Friday, February 06, 2009

Food Photo Friday--homemade noodles

If you have never had or tried to make homemade noodles for your soup, or pasta dish, I want to tell you now: It is my mission in life to convince you that they are easy, Easy, EASY!!!! There is nothing more simple. They should change the saying to "easy as homemade noodles" because, although pie crust isn't all that hard, apple pie really isn't a no brainer unless you use canned apples (ew..). Noodles have three ingredients and one of them is water. That oughta tell you something about the process. Are you ready? OK. Here we go!

1 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg

Did you get that? I hope you didn't blink, but if you did:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg

See? You don't even have the excuse that you need special ingredients from the store! If you are out of eggs or flour, or heck--even water!! Call me!! I'll loan you some! I did add some dried parsley to mine last night. I like it. It's pretty. Try it. About a tablespoon is good. Or oregano. Or thyme. I can loan you that too. Now, the procedure:

Clean off your table or counter space. Take your one cup of all purpose flour and dump it in a pile on the table or counter space. Make a well in the center. Add your egg which you have broken into a cup and beaten slightly. Using the fork, whisk the egg, catching a little bit of the flour at a time, until it is incorporated into the flour. During this process you will add little bits of water, maybe a 1/2 tsp. at a time. Too much water is not good. Sticky pasta is never good. When it seems like your pasta ball is holding together pretty well, take it and knead it together with your hands to form a nice ball. Then, flatten it and run it through your pasta machine a few times. Or you can channel your inner Italian Granny and roll it out by hand (ugh--too much work....keep your eye out for a pasta roller at a yard sale if you don't have one. Or borrow mine!!) Choose your desired thickness. Sometimes I'm in the mood for thick, more dumpling-ey pasta, sometimes I like it thin. Doesn't matter. Then choose your shape. I like the fettuccine cutter for chicken noodle soup. As you cut each sheet of pasta, lay them out on a clean dish towel to let dry for a few hours. I don't know why this is, just do it. It'll make you feel domestic. Then, just use as you would bagged pasta from the store! Only it is SOOO MUCH BETTER!! Then you have something that looks like this:

I will tell you it was yummy. And pretty. It was pretty darn yummy!! If you don't already have a chicken noodle soup recipe that you love, give this one a try.

Homey, Hearty, Chicken Noodle Soup

2 cans low-sodium chicken broth (low sodium lets you control the saltiness)
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery

Simmer the vegetables in the broth until they are almost tender.

Then add:
4-6 more cups water, depending on how far you want your soup to go!
2-3 heaping teaspoons of chicken base (NOT BOUILLON--it's WAYYY to salty. And yucky. Get chicken base that has actual chicken as the first ingredient. I use "Better Than Bouillon" from Macey's. It seems a bit pricey, but it makes a BIG difference. Look for it on sale and buy a few bottles at a time.)

Then taste. If it seems flavorful enough for you, then move on. If not, add a little more base.

Next add about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of milk. I like a creamier type of soup. If you don't, forget this ingredient.

Then add:
1/4 tsp. worcestershire sauce
1/2 the juice of 1/2 a lemon. in other words... 1/4 of a lemon--get it?
a pinch of poultry seasoning.

These are the "secret ingredients" This was passed on to me by a famous chef. Not Jason. Shh, don't tell.

Now, if you added the milk, and aren't looking for a real brothy soup, you need to make a roux.

3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp flour

Put the butter in a small saute pan. Melt it and bring it to a boil. Add the flour and stir, until it is all incorporated. On a medium heat, keep stirring the mixture as it cooks out the flour taste, about 3-5 minutes. Don't burn it.

Bring your soup to boiling and add your homemade, parsley-specked noodles. The cooking time will depend on how thick you left your pasta. My thin pasta took about 5 minutes. Keep checking after a few minutes so you don't over cook it. Once your pasta is just about perfect, add the roux. It will thicken as it boils. I only thickened it slightly, just to keep it from being too brothy. If you want it thicker, make a larger amount of roux. Just use equal portions of flour & butter. Adjust your salt now. I find it usually doesn't need much. And lots of black pepper really adds too, but only if you like black pepper.

As far as chicken goes, I leave it to you to decide. I buy a Costco roasted chicken because they are so moist, and pull the meat off to use. One chicken usually has enough for 2 batches of soup. About 2 cups is a good amount.

The pasta will keep in an airtight container for up to a week. The soup won't last that long. It's too yummy. We fight over the leftovers.

Let me know what you think!


Ella said...

That is some beautiful pasta!Is that pic of the bowl the chicken noodle soup?Very nice pics by the way!

tammy said...

Yes ma'am. That is THE soup.

i'm erin. said...

OH Tammy, I think you wrote this post just for me. I know I have a wierd thing against homemade noodles. That looks so good, and your pictures are beautiful.

Mark and I both have the flu, or I would run to your home and demand some.

kellieanne said...

You've given me a whole new reason to look forward to FRIDAY! I get great photos and recipes. That rocks!

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