Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pickled Meyer Lemon Powder

 I've been wanting to do this a long time. Last year I had a crop of tiny meyer lemons and I wanted to see if  could pickle them whole, in brine. There are no spices, just salt and bay leaves. After a whole year they came out delicious. I had one chopped alongside a pork chop. Tart and salty.
 I sliced the rest of the jar, removed the seeds and put them in the dehydrator on high, overnight and this is what they looked like in the morning.
The slices went into the coffee grinder and out came this cheery yellow powder. I'm going to see what a touch will do inside a noodle, but there are so many other possibilities. Imagine this on shaved ice, or sprinkled over a salad. Or even on a steak. I suppose anywhere you want lemon and salt plus the added kick of the pickling and aroma of the rind, which is sweet and not acrid at all after a year in brine.

I suppose I ought to patent this!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thanksgiving Leftovers Noodle Soup

Thanksgiving Leftovers made with Pho Stock, Egg Noodles, Raw Celery, Carrots and Peas, Some Steamed Bok Choy, Nuoc Cham (shallots, lime, fish sauce and chilies) and shredded Turkey. A Sprinkle of grated orange rind and crushed cloves kept it bright and right for the holidays.

The difficulty is making the stock not taste like drinking gravy, so the raw vegetables really help with that. Crunch and chewy and savory in every bite. The Stock contains star anise, black cardamom, cassia, and odds and ends like cilantro stalks and mushroom stems from the freezer and even a parmesan rind!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016

Penghui for Noodles

 I've been experimenting with an odd alkaline substance this past week. It goes into a lamian noodle, apparently used often in China though fairly impossible to find in the US. It's called penghui and as far as I can tell is ash, processed in some fantastic way, made from mugwort, which is an Artemesia species. The first time I made a solution and rubbed it onto a well worked and rested wheat flour dough. It was made from King Arthur Bread Flour. Not much happened and it didn't behave differently from the batch not rubbed with the solution.

But today I made a batch with 1/16 of a tsp of this white powder directly into a cup of flour and water. Worked for 15 minutes, left over night and then cut and worked into noodles this morning. It was very stretchy. A few strands broke so I couldn't get it into one super long noodle to wrap around my hands many times and stretch, but it made a pretty decent pulled lamian all the same.

My only complaint is that the cooked noodles above tasted a little chalky like Bayer aspirin. Maybe a hint of sulfur too. I rinsed in cold water for a while.

Then they went into a lamb stock with kale. Actually really chewy, and a great noodle. But I noticed afterwards a slimy texture in my mouth and a little lye-burn on my tongue and palate. It's still a little burnt a full 12 hours later. So I do not recommend putting this in the dough.

I'm going to try a diluted solution and working it into the kneaded and rested dough, maybe a little more of it, not just splashed on, will work without tasting weird.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Mushroom Noodle Cubed

1 lb mixed mushrooms (enoki, maitake, porcini, shi’itake)
1 tbs butter or oil
½ tsp salt
3 c water
1 c white wine
½ c porcini powder
½ c all purpose flour
1 egg
3 slices of portabello mushroom
1 tsp butter
½ c milk
Sour cream

Sautee mushrooms in butter or olive oil with salt. Let them brown. Put over water and wine, simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and put the mushroom solids in a sturdy cloth and squeeze out all the liquid. Discard solids. Combine porcini powder with flour and egg. Knead into a smooth ball and lightly oil. Roll out into a very thin sheet (without extra flour) and cut by hand into extra thin noodles. Let these dry slightly on a wooden board. Sautee three slices of portabello mushrooms in butter, salt lightly. Heat the mushroom stock and add milk. Add the noodles. When cooked through arrange in a bowl with the mushroom slices, a sprig of dill and a dollop of sour cream. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


This is a pulled noodle. Really simple to make. Look out for my noodle soup book for the recipe.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ohn-no Khao Swè

Although you will find this dish transliterated a dozen different ways, the name simply means coconut milk chicken noodles. It is sometimes regaled as the national dish of Myanmar (Burma), alongside Mohinga, the wonderful fish noodle soup. Each is equally deserving of the title. You might also be familiar with this recipe from northern Thai cuisine (khao soi), where it seems to have been borrowed and evolved into many different forms. There are quick and easy ways to make it, but I think pounding the ingredients to extract their flavor does make a big difference, as does a good fresh chicken stock. The recipe works best with fresh medium sized rice noodles. See the recipe in the section on noodles or purchase them in an Asian grocery. Dried noodles also work. It is is also often made with thin egg noodles. The unique flavor comes surprisingly not only from the coconut, but from chickpea flour, which can be purchased or made from dried chickpeas whizzed in a powerful blender or food processor. You can also garnish this however you like, with hard boiled egg or pickled mustard greens.

