Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26, 2011: Daring Cooks' Homemade Noodles

Steph from Stephfood was our Daring Cooks' July hostess. Steph challenged us to make homemade noodles without the help of a motorized pasta machine. She provided us with recipes for SpƤtzle and Fresh Egg Pasta as well as a few delicious sauces to pair our noodles with!

This challenge is all about getting your hands dirty, by making a style of pasta or noodle without the use of motorized tools. So many cultures make flour as a method of preserving wheat and rice harvest, and then use the flour to make staple food items such as bread and noodles.

As a bonus, I want to challenge you to find examples from your cultural background!

Mandatory Items: Prepare some pasta by hand, without the use of motorized tools, and prepare the appropriate sauce/seasoning to go with it. The concept of "noodle" or "pasta" is being applied very loosely here, as some traditional recipes may seem closer to a dumpling than what you consider a noodle. Use your own judgment and creativity here.

Variations allowed: Many variations are allowed here – no strict recipe is required. It goes without saying that people with dietary requirements may substitute the "traditional" ingredients in favor of ingredients that are appropriate for them. Similarly, substitutions may be made where suggested ingredients are not readily available, or are cost prohibitive.

Steph's recipes can be found at The Daring Kitchen.

Eat4Fun: I've made traditional Italian-style pasta in the pasta for the Daring Bakers' Lasagna Challenge.

I wanted to make something that I remember from my childhood, Rice Noodles (aka Fun).
The difference between mein (as in chow mein) is that mein refers to wheat based noodles while Fun refers to non-wheat noodles.

Recipe is based upon what my mom's recipe. She doesn't measure out ingredients using cups, but this is what I've come up with.

Rice Noodles (Fun)
1 C Rice Flour
2 T Wheat Starch (or Cornstarch)
1 t Tapioca Starch (to give the noodles a little chew)
1.5 C Water (or use a 50/50 mixture of Chicken broth and water)
1/4 t Salt (can omit if using broth)

1) Mix all the ingredients to form a slurry.
2) Use a steamer and an 8 x 8 inch Pyres dish or a round pie pan.
3) Lightly oil (with an oily towel or use Pam) the glass dish.
4) Pour about 1/3 cup of batter and spread.
5) Steam about 3 to 5 minutes.

Finished Rice Noodles (Fun)

What you can make...

Chow Fun

Dim Sum: Rice noodle rolled with Shrimp

Dim Sum: Rice noodle rolled with Pork

Dim Sum: Rice Rolls (Cheung Fun)

Simple Comfort Food: Rice Noodles drizzled with Soy Sauce

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25, 2011: Daring Cooks' Healthy Potato Salad

Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana!

This month's challenge is hosted by Jami Sorrento a two year non blogging member of Daring Cooks. What do you think of when you think about Potato Salad? A fat laden high caloric salad that you only indulge in on occasion –and even then you feel guilty? Well this month we are going to challenge you to make the most delicious and healthy Potato Salad. The possibilities of what you can do with a fresh, natural, and versatile vegetable like potatoes are limitless! Did you know that a medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana?

Potatoes are a nutritional powerhouse and you can keep potato salad healthy by using low-fat and fresh toppings that still taste great.

For example, what other fresh and healthy vegetables or toppings do you like? Asparagus, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, olives? Do you have some new salts or a spice you would like to try? How about a different oil or vinegar you have been dying to taste? Here is your chance for TOTAL CREATIVITY!!! You can make your potato salad hot or cold- just come up with a yummy, healthy and fresh potato salad that looks as good as it tastes.

I am so excited about this challenge because first of all I am of Irish decent and love potatoes. Second – I get to see all the delicious creative salads you come up with. I hope we will all expand upon the normal potato salad we make and use some new ingredients or seasonings to make the best, healthy Potato Salad ever.

Mandatory Items:To make any type of potato salad – hot or cold - that is healthy and delicious. We’d love to see all kinds of ethnic and cultural variations!

[Eat4Fun: I'm posting this challenge a bit (very) late, but my take on this salad is to incorporate more vegetables (add color to a potato salad) and use a vinaigrette. One way to make a dish healthy is to cut back on the fat content. Fat has more than twice the calories of carbs and protein so by cutting back on fats you're reducing calories quite a bit.

My YouTube Video:

This is a recipe I made on the fly with ingredients I had readily available.

Healthy Potato Salad
3 Boiled potates (about 3 cups diced)
2 T Vinegar
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/2 C Tomatoes, Diced
1/2 C Corn Kernels
1/2 C Cucumber, Diced
1/2 C Carrot Shredded
1/4 C Red Onions, Thinly Sliced {Tip - sliced onions can be soaked in cool water to tone down the spiciness.)
2 T Bacon, Crumbled (Optional)

3 T Vinegar
1 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 t Dijon Mustard
1/4 t Salt
1/4 t Black Pepper
1/4 t Garlic Powder
1/4 t Dried Parsley
2 T Blue Cheese, Crumbled (Optional)

1) Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
2) While still hot, peel and dice potatoes
3) Salt, pepper and sprinkle the potatoes with vinegar. Mix gently. Refrigerate to cool.
4) Top with veggies and make dressing.
5) Potato salad can be dressed a few hours before hand to let the flavors infuse.