Thursday, October 29, 2015

Saving Your Bacon Op Ed in the SF Chronicle

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dioscorea opposita Noodle

This unassuming little root makes such a delicious noodle. Also called Chinese Yam or Shan Yao. Tastes sort of like potato. If you find fresh roots just peel (carefully, they're very slimy) and slice, dry, grind and mix with egg white to a stiff dough. Then roll out between two sheets of plastic wrap and cut by hand.

These I cooked in beef broth with ground beef, mushrooms and kale. Makes quite a satisfying meal.

You can also by the slices dried or even already powdered and ready to go. But from fresh roots is very easy.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cricket Flour Noodle

I wont say it was terrible, but it actually wasn't that good either. I had to do it. The cricket flour can be bought on line. When you open the bag and work with the dough, it smells like a pet shop. Now I know where that odor comes from. I mixed the 100% cricket flour with all purpose wheat, enough water to make a firm dough, rolled out, cut and boiled for about 2 minutes.

These are served in soy, mirin, dashi stock, and a touch of brown rice vinegar. As I said, it's not terrible. The smell dissipates with cooking. With these flavors it might pass as buckwheat soba. Apparently this is sustainable high protein. But at 10 bucks for .22 ounces, and I used half the bag for this batch, it's pretty expensive. If it had tasted great I might have done it again, but once is enough.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Purple Carrot Noodle

I was particularly pleased with both the noodles here and the combination of flavors. Here's how I did it: I took 5 small purple carrots, chopped them and put them in very light brine for 5 days. They fermented a bit, just to add depth of flavor. I dehydrated the carrots for a day and cooked down the brine to a thick syrup, about 1/8 cup. Then ground the carrot bits (nearly microscopic!) in a coffee grinder and mixed that with an equal part flour and added the syrup. It all came together in a lovely hand rolled and cut noodle. I did much the same with the celery root, though not fermented, and used an egg to bind the dough. These were both boiled separately, arranged in the bowl, and a rich duck broth was added. I also added some cooked and shredded duck confit and 3 slices of potato latke, which sounds a little redundant, but went nicely with the other flavors. Chopped sage is sprinkled on top too. Amazingly the strongest flavor was the celery root. I could still taste it an hour later!