Saturday, February 18, 2017

Hand Made Hybrid Noodles for Newbies

People are often dissuaded from making noodles by hand, assuming that it's too much work, that you need a gadget of some kind like a crank roller, or that you need a precise recipe and a lot of practice rolling dough. It's just not true. In the past I've just said, throw some flour and water together and roll it out! But here's a trick that makes it VERY easy to roll, and even easier to cut with a knife.

Mix a cup of bread flour with a cup of rice starch (available at any Asian grocery or online, and it will be labelled rice flour - feel it, you can tell it's starchy. It will cost about a dollar for a small bag.) Add an egg, 1/2 tsp salt and slowly work in the egg by hand. Then add water a dribble at a time and knead about 5 minutes, adding a little more water if necessary, until you have a smooth dough. Oil the dough lightly. Then roll it out. Yes, immediately. It will take just a minute. (Don't add flour, only a little more oil if you need it.) Then take a knife and cut into long strips. It will take just a little patience, but it is very easy. (Don't try to roll the dough up into a tube and cut it, or it will squish.) Then boil the noodles for about 2 minutes. Here I've just added some soy, rice wine and sesame oil. They're very much like great udon. And of course I'd put them in soup. This will feed two.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Aztec Food Lecture

Dear Friends, Here's a lecture by me about Aztec Food which you can hear free from Audible: 

Monday, January 30, 2017

Nettle Noodles, Almond Milk, Enoki Mushrooms, Chicken Balls, Finger Limes and Sumac

It was partly finding these ingredients at the Palo Alto Farmer's Market, but also because I've had almond milk on the mind since doing some medieval recipes with a class at Stanford the other day. You have to use raw almonds of course, soak them over night, remove the skins and then pound with boiling water and strain out the solids. It's so good. The nettles were blanched in boiling water, dehydrated, ground and then mixed with flour and egg into a noodle. The finger limes were left over from the Fancy Food Show last week. They all came together so nicely, with a nod to the Tria Genovese recipe in the Anomimo Toscano (late 14th c.)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Italian Food History and Cooking Workshop

May 16-21, 2017  At the Villa Serenella, San Pietro in Cariano just outside Verona
Set in a magnificent Palladian Villa a few kilometers outside Verona, this workshop covers the food and culture of Italy from ancient times to the 20th century with lectures, readings, hands on cooking, single or double occupancy rooms, and historic meals at the villa, all included. Lessons will focus on Italian cookbooks such as Apicus, Platina, Scappi, Corrado, Artusi, and Marinetti, from which we will cook directly, all in translation.

The workshop will be run by Ken Albala and Demet Guzey. Ken is professor of history and chair of food studies at the University of the Pacific, with 24 books in print, and his food history course on DVD from the Great Courses company. Demet is a writer and lecturer of food and culture holding a PhD in Food Science and a Level 2 WSET wine and spirit certificate. She lives in Verona.
This villa suburbana dates from the 17th century and we will be cooking in its historic kitchen and eating meals in the dining room and working in the living room. It is situated between the ancient city of Verona with its splendid Roman amphitheater, Juliet’s balcony, brick Renaissance castle and the Lake Garda region. Fly into Milan or Venice and take the train into Verona, we are about 12 km to the northwest.
We will also visit local wineries and Demet will lead us on formal wine tastings.
Cost for the workshop is €1,638 ($1,719) for shared occupancy and €1,950 ($2,048) for single occupancy. This includes all workshop sessions, all accommodations for 5 nights, 5 breakfasts, 5 dinners including two at traditional local restaurants, 5 lunches, wine tasting fees and Verona card which allows you access to all museums and churches of Verona.
Workshop cost will not include airfare or transportation to or from the venue or insurance. The fees will be charged at the time of signing up. Cancellations will be fully refunded until 60 days before the workshop and 50% after 30 days before the start date. After this date no refund will be possible.
To sign up, email us at kalbala@PACIFIC.EDU and

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