How to Make Homemade Egg Noodle Pasta

How to Make Homemade Pasta

How to Make Homemade Pasta

Last year, I had the hair-brained idea that I could make my own pasta.  In my head it seemed simple enough, I would mix a few eggs with some flour and make delicious, velvety, egg noodles.  I ordered an old school pasta roller (ATLAS 150) and when it came, I was eager to live out the visions of velvety egg noodles in my head.  I started with this very recipe that I’m sharing with you today.  Only I hadn’t a clue what I was doing, I added  2 cups of flour, a few whole eggs, and when the dough didn’t immediately come together like I thought it should, water. After letting my dough rest, I tried to roll it out.  Rolling the dough out with the Atlas was one of the most awkward experiences of my life.  Not one part of it felt natural.  As a matter of fact it felt extremely unnatural. I felt like even if I had  3 additional hands, rolling the pasta would still feel awkward. My folly was clear.  The manual pasta roller wasn’t for me.  I decided right then and there I would need an electric pasta machine, and immediately set out searching for one.  I ended up ordering the KitchenAid 3 piece Pasta attachment.  During my research, I read every review, of every pasta machine on the market, (Phillips, ATLAS, Kitchenaid 3 piece roller set, Kitchenaid Pasta extruder, Marcado, ect.), and although I learned a lot about the different machines and their features, I also learned a lot more about pasta.  It made me think maybe I need to focus on what I did wrong with my pasta dough, and not what was wrong with the pasta machine. The dough  I made initially was sticky and the resulting noodles were a pitiful clump of a mess.  So I pulled out the ATLAS, my handy kitchen scale, and proceeded to weight my ingredients to make pasta.  Instead of adding water when the dough seemed dry, I kneaded until my dough came together, and what do you know–it came together without one additional drop of water.  Not only that! When I went to roll it, the two hands that God gifted me with were more than enough to roll and cut my noodles! In fact it was so easy, and such a different experience from the first time that I knew it was not the machine that was my problem, it was my dough! So here’s the key to making pasta, weigh your ingredients, don’t add unnecessary water, and let your dough rest so that it has time to relax and hydrate.  If you follow those 3 rules you will never fail at making pasta. Now that you have those keys, the recipe I used is from the Serious eats blog.  They have a great article on the Science of Making Pasta, definitely read it. It has some great information in it.  If you are in the market for a pasta maker, check out my review on my YouTube channel of both the ATLAS 150 Wellness Pasta machine, and The KitchenAid 3 Piece Pasta Roller Attachment.  I contrast the two and give you a step by step on how to use both. By the way I purchased both machines with my own money, I wasn’t paid by either company to give the review.  Now to the recipe. You can find 00 flour at most grocery stores.  If you can’t substitute with All purpose or bread flour.

 

Here’s what you need:

10 ounces of 00 flour

2 large whole eggs (weighing 4.0 oz) If my eggs weigh more I remove some of egg white until they don’t

4 egg yolks ( weighing 2.5 oz)

1 teaspoon of sea salt

 

Directions: Weigh your ingredients:

My egg yolks were a little over so I removed some with a spoon:

Place your flour in a large bowl and make a well.  Add your eggs and salt to the well.

With a fork beat the eggs until fully mixed.

Slowly start to incorporate the flour until a sticky dough has formed.

At this point I pour the contents of my bowl out on to a large work surface.

 

The dough will feel sticky by look very dry–DO NOT ADD WATER! You’ll want to, but trust me DON’T! Gather the dough together and knead.

The dough will appear to be dry and unwilling to come together, but keep going.

Knead and knead some more, until every drop of flour is incorporated into the dough, and the dough looks like this:

Now wrap it in cling wrap, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

It needs that time to hydrate fully and to let the gluten relax.  Now it’s time to roll. With a bench knife cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Note how smooth the dough is now that it has had time to relax,

Place one part of the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Re-wrap the remaining dough in the cling wrap and set aside. Place your pasta roller dial on the lowest setting. On my ATLAS that is 0(zero). On my KitchenAid attachment it’s 1.

STEP 1: Roll the dough out into an oval shape on your work surface.

STEP 2: Roll the dough through the 0 setting 3 times.

