21 April 2010

Lentil Salad

So, last night Chris and I were looking for something to eat with bratwurst and bread, and upon seeing lentils in the back of the pantry cupboard, we decided that we needed to do something with them. Chris proceeded to find the following recipe somewhere, and it was amazingly delicious.

The vinegar helped it stand up to the big taste of the brats, and the onions helped the salad stay complementary ('cause who doesn't like some onions with their brats?). The carrots didn't stand out too much, but they were very pretty and certainly worth adding. Not to mention, I think they were hold more of their own when I eat the leftover salad for lunch today.

Without further ado, here's the recipe.

Lentil Salad

1/2 c. lentils, cooked (and drained if necessary)
1 carrot, minced, sauteed until tender
1/2 medium red onion, minced, sauteed until tender
glug of EVOO
1 T red wine vinegar (or 1/2 T each red wine and white vinegar)

Mix it all together and serve at room temperature.

10 April 2010

Orange Marmalade

Oh, oh, oh! I almost forgot. We eventually got some temple oranges instead of the navel oranges (which apparently the one company was out of stock, but never felt the need to tell anybody on our end...but the new company that Chris's mum ordered from--The Orange Shop--is grand). Anyway, we ate the vast majority of the oranges, but the last five I turned into a bit of marm...or, well, orange jelly with orange zest might be more accurate...but anyway, it was with the following recipe:

juice of five orange (1 1/2 c)
minced zest (I minced 3 or 4 of the oranges, but ended up using less--just eyeball it, whatever looks like enough)
1 c sugar
part of a pack of pectin (1/2 - 3/4)

The marm turned out deliciously, if a bit zingy. The set was loose, which I don't mind, and the recipe is a bit iffy, but the result stands for itself. Next time, though, I might try something more like everyone else's marm recipes--that is, cut the juice with water (I could also use more zest in this case, I suppose), and simply cut the fruit up instead of juicing it. Oh, and they suggest using more sugar, which I know would improve the set, but I think the sugar to acid ratio with this recipe is just so grand, it would be hard to justify. Maybe I could up it a titch, but we'll see. That's all the way 'til next December or January anyway.

Homemade noodles

So I've made noodles before, but they never turn out quite right. Dry or chewy or just plain wrong. My mother has  recipe for egg noodles that always turned out well with just ap flour, but I never had it on hand when I was experimenting with homemade pasta. Now that I'm out Boston-way, though, there are more specialty shops and/or specialty items (and, yes, I am enough of an American country girl that semolina counts in this category) that Chris and I decided to try out semolina flour. Here's the recipe we ended up using:

3 medium eggs (4 1/4 oz), beaten
6 ounces semolina flour
2 ounces bread flour (we were out of ap)
1/2 teaspoon salt

We mixed the solids, formed them into a bowl, poured in the eggs and slowly mixed in the flours with a fork until it came mostly together (you won't incorporate all the flour mix). Then we kneaded it until smooth and elastic (adding in the extra flours as necessary so that the dough isn't sticky). Right now it's resting for its half hour. Hopefully this turns out well. *crosses fingers*

So, to get it thin enough when rolling by hand, you have to divide the ball of dough into at least quarters. Our first quarter ball ended up a little thick, but the next two were gorgeous (still on the thicker side of noodles, but perfect for the application we put them to). The last quarter is in the fridge, where it can apparently stay for up to 24 hours--well wrapped, of course.

A good trick is to roll them out on a piece of wax paper, lightly floured with the leftover semolina/bread flour mix, and turn it 90° while flipping it over occasionally. Soon enough it will get thin enough that you're worried about tearing it (unlikely; or at least it never happened to me), and you want to go even just a bit thinner.

Then pop them into some boiling water, and wait for them to float. If you got them thin enough, they'll be done now, but if they're on the thick side, it'll take a minute or two more. My batch took about a minute after floating to finish cooking the inside.

I'm certainly looking forward to eating more fresh noodles tomorrow!