Amish Noodle Casserole

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Even though I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and have even been to Amish country and eaten in their restaurants when I was young, I never knew about Amish noodles until a couple weeks ago. A coworker made a nice homey casserole with these thick cut fresh egg noodles, white sauce, and a bunch of stuff on hand. I was intrigued. Especially because what he called Pennsylvania Dutch noodles were strongly reminiscent of xi’an style hand torn noodles. After some research I even found that at least some recipes for Amish noodles relied on kneading boiling water into flour, which is also one method (minus the eggs) for the Chinese torn noodles. So, if anything, these noodles are Amish by context, but they’re texture really does fit the same bill.

Noodles:
340g ap flour
160g boiling water
55g cold water
Salt

In a bowl, pour the boiling water into the flour and mix with a fork. Then add in the cold water so that you can knead with your hands. It will be still be quite warm but as one of my chefs used to like to say “Pain don’t hurt!” knead for a full 5 minutes. Rest under a moist towel for 20 minutes. Knead for 1 more minute until the dough is smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap for at least one hour. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough until it’s between 1/4 and 1/2 inches thick. Slice it up, rustic-like, into noodles about 8”x3/4”. Dust with flour and store in a single layer on parchment until everything else is ready.

Bechamel:

500g cold soy milk (preferably freshly made)
25g flour
25g olive oil
1 shallot, halved
3 cloves garlic
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
5 pieces dried porcini

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour gradually, avoiding clumps. Add the shallot, garlic, herbs, porcini. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly so that the roux (the mixture of flour and fat) takes on color evenly. When it becomes a deep khaki but not quite brown, vigorously whisk in the soymilk, trying to avoid lumps. Bring to a simmer, making sure it doesn’t boil over, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a chinoise. Keep warm until ready to use.

1 cup Blanched peas
1 cup sautéed mushrooms
1 cup breadcrumbs, rubbed with olive oil and salt

Pull the noodles gently to the desired thickness. Blanch the noodles in boiling salted water until tender, about 90 seconds. Drain and add them directly to the warm bechamel. Add in the peas and mushrooms,and stir to mix together. Season with salt, pepper, and vinegar to your liking. Soy sauce or gravy master can also add a little something to this, if you’d like, at this point. Fit into a casserole and cover with breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes at 350.

108 layer lasagna. Ready for the cast iron.

108 layer lasagna. Ready for the cast iron.

Pictures from my class at Cook www.audreyclairecook.com

Ramen, Somen, Dumplings, Xi’an-style noodles, and Fermented Rice Noodles

These recipes are for some of the asian noodles which I was developing and producing for about 6 months over this past year. My last post included a couple (wontons and glass noodles), and these are a few more. I had also worked out some intense chinese-style egg noodles, and feel free to contact me if you are interested in getting a recipe for them. In attempting Soba noodles I developed some very flavorful buckwheat noodles, but definitely wouldn’t call them soba. I plan on having that recipe up soon. Below are ramen noodles, dumpling dough and Xi’an-style torn noodles, vietnamese rice noodles (best for noodle bowls and other room-temp preparations) and my personal favorite out of this batch, somen noodles. Somen are essentially thin udon noodles. They have a pleasantly slippery texture which always made me think there was rice flour or some other kind of flour involved in addition to wheat flour. They don’t. You may notice that between the dumpling dough, the wonton dough and the somen dough, the differences are quite subtle. This fact significantly increased the usefulness of my experience working on these doughs, really honing in on the importance of fat, kneading, resting, water temperatures, hydration geometry, and more. I don’t have recipes for entire dishes in this post but there are plenty of recipes around which use the factory-made versions of these noodles. Using freshly made noodles will elevate any dish.

Ramen (5 portions)

  • 225g high gluten flour

  • 75g ap flour

  • Salt

  • 13g kansui (solution of sodium bicarbonate and potassium carbonate)

  • 115g lukewarm water


  1. combine the kansui and water and fork it into the flour in a large bowl.

  2. knead for 5 minutes, this will become a very firm dough.

  3. Rest under a moist towel for 30 minutes

  4. Knead for 1 more minute until smooth

  5. Rest wrapped in plastic for at least an hour

Roll out to the third thinnest setting on your machine and cut using either a fettucine cutter or a sharp knife. Boil in heavily salted water for 90 seconds when ready to eat.