 

Then fold the dough into an envelope and run it through the 0 setting 3 more times.

This is only to make the dough edges uniform.  But honestly if oval edges don’t bother you, that step is not necessary.  The only time I fold my edges into an envelope is when I tear my dough.  If your dough tears, fold it and start back at the zero setting.  Once you’ve run the dough through the 0 setting 3 times, dust it lightly with flour.

STEP 3: Move the dial on your pasta machine up one dial.

Run the dough 3 more times through dial setting 1. Dust the pasta sheet and Repeat steps 1-3, rolling the dough through 3 times on each dial setting from 2-6.

With each pass through and dial adjustment the dough gets thinner, smoother and longer.

Just a note: On dial 6 running it through 1 or 2 times maybe all you need–that’s up to you to determine.  If it feels like if you run it through one last time it may rip, then don’t run it through.  By this time you should have a long beautiful sheet of pasta.

Dust it lightly with flour, and place it on a parchment lined sheet, and cover with a sheet of parchment/cling wrap/towel. Repeat Steps 1-3 for the remaining 3 portions of dough.

 

Now it’s time to cut your pasta sheets.  If you’re making lasagna you’re pretty much done, just cut the sheets to fit your pan size.  If you’re making spaghetti,  or fettuccine, attach the cutter to your machine. Place the pasta sheets through your cutter of choice.

Gather the cut pasta as it comes out of your machine. Sprinkle some flour on your board, then place the noodles on the board and gently roll them in the flour, making sure to dust the ends.  Gently place the noodles in a circular nest on a dusted piece of parchment. Cover and continue until all your dough has been cut.

 

When your ready to cook, bring a medium pot of salted water to boil.  Place a few the noodles in and cook for 60-90 seconds. Toss in your favorite sauce and enjoy! Freeze any unused noodles in a ziplock, and when you’re ready to use them, simply bring a pot of water to boil, and drop the noodles in frozen. Cook until Al dente.

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube Channel for a detailed review of the KitchenAid and Atlas Pasta makers:

Pan Fried Cauliflower with Garlic and Thyme

Pan Fried Cauliflower with Garlic and Thyme

Pan Fried Cauliflower with Garlic and Thyme

 

This recipe was born out of a pure need to get dinner on the table quickly.  I love cauliflower and on a normal day I would slice it and place it in the oven to cook, but time didn’t allow for me to do so recently.  Page was hungry and I did not have 20 minutes to spare.  The great thing about being rushed to get dinner on the table–yes there is a great thing about it–is that you need to keep it simple.  This recipe is exactly that–simple– it contains less than 5 ingredients and the best part? It only took 10 minutes!

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Ingredients:

2 cups of sliced cauliflower

2 cloves of garlic (smashed)

2 tablespoons of oil ( grape seed, or olive oil)

1 tablespoon of butter

5-6 sprigs of thyme

sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

Directions: Heat a cast iron skillet until it smokes.  Add in the 2 tablespoons of oil.  Add the cauliflower, and allow to cook for 5 minutes undisturbed.

Add the butter, thyme and garlic, take care when adding the thyme, the water in the thyme will cause the oil to pop.

Allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Once the cauliflower has browned and taken on some color,

Transfer it to a serving platter, season with salt and pepper, serve and enjoy!

 

Lentil Soup With Cilantro and Lemon Gremolata

Lentil Soup with Cilantro Lemon Gremolata

 

My daughter loves lentil soup. It is one of her favorite meals. My version of lentil soup is not highly complicated, lentils, carrots, celery, onion, and a final squeeze of lemon at the end. When I ran across a recipe by Kenji over on the Serious eats blog adding a parsley and lemon Gremolata, I knew I had to try it! Let me tell you, hands down this is the best lentil soup that I’ve ever had or made! My daughter ate 3 bowls, (3 of her little mini bowls, but 3 bowls none the less), and she could not stop saying how yummy it was. I decided to use cilantro instead of parsley because I love the flavor of cilantro, lemon, and lentils—super yummy. If cilantro is not your thing, then by all means use parsley, this soup is good either way! If you know you’re putting this in your weeknight line up soak the lentils overnight, it will shave off 30 minutes of your cooking time.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45minutes-1hour

servings: 6

Here’s what you need:

Gremolata Ingredients:

6 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons lemon zest

4 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup cilantro chopped (sub parsley)

Ingredients for Soup

1 cup of lentils ( I used French green lentils)

1 cup carrots diced

1 cup celery diced

1 medium onion diced

4 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

5 cups of good quality chicken broth( sub with veggie stock if you want to make this vegetarian)

1 lemon cut into wedges for squeezing.

