Archive for the ‘pasta’ Category

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dan dan noodles (dandanmian)

December 10, 2016

i can’t stop eating these noodles because they taste so good.

but, i can’t stop crying.

they’re so, so spicy.

did you ever make something that tasted so good despite it being too spicy, but you were determined to power through it, and you ended up with tears streaming down your face?

that’s me today.

this chili oil is great – a nice change of pace from la jiao jiang with sichuan flavors like star anise and cinnamon.

sichuan dishes heavy on the peppercorns are known as “numbing” – and this one is ~definitely~ numbing. as in, my mouth is completely numb and tingly… and i keep going back for more.

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i modified this recipe from woks of life. one of the main and most important parts of dan dan noodles are the pickled chinese mustard greens. it’s not really dan dan noodles without sui mi ya cai. so, maybe i should call this something different, because i didn’t use any. don’t fear if you can’t get them – these noodles are amazing even without the greens. next time i’ll plan this a little better and get some sui mi ya cai… or at least get some bok choy to get some nutrients in there and, and to help cool the fire. and a larger bottle of antacids.

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MAKE THE CHILI OIL
2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns
1 inch-long piece of Chinese cinnamon (gui-pi) [i used whatever cinnamon i have]
2 star anise
1 cup oil
1/4 cup crushed red pepper flakes

In a small pot, add the Sichuan peppercorns, cinnamon stick, star anise, and oil. Over medium low heat, slowly heat to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, and then turn off the heat. Wait 6-7 minutes, then remove the peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and star anise with a slotted spoon.
Add the crushed red pepper flakes and allow them to steep in the hot oil. It should start smelling fragrant, almost like popcorn. Allow the oil to cool. This makes more chili oil than you’ll need, but you’ll be glad to have it on hand for use in other dishes. Store in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.

MAKE THE MEAT
3 teaspoons oil
8 oz. ground pork
2 teaspoons sweet bean sauce or hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons shaoxing wine (or cooking sherry)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1/3 cup sui mi ya cai (i left this out)

In a wok, heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat, and brown the ground pork. Cook til partially crispy.

Add the sweet bean sauce, shaoxing wine, dark soy sauce, and five spice powder. Cook until all the liquid is evaporated. Set aside. Heat the other 2 teaspoons of oil in the wok over medium heat, and sautee the sui mi ya ci (pickled vegetables) for a few minutes. Set aside.

MAKE THE SAUCE
2 tablespoons sesame paste (tahini)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon five spice powder
1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorn powder (we ground whole Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle)
1/2 cup of your prepared chili oil [HEY IF YOU ARE USING 9 OZ OF PASTA PLEASE DON’T USE A HALF-CUP UNLESS YOU LIKE THINGS VERY, VERY HOT, MAYBE USE LESS THAN HALF, SERIOUSLY THIS CHILI OIL CAME OUT SO, SO HOT]
2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
¼ cup hot cooking water from the noodles

Mix together all the ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning if you like.

PUT IT TOGETHER
cook about a pound of cu mian (Shanghai-style noodle,) fresh soft medium-thickness white noodles from an Asian marketplace, or udon noodles. Don’t forget the cooking water for the sauce! Steam bok choy or whatever other greens you have. Grab your bowl and add sauce to the bottom, then noodles, then greens and pork. Top with scallions, and peanuts that you fried up in some oil.

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modified from the woks of life

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may end up adding this to the “favorites” list after i make it a few more times with so, so, so much less chili oil. and so much less heartburn.

tastes like something magical, just as it sounds – sweet, very hot, lots of textures – just what street food should be!

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green salad/pasta salad

March 23, 2013

pea leaves and tendrils, torn into bite-sized pieces (or whatever salad greens you have around)

cooked pasta, coated with a little oil or fat
a few spoonfuls of last night’s blended roasted vegetable soup
a few sundried tomatoes, torn into tiny bits
basil
herbs de provence
apple cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar
a few dashes worcestershire sauce
garlic powder, salt, pepper
diced raw onion (optional)
mayonnaise (optional)

combine everything but the pea leaves. top with pea leaves, or mix them in so the kids can’t pick them out!

better the longer it sits, but edible immediately.

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simple pasta with krupnik (blood kishke)

September 8, 2012

kishke is one of my favorites. make sure to try kasha varnishka with kishke so you know the original. this recipe calls for krupnik, a kishke with beef blood, which i learned upon duckduckgoing it is more often used as a name for a spiced vanilla liquor.

this meal is impossible to mess up. the kishke may fall apart on you in the frying pan, but don’t give up. it’ll crumble in the pasta, anyhow. just throw it into the sauce!

