the scallions are browned. Set aside and allow to cool.

Whisk Tahini paste, soy sauce (or Tamari), roasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, and sugar. Now, here’s where some suggest you should add a portion of your chili oil to the mix. I’m suggesting you want to use the whole thing, especially if you like spice and a bit of heat. You can either drain off about 4 tablespoons of the oil and add to the mixture, or you can toss the whole shebang into the sauce. That’s what I do. Trust me. It’s delicious. Add the rest of the sliced scallion greens (except the ones you’ve sliced lengthwise) and the peas. Pour on the sauce and mix well.

Top the dish with the scallion greens you’ve sliced lengthwise, and sprinkle some more black and white sesame seeds on top. Done.

Note: If you use Snow Peas in place of the frozen peas. Remember to blanch them first and allow them to cool.

*I use the fresh Chinese soba noodles for this dish as opposed to the dry Ramen noodles. These are generally in one of the coolers (not freezers) in the grocery store. In my store, they are kept with the pizza dough and pre-packaged specialty meats, like Pancetta and Italian cold cuts. Ask your grocer if you cannot find them.

 

 

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Pasta From Scratch!

I recently added a recipe for ‘gravy and meatballs’ and promised some recipes for homemade pasta. There’s nothing like it. So, here they are. Now, a word about the addition of the water: Do not just pour it in the well all at once. Add it a little at a time. You may find you don’t need all 1/4 cup. You may find that you need a bit more. This isn’t an exact science. The idea is to make the dough smooth and elastic. Not crumbly. Not soggy. As Baby Bear said, it needs to be “just right.”

When it comes to mixing dough, you can either do it manually or use a machine. I have a Kitchen Aid with a dough attachment. It comes out fine either way. It’s just that using a machine saves some labor.

Basic Pasta Dough

 Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs, beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp salt

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Place flour in a mound on a large work surface. Form a well in the mound and add the eggs, water (in increments, please), salt and oil.

Begin mixing with the fingers of one hand while pushing the flour from the edges of the well into the egg mixture with the other hand. Continue mixing until the dough forms a ball. The idea for all pastas is to have the dough smooth and elastic, not wet and sticky. Knead the dough for 5 minutes or more until it has reached the desired consistency.

Cut the dough into three pieces, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. After chilling, allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before rolling.

To finish by hand, roll using a rolling pin until 1/16 of an inch thick. Cut to your desired shape.

To finish with a pasta machine, cut dough into quarters and form them into a rectangular shape that will fit in the pasta machine. Lightly dust the dough with flour and roll it through the machine, starting at the thickest setting. Then fold the dough once and roll it through the machine using the next thinner setting. Repeat this process until the pasta is the right thickness. Cut to the appropriate shape using the machine cutters. I have a classic hand crank Imperia (shown in the picture). It works great. Fancy is not always better.

Basic Semolina Egg Pasta

Ingredients

3-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1-3/4 cups semolina flour

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp. Salt

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Follow the procedure for basic pasta above.

Lemon Scented Pasta

Ingredients

2-4 drops lemon oil

3-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1-3/4 cups semolina flour

2 tbsp. dried dill

5 eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp. Salt

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Follow the procedure for basic pasta, adding the two additional ingredients to the well.

This pasta is amazing when used with white clam sauce.

Spinach Pasta

Ingredients

¾ lb fresh spinach

3-2/3 cup all purpose flour

1-3/4 cup semolina flour

4 large eggs lightly beaten

¼ cup water

½ tsp salt

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Clean, wash, and blanch spinach in boiling water for about 15 seconds or just until wilted. Remove spinach from boiling water and plunge it into an ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly; squeeze dry in a kitchen towel and then puree in a food processor.

Follow the instructions for basic egg pasta above adding the spinach to the mixture in the well.

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