Directions: Add the ingredients for the gremolata to a small bowl,

Mix well and set aside.

Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven pan, add the onions, carrots and celery,

Sauté until onions are translucent about 5 minutes,

 

Add the lentils mix well,

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Add half of the gremolata. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes, your house should smell amazing at this point.

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Add in the chicken stock and bring to a boil.

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Lower the fire and simmer until lentils are nice and tender around 45 minutes. Add water, if necessary, it wasn’t for me. Once lentils are tender, add the lemon juice, mix well then turn off the fire. Serve by ladling into soup bowls and topping with a dollop of the remaining Gremolata, a few squeezes of lemon juice, and enjoy!

 

 

 

If you don’t have it already, check out Kenji’s new book, The Food Lab, it’s full of useful cooking information backed by science.

Grilled Greek Chicken Bowls

Greek Grilled Chicken Bowls

Greek Grilled Chicken Bowls

After years of only getting a harvest of two or three lemons per year, my lemon tree is in full bloom.I finally have a bountiful harvest. In fact, I have so many lemons, I caught myself finally uttering words I thought I would never utter–I have too many lemons.  My motto is when life gives you lemons–cook with them! Luckily for me,  the Mediterranean flavor profile is one of my favorite flavor profiles.  I love a great greek chicken salad. I decided to switch things up a bit, by taking the same ingredients I might use to make a greek salad, and instead, make a warm and savory bowl.  The result–delicious! The best thing about this bowl is it can be eaten warm, or cold, it is delicious either way. Feel free to switch out the ingredients, using kale in place of spinach, grill the chicken on the barbecue instead of in the pan,  or add red bell pepper and marinated artichokes.  You can also switch out the grains, use basmati rice instead of quinoa.  If you want to make this vegetarian, replace the chicken in this recipe with tofu or just add more mushrooms. To make it Paleo omit the grains and add more spinach or kale.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

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Ingredients For Sauce/marinade:

4 large cloves of garlic minced

1 tablespoon of fresh Thyme

1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon of lemon zest

1/3 cup of olive oil

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

Ingredients for chicken bowl:

5 chicken thighs

1 cup of Persian cucumber diced

1 cup of tomato diced

10 ounces of sliced crimini mushrooms

12 ounces of spinach

1 cup of quinoa

1 cup of feta cheese, crumbled

4 Tablespoons of oil, split

sea salt to taste

Directions: Place the quinoa and 2 cups of water in a pan, cover and cook until water evaporates(about 10-15 minutes), then set aside.

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Heat the garlic, olive oil and thyme in a saucepan for 1-2 minutes.

NOTE: You do not want the garlic to brown. If it browns then you’ve cooked it too long.  The point of this is to infuse the oil with garlic and thyme and also mellow out the garlic.  The two-minute mark is usually long enough.

Transfer the infused oil to a bowl, add the lemon juice, sea salt, and lemon zest, mix well.

Season the chicken with sea salt, and pour half of the sauce/marinade over the chicken, set the remaining sauce/marinade aside.  Place the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Heat  2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan, add the mushrooms, season with sea salt and cook until brown–about 10 minutes.  Once the mushrooms are brown, transfer them to a plate and set aside.

Add the spinach to the same saute pan, cook until wilted about 3-4 minutes.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a cast iron skillet. The skillet should be smoking hot.  Once it is hot, add the chicken and cook undisturbed for 3-4 minutes on each side or until chicken is cooked through.

Assemble the bowls by adding some quinoa, mushrooms, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and chicken to each bowl.  Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the remaining sauce over each bowl, and enjoy!