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1 package pasta

1 pat lard/butter/coconut oil
1 onion
2 cloves roasted elephant garlic (or 4 cloves of regular-sized garlic)
half a roasted mild-hot pepper
a roasted eggplant
1 can diced tomatoes
1 splash cooking sherry
1 splash balsamic
1 splash acv
1 heavy pinch of fresh herbs (i used oregano, rosemary, and thyme in the sauce)

2 links krupnik sausage (kishke with beef blood)

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in saucepan, fry onions in fat. cook til translucent. add roasted garlic and pepper. stir fry few mins. add eggplant, vinegar, tomatoes, sherry, and herbs. salt and pepper to taste. the sauce is done when it tastes good.

in separate frying pan, cook krupnik until crunchy on the outside and creamy inside.

cook pasta in a separate pot and set aside.

add sauce and cooked sausage

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recipe by me

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quick and easy peanut noodles with satay sauce

March 24, 2012

this takes the cake for SUPER-FAST, easy, impossible to mess up, cheap, and versatile. add only what you’ve got in your cabinet and it’ll be wonderful.

no need to be exact – just a splash of this and splash of that.

substitute away; the only truly necessary ingredients are the first few.

cooked noodles
a splash of oil, butter, ghee, or fat
peanut butter
soy sauce
lime juice
ginger
cayenne
garlic
miso
cooking sherry
sesame seeds
chunks of mostly-cooked broccoli, raw snap peas, or whatever you like

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bored of the same old noodles? try adding:

rice wine vinegar and honey for a sweet-and-sour
leftover veggies
hoisin
crunched-up whole peanuts (or other nuts)
coconut milk
a raw version with raw zucchini ‘noodles’, raw grated carrots, and raw soaked and pureed peanuts-cashews-and-lime-juice (i’ve never done this. in fact i just invented it. but i bet it’s amazing, and i can guarantee i’m not the first person to think of it.)
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combine all ingredients except noodles in a pot. cook until smooth and combined.

toss with noodles.

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other peoples’ peanut sauces?

&& fried peanuts, gula jawa (palm sugar), garlic, shallot, ginger, tamarind, lemon juice, lemongrass, salt, chilli, pepper, sweet soy sauce, ground together and mixed with water

&& a thai-style peanut sauce recipe

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making of spaetzle

December 26, 2011

❤ ❤ ❤ this is amazing – i just showed my mom and she told me this is exactly how my oma made them. my mom was delighted by this woman’s ultra-thick schwabisch accent.

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maultaschen – black forest ravioli

December 22, 2011

this recipe is from black forest cuisine by walter staib.

he says this, accompanied by a gorgeous photo of them:
“whenever i think about maultaschen, i am home again. to me, this is the ultimate comfort food. this is my soul food. my mother would make piles of these ravioli in a single disciplined session, taking time and care with the dough and cutting it in various sizes to stuff with the meat filling. maultaschen can be large or small, sauteed as i suggest here, simmered in soup, or cut into strips and prepared like hash browns. sometimes my mother would float them in beef bouillon or chicken stock to make a delicious soup. personally, i will eat them anywhere at any time of day. in fact, when i used to travel home, my mother would prepare maultaschen especially for me and send my father to the airport, plate in hand. as soon as my feet hit the ground, i would begin to inhale them, at the same time thanking heaven that i was in the black forest.”

MAULTASCHEN

+dough
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 T + 1 t veg oil
1 T + 1 t salt

+filling
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 c soft bread crumbs
6 oz ground pork
6 oz ground beef
3 egg yolks
1 scallion, trimmed and finely chopped
1 T chopped fresh parsley
salt
pepper

+assembly
1 egg
2 T water
4 T unsalted butter

+process

1. MAKE THE DOUGH: pour flour into medium bowl and mix in egg yolks, eggs, oil, and salt. knead dough with hands until it comes together and can form stiff ball. rest dough in plastic wrap for 1 hour at room temperature.

2. MAKE THE FILLING: melt butter in frying pan, fry onions until translucent, set aside.

3. combine onion, bread crumbs, meat, egg yolks, scallion, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

4. ASSEMBLE MAULTASCHEN: bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. whisk together egg and water to make an egg wash. roll noodle dough on a lightly floured surface VERY thin (1/16 in) and cut into 12 6-in squares. divide filling among squares, brush edges with egg wash, and fold the four corners of each square into the center, pressing the seams firmly to seal.

5. drop the maultaschen, one at a time, into boiling water and cook for approximately five minutes. remove with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. drain and set aside momentarily.

6. melt butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. fry maultaschen until golden brown.

serve with potato salad

if you like his recipe, check out the book.

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never make gnocchi with self-rising flour

December 6, 2011

gnocchi recipe – i followed this tried-and-true recipe for delicious vegan gnocchi. the only substitution? self-rising flour.

BAD IDEA!

they became soupy, barely-held-together clumps of what can only be described as a toddler’s art project. practically inedible.

after one boiled-up batch, my wonderful friend s decided to investigate a way to fix them.

three batches.

one were boiled, then baked.
one were boiled, then fried.
one were just baked.

boiled, then baked – exactly identical consistency to the way they were before they were baked – gluey and inedible.

boiled, then fried – more similar to gnocchi consistency, but not too similar – actually, they were crunchy outside and liquidy inside – edible, but not good.

just baked – AAGH! THEY TURNED INTO PASTABREADS, sort of pretzely, dense orange puffs.

amazed, we twisted the rest of the dough into small pretzels and tiny rolls – definitely bread-like. not delicious bread, but much better than the creepy boiled ones.

we’d already discovered that frying gnocchi after boiling them is the easiest way to firm them up a bit, but this isn’t true with goopy gnocchi.

if this ever happens to you, my condolences, but they can be saved!

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also, did you know that gnocchi comes from a phrase meaning “a knot in wood”?