Sunday, October 18, 2009

gubernatorial...i mean, noodle tutorial!

I know there are lots of ways to make noodles, but this is how I do it. I'm sure you can find more sophisticated methods and recipes elsewhere...but this is how my Gramma taught me and it is the epitome of comfort food to me. I sometimes feel like it's a difficult process, although it isn't. I think it's just that Gramma always made it seem so effortless when she did it. I doubt I will every rise to her degree of skill. first you take a cup of flour and put it in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. (You could also use other spices or herbs if you wanted. The sky's the limit.)

Make a "well" in the center of the flour. Put the egg into the well. Fill half of the egg shell with milk and add it to the egg.

Now, Gramma always used her hands to mix the dough up but I have a lot of trouble doing that correctly. So I use a pastry blender until it looks like the next picture:

And then I use my hands to form a more solid mass. (It's not a ball...not sure what to call it!) Place the dough on a heavily floured surface.

Roll the dough out as flat as you can get it. (You'll do best if your rolling pin is floured as well.)

Cut the dough in half and then roll one half. It should look like the picture below.

Cut the rolled dough into approximately equal pieces. You can cut the pieces thick or thin, it doesn't matter. Just try to make them as equal as you can.

Unroll each strip and lay it on a towel. Keep repeating all the steps above until you have as many noodles as you need. (I generally make three batches for our family of six.) Layer towels as needed until you are done.

Now, you can use these noodles with just about anything. Chicken, turkey, doesn't matter. Gramma usually made them to go with the Thanksgiving turkey and that was my very favorite thing. But it just so happens that we had a pot roast a few nights ago and there were leftovers so we will be using beef broth today. This is three cans of condensed beef broth with about eight cans of water. Throw it on the stove and get it to a hard boil.

While you are waiting for the broth to boil, go ahead and prep your roast to throw in. I just slice up the meat, carrots, and potatoes into little bite-sized bits. I know, it doesn't look real appetizing here. Once you get the stuff chopped up, go ahead and throw it in the pot.

Once your broth is boiling, start putting the noodles in. Let each handful have a few seconds before you put in the next...that should help keep the noodles from "clumping" together. (It also helps to let the noodles "dry out" for a bit before you use them, although you don't have to.) Here's a picture of what your noodles will look like right after you dump them in. Once the water returns to boiling, turn the heat down a little. Come back every 10 minutes or so to stir the pot. You want to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.

After 30 or 40 minutes, the noodles will take on a slightly richer color. (It's starting to look a little more appetizing, huh?)

Now at this point I take about a quarter cup of cornstarch, mix it with some cold water (cold water helps keep it from clumping) and dump it into the middle of the pot. This will take the broth and thicken it into more of a sauce or gravy. If you prefer using flour, go for it. I have no idea how much flour you would need though! Either way, stir the mixture in well and then let it simmer some more. It won't take long for the broth to thicken.

We usually eat these noodles over mashed potatoes and with bread...yeah, I know that's a little carb-heavy. But this is comfort food, remember? Here's your finished product!

This is yummy, traditional autumn food. You can't beat it on a cold night!

1 comment:

  1. you have no idea how hungry this post made me and I can't wait to see more recipe posts



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