Monday, February 27, 2012

Using Your Noodle(s)

I'm happy to have a supermarket within easy walking distance. But it's a supermarket that sells in big quantities, so, with just one mouth to feed, I frequently have leftovers, or leftover leftovers. At that point, the best option is soup. Today, as one of the variations, I made noodles, which are a good way to add variety, texture, and a little heft, to whatever else is going in the pot.
My noodle recipe is an easy classic. For two reasonable portions, you need a cup of flour, two large eggs, and a half-teaspoon of salt. Here, and most of the time, I added herbs, in this case thyme, but oregano, basil or rosemary all work equally well. A half-teaspoon to a teaspoon per portion gives a nice flavor accent.
To make the noodles, combine the flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl. Blend them together with your (clean) hands, adding a little flour to keep the dough from sticking to your fingers. Keep blending until you have a ball of dough and little or no leftover sticking to the bowl. Clear a clean, dry, flat surface and dust with a little flour. Knead the ball of dough several times, dusting with flour to keep it from sticking. With a little flour on a rolling pin, flatten the dough to the thickness that suits you, but not too thick -- I think a quarter-inch (1 centimeter) or less is fine. This will involve several passes with the rolling pin, dusting with flour to keep the dough from sticking. When you have an evenly thin sheet of dough, roll it up gently. Use a sharp knife to cut the roll of dough into even pieces, again, not too wide. Unroll the pieces into strips and let them dry for at least two hours.
Mine will go into a pot of shredded chicken, which is simmering now. It smells pretty good.