Dumpling dough (makes about 45 dumplings or 5 generous portions of Xi’an-style noodles)

  • 340g ap flour

  • 160g boiling water

  • 55g cold water

  • Salt

In a bowl, pour the boiling water into the flour and mix with a fork. Then add in the cold water so that you can knead with your hands. It will be still be quite warm but as one of my chefs used to like to say “Pain don’t hurt!” knead for a full 5 minutes. Rest under a moist towel for 20 minutes. Knead for 1 more minute until the dough is smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap for  at least one hour 

For dumplings roll out extremely thin using a rolling pin and cut using a round mold that’s appr. 3.5 inches. Lay out the discs on parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap. refrigerate for 90 minutes or up to 1 day. fill with your favorite vegan meatball recipe. fold by grasping one part of the edge between your thumb and first finger until it sticks together, then picking up the adjacent couple centimeters of the edge and pressing that into the first fold. continue until you get all the way around and have a little knot on top of the filling. twist off any excess dough. cook in salted boikling water until the dumplings float to the top.

For Xi’an style noodles, use dumpling scrap or fresh dough, rolled out to 1/8 inch thick. Cut or tear them in rustic strips. Flour them aggressively as they will stick together. boil in salted water for about 90 seconds and toss with sauce when you are ready to eat.

Rice noodles

Yields approx. 10 portions

Whisk together 750g water and 750g rice flour. Let the flour settle over the course of a few days while it ferments.

Remove extraneous water carefully. Weigh out 1000g of smooth but thick batter.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil until rippling, then pour in batter and stir with a wooden spoon just until a ball.

For 775g ball, Mix with 100g tapioca starch. knead in the mixer just until it forms a ball. It should be a touch sticky against the bottom of the bowl. Knead by hand for one minute until it is not sticky but is still soft.

Extrude through iddiyapam press directly into simmering heavily salted water for 20-30 seconds and shock in salted water. They will not become totally firm in the hot water - carefully spider them into the ice water where they become strong. Portion into 145g bundles.


Somen noodles

Yields approx. 5 portions

  • 300g ap flour

  • 150g hot water from the tap

  • 4g blended oil

  • Salt

Combine flour and salt In a mixing bowl. combine water and oil. Fork the liquid into the flour. Need for 5 minutes until soft but smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest for 20 minutes. Roll out to the third thinnest setting on your pasta machine and cut using either a fettucine cutter or a sharp knife.  Boil in salted water for about 90 seconds right before eating.

Kale Salad, Beets, Pistachio vinaigrette, Kumquat

This is a great thanksgiving side dish for a number of reasons. 1. It’s delicious. 2. It mixes well with a lot of other stuff. 3. The rawness of it is a good contrast from all the heavy, long-cooked flavors of a traditional thanksgiving. 4. If you’ve got a mixed thanksgiving, this is a good place for some supplementary vegan protein.  And this is especially important if you’re with family or any gathering where you don‘t know everybody: there is a direct relationship between  the quality of the food you bring vs. the amount of leniency stupid americans will allow you when you start drunkenly (or if you’re really good, soberly) ranting about genocide and slavery and the real foundation of this country and how we could all work together to make a radically better future.

  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 head of kale
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 4 kumquats, sliced thin with seeds removed
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup succanat
  • Croutons 

Toast the pistachios in a single layer in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, until fragrant. Combine the rice vinegar, succanat and ½ cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour over the kumquat slices.  Let cool.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and salt it aggressively.  When it’s boiling, add in the beets. Cook, covered for 30 minutes or so, until the beets are tender.  When they’re still warm, slip them out of the skin and cut them into wedges.

When the pistachios are cool, put them in the bowl of a food processor along with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt to taste.  Season with salt and vinegar to taste.

About a half hour before you’re ready to serve, chiffonade the kale and put it in a bowl. Season lightly with salt, red wine vinegar and olive oil and smash it with your fists. Crush it up real good so that the vinegar and salt can start tenderizing it.  When it is time to serve, combine the beets, kumquats, croutons, pistachio dressing and kale. Toss, taste for seasoning, and serve.

White Beans, Brussel Sprouts, Bread

This soup is pretty basic, which is part of the reason I like it.  If I saw it on a menu, I probably wouldn’t order it because… how good could white bean soup really be? Well, i’ve been ladling off the broth and drinking it cold. It’s really good. But what elevates it is the brussel sprouts and the bread.  

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