 

 

How to Make Queso Fresco Cheese

How to maker Queso Cheese

How to make Queso Fresco Cheese

This week I’ve spent a lot of time in the kitchen making things that I had on my “list of things I want to make”–yes I actually have a list. This cheese has been on that list for quite some time.  It’s so unbelievably easy to make that now I am left to wonder why it took me so long to try it.  It’s also a great way to use milk that would not get used otherwise. This cheese was a great addition to  my Peruvian Chicken taco’s that recipe will be on the blog tomorrow.

Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

1 quart of whole organic milk

2 -3 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice–can sub with vinegar

Sea salt to taste

Equipment:

cheesecloth

Sieve

Directions: Add the milk to a saucepan,

Heat the milk to 180F whisking to prevent the milk from scorching.

Once the milk reaches 180F remove from heat.

Add the lemon juice or vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring gently until the curds separate from the whey. This happens almost immediately.

Allow the curds to continue to separate, let the mixture sit in the pot uncovered for 15-20 minutes.

 

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From here you can decide to just strain the mixture in a cheesecloth lined sieve, add salt to taste and be done–you’ll have a perfectly soft crumble cheese.

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Or you can strain, then squeeze out excess whey, add salt, form into a ball, and press into a firmer queso,

I placed my queso into a circular cookie/biscuit cutter, which I wrapped in my cheesecloth, and then placed a sealed water-filled 4-ounce mason jar on top for 5-10 minutes to squeeze out excess whey.  I placed these items over a sieve with a bowl underneath to collect the whey.

For a firmer paneer type cheese extend the time that the cheese is pressed from 10 to 20 minutes. Refrigerate if you don’t plan on using the cheese right away.  It will keep in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

 

 

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Ginger Garlic Fried Rice

Ginger Garlic Fried Rice

              Ginger Garlic Fried Rice

Ahh…rice. The staple food for many cultures.  In fact, rice is so important to my good friend Gina’s parents that they will not even travel without bringing along their rice maker.  It’s the first thing her mom unpacks in the hotel room. My husband and my daughter are huge fans of rice.  Page is a particular fan of basmati, and I can’t say that I blame her.  A good basmati  is aromatic, light and airy, like eating a cloud.     I don’t cook rice that often, so even a small bag could last us months.  Whenever I do make rice, as much as my husband and daughter love it, we always have leftovers.  I hate to throw it away so I always try to find a way to use it.   Page loves fried rice–who doesn’t?  She is a particular fan of my Crab Fried Rice.  But we don’t always have crab in the house.  So I use what I have, usually a few vegetables, and an egg.  One of the fish restaurants we frequent makes a garlic rice that Page just devours. So I decided to do my own take on the garlic rice which she loves so much.

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Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

2-3 cups of room temperature left over rice

1/2 teaspoon of tumeric

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

1 tablespoon of minced ginger

1 tablespoon of oil

sea salt or soy sauce to taste

Directions: Add the oil,  garlic,  tumeric and ginger to a saute pan and heat on medium heat until garlic and ginger slightly brown,

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add in the rice, toss until rice is heated.

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Transfer to a serving bowl, season with soy or sea salt, and a drizzle of sesame oil, garnish with cilantro, serve and enjoy. This is AMAZING with my Korean barbecue chicken, stay tuned for that recipe tomorrow!

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Sauteed Chard with Lemon, Garlic and Shallots

Sauteed Chard with Lemon, Garlic and Shallots

Sauteed Chard with Lemon, Garlic and Shallots

Chard is an under rated vegetable.  It’s one of those vegetables that doesn’t get it’s due.  Probably because it has to contend with other vegetables that hog the spotlight, like kale, broccoli, and cauliflower.  I think that if more people knew how easy it is to cook chard, and how delicious it is, it would be a star in their dinner line up.  This recipe for chard is one of my favorite chard recipes.  It’s super easy, quick, and oh so delicious!

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Ingredients

1 bushel of chard about 4 cups chopped roughly

1 medium shallot sliced thinly

4 small cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, more if you’re so inclined

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

sea salt to taste

Directions:  Heat the oil along with the garlic and shallots over medium heat.

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Cook the shallots and garlic until shallots turn translucent, about 1-2 minutes.

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Add in the chopped chard, season with sea salt and saute until wilted.

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Turn the fire off and add lemon juice, toss then serve.  Yup that easy! AND So, so , so delicious!!

 

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