Serves 1, multiply for more servings

4 ounces fresh medium rice noodles, a small handful of which are fried
¼ cup peanut oil, plus 2 tbs
1 inch piece fresh peeled ginger
1 small garlic clove
1 inch piece fresh peeled turmeric  
1 small red chili pepper
1 skinned boneless chicken thigh
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs chickpea flour dissolved in 1/2 cup of water
3 oz coconut milk
1 handful of chopped cilantro
¼  lemon
1 small shallot chopped

Start by taking a handful of noodles and frying them in hot peanut oil for a few seconds, just until they puff up. Set them aside on a  paper towel to drain and cool. Then take ginger, garlic, turmeric and chili and pound them in a mortar into a fine paste. Fry this paste gently in 2 tablespoons of oil about 5 minutes. Add the cubed chicken thighs and stir. Let it stick a bit to the bottom of the pan and cook through. Then add the chicken mixture to your chicken stock, add fish sauce and the chickpea flour dissolved in a half cup of water (stirred well so it doesn’t clump). Stir and let the chicken gently simmer for about 10 minutes.
Put the fresh noodles in to boiling water about 10 seconds and then put them in a collander, run them under cold water to stop the cooking. Or cook and drain dried noodles according to package directions.   
When ready to serve add the coconut milk to the chicken and bring to the boil.  

To assemble put the noodles in the bottom of a bowl and pour the chicken and soup over it. On top add the fried noodles, a good handful of chopped cilantro, chopped shallot and a big wedge of lemon. You can also add a little more ground chili if you like it spicier as well as other garnishes.  

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Marbelized Noodle Experiment #1

Marbelizing technique works nicely with thick colored batters. This is a plain flour batter base with lines of tomato and olive batter piped on top, feathered through with a toothpick. I then dehydrated them. I should have cut them before completely dry. These were broken into pieces. In any case, maybe the even greater discovery, apart from the pattern is that you can make an ultrathin noodle my spreading batter and drying it.

I'll have be a little more careful and deliberate with this, next time should work perfectly.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Recent Lecture at the Getty about banquet management. LOADS of fun.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Salad Noodle Soup

This is literally lettuce, tomato, celery, carrot, red cabbage and cucumbers. Dehydrated. Mixed with 50 percent flour. Ground. Water added to make dough. Rolled out. Boiled. Rinsed in cold water and dressed in olive oil and vinegar, then with some homemade cold chicken stock poured over. And a grind of pepper. Tastes like a salad, but the texture in your mouth is clearly noodle soup. Not just beautiful but delicious.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Microwave Noodles. I do believe I've invented a new noodle technique. Rice and sweet potato flour batter piped onto a silpat and microwaved for 1 minute 15 seconds. Then boiled. Ultrathin "microwave" noodles or wide ones.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Article on Fermentation by Yours Truly

Friday, February 12, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A good week of noodle soup: rabe, sow thistle, yuca

 This is a broccoli rabe noodle with tiny meatballs in beef broth. The rabe is chopped, dehydrated, ground and then worked in 50-50 with flour and egg to bind. Rolled and cut by hand. The meatballs are just rolled and tossed in the pot, no seasoning, since the noodles are all fresh and green.
These are ravioli made with wild sow thistle harvested from my yard, rolled into pasta sheets, stuffed with ricotta and moistened with chicken broth. A little parm on top. I really thought they were dandelions, but was told otherwise. All the same very tasty.
These are hand cranked rigatoni made from fresh yuca/cassava with some chopped kale. Very chewy and aromatic. And gluten free of course.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Pine Noodle Soup

Pine was speaking to me all day, it was in my dreams last night, I noticed some in a vase in the kitchen, and then some pine tar soap arrived in the mail. I had to try to turn pine into noodle soup. The broth is very simple, just chicken broth blended with pine nuts, which is stunningly delicious. Then I thought, much as mastic is used in baked goods, I would crush hard pine resin (i.e. gum) with sugar and just add it to flour and water. I tried pounding pine needles to make them green, but that didn't work, so I used matcha tea powder.

Noodles rolled out, cooked for a minute or two in the broth and garnished with a sprig. It's alluring if you like pine, though I admit, I used 6 small grains with a cup of flour, next time I would use 3. It's a little overpowering, but interestingly chewy exactly like mastic spoon sweets. Hmm.

Need something to do with your Christmas Tree??