Friday, October 22, 2010

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Cold, Rainy Weather Yields Homemade Noodles

The last two weeks in San Diego have been cold — San Diego cold, mind you, not Schenectady cold — and nearly constantly raining. It’s put me in the mood for nearly forgotten cold-weather cooking I used to do in the Midwest and East Coast.

In particular, I had a hankering for the sort of thick, German-style egg noodles my mother used to serve. Stroud's, a fried chicken restaurant, used a similar thick noodle in their chicken noodle soup. In Kansas City when I was young, a respectable frozen version of the noodles could be had in grocery stores. Respectable version? Ha. I’m being disingenuous. In my middle years, I was a fat little porker and, if given the chance, would have devoured them at every meal.

The recipe I use, however, came to me from my sister who found it among our grandmother’s papers after her death. It is perhaps her own mother’s. In the fat, black book I use to record successful recipes, I call them Noodles for Soup and Buttering. In another house, perhaps one of my more German cousins, they might be called hausgemachte Nudeln — homemade noodles.

I made a batch a few days ago, tossed them with butter in a cast iron skillet, and served them under a slathering of a Stroganoff-style ragout of pork and chanterelles spiked with dill. Every bit as good as I recalled. There’re only four ingredients and the noodles are quite simple to make. Sometimes I use more eggs and cut back on the water, keeping total liquid volume the same.

For the fat little porker in you, I offer
Homemade Egg Noodles

2.25 cups/330g all purpose flour
1 tsp/15ml salt
1 egg
2-6 oz/60-180ml cool water

Sift the flour and add the salt. Mix in the egg with a fork and add enough water, mixing with the fork, to bring the dough together to a ball. Dust a cutting board with flour and roll out the dough to a disc. Allow to rest a few minutes. Dusting as needed, roll out the disc to a roughly rectangular shape a little less than .25”/.5cm (slightly less than a standard No 2 pencil).

Using a long knife, cut the rectangle of dough down the center lengthwise. Then cut each half into many long noodles, each a little wider than it is tall. Separate them as you cut (see the photo).

You may either cook them right away or allow them to rest and air dry slightly on parchment paper or a clean towel for a few hours. When you’re ready to cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add half the noodles. Cook 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep them separate and to prevent them sticking to the bottom of the pot. Drain, set aside, and repeat with the remaining dough.

At this point, you may butter them, toss them with buttered breadcrumbs, cut into smaller pieces for soup, toss with toasted caraway, or simply plate and eat with the rest of the meal.

Guten Appetit!


Nancy Baggett said...

Hey, thanks for posting on my blog regarding the "one cookbook fits all" article. My exact reaction was similar to yours--sloppy & poorly thought out, something dashed off to fill the page. (As a free-lancer I've often been tempted to do that, but can't bring myself to, even on my blog!) If the author really believed that a cookbook is useless unless you cook from it often, he surely couldn't justify featuring the high-end Danish chef book--who's going to cook from that!

BTW, I have long been fascinated by the marshmallow plant so will have to read that post next. In fact, I'd like to put your site on my blogroll--assume you have no objections.

Matthew Rowley said...

Nancy ~ I was glad to weigh in (the post is here; Plenty of people don't have — and don't need — cookbooks, but to suggest that a handful is sufficient for anyone is ludicrous, anti-intellectual, and dismissive of an entire genre.

Admittedly, most cookbooks are not worth the space they'd take up on my shelves, but the past few months have seen a slew of new titles come out that are really very good. My tastes skew toward the antiquarian, but I could walk into a bookstore today, drop $500 and be happy about what I just bought.

Trid said...

Typical conversation between SWMBO and me in a bookstore:
SWMBO: "Whatcha looking at?"
Me: "Porn"
SWMBO: "Ok, put the cookbook down, we have to leave"
Me: "Yes dear..."
SWMBO: "Just once, when you say that, I'd like to look over and at least see nekkid girls or something."