Crock-Pot Rotisserie Chicken

Deliciously seasoned, falling off the bone tender chicken, just like the Rotisserie Chicken you buy at the market made right in your own kitchen!  This unbelievably simple recipe will give you the same moist flavorful chicken that everyone loves.  I used a 6 quart Crock-Pot to make this meal.  I had a family pack of 8 chicken leg quarters and not only was it very economical but I also ended up with 2 cups of chicken stock that I have frozen for making soup next month.  There are only 4 basic steps to the recipe.  Make the rub, prep the vegetables, cook in the crock-pot for 8 hours, then finish in the oven.  It doesn’t get any easier than this and you can plan it around your work day.  Wouldn’t you like to come home to this?

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Ingredients:

  • 6 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasosning
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground fennel
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dehydrated bell pepper
  • 8 chicken leg quarters
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • cooking spray

Preparation:

Rinse the chicken, trim any excess skin and pat dry.  Whisk together the first 10 ingredients to make the rub and liberally coat both sides of the chicken.  Leave a little aside for finishing.

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Mist the crock-pot with cooking spray.  Chop the onion, carrot and celery and place it in the bottom.  Do not add liquid, the vegetables should hold the chicken up above any liquid that forms during cooking.

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Arrange the seasoned chicken on top of the vegetables.  I was able to fit all 8 leg quarters in my 6 quart crock-pot.

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Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, then reduce heat to low for 6 more hours.  It can go a little longer if you are running late.  About half way through, check for excess liquid in the bottom of the crock-pot and spoon some of it out if needed.  You do not want the chicken submerged in liquid.  If you like, you can strain and reserve it for soup stock as I did.  After 8 hours preheat the oven to 350º.  Arrange the chicken in a single layer on a baking sheet, sprinkle with more seasoning and finish in the oven for 30 minutes.

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That’s it.  Dinner done!  I served it with a side of pasta shells and marinara sauce, family style for a late Sunday dinner that was better than any restaurant.  Everyone loved how moist and tasty the chicken was.  I will be making it again!

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Onion Focaccia on the Grill

It’s Sunday and I need my weekly bread fix, but today I’m doing something a little different by using the grill to make this delicious Caramelized Onion Focaccia.  I used an autolyse in addition to my usual sourdough starter to create the beautiful puffy dough.  You can see the air bubbles on the surface of the finished bread and it had a nice crispy bottom!  As always, I used freshly milled whole grains.  If you don’t have a grill or it’s winter in your part of the world you can bake it on a pizza stone.  Here’s how…

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup white wheat berries
  • 1/3 cup red wheat berries
  • 1/3 cup spelt berries
  • 1/3 cup Kamut
  • 1/3 cup sorghum
  • 1-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 3 tbsp. garlic flavored olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • coarse salt
  • Italian seasoning
  • red pepper flakes
  • fresh rosemary sprigs cut into 3/4″ pieces

Preparation:

Mill the grain (1st 5 ingredients) to yield 2 cups + 3 tbsp. whole grain flour.  You can substitute an equal amount of purchased whole wheat flour or whole grain blend.

In a small bowl, stir together 3 tbsp. of the whole grain flour with just over 1/2 cup hot (not boiling) water.  This is called an autolyse, and it’s used to get a head start on dough development and create a dough with better texture, rise and flavor.  Stir and let it sit for 30 minutes.

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Whisk together the flours, salt, yeast and diastatic malt powder.    Be sure your starter is fully activated.  Here’s mine, looking lively!

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Combine the starter and the autolyse in the bowl of a stand mixer with 1 tsp. honey and 3 tbsp. garlic oil.

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Gradually begin kneading in the flour mixture plus an additional cup of water on low speed.  When thoroughly combined increase speed and knead for 5 minutes.  The dough will be very wet and elastic like this.

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Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn to coat.

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Cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel, and let it rise in a warm place for 4-1/2 hours.

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While the dough is rising, make the onion topping.  Melt 3 tbsp. butter in a heavy skillet and add the onions.  Cook 25 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are turning a golden brown.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside until the dough is ready.

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Stretch, fold and shape the dough into a round, cover and let it rest for another 20 minutes.  Then pat and stretch the dough into a circle to fit a 12″ grill pan, pizza pan or baking stone.

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Brush with olive oil, then press oiled fingers into the dough to create dimples.  Spoon the caramelized onions over the top then sprinkle with coarse salt, pepper flakes and Italian seasoning.  Press the rosemary sprigs into the dough.

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Grill 15-18 minutes on medium heat, watching that the bottom doesn’t get singed.

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I was very happy with how the dough puffed up on the grill!  I thought that the center needed to cook a  little more, so I slid it onto a pizza stone and finished it off in a 400º oven for 5 minutes.  Cool slightly before slicing, if you can wait!

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Here’s a closeup of the crumb, it had lots of nice air bubbles!

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We devoured most of this in one sitting.  It won’t last long at your house either!

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I hope that you have enjoyed today’s bake!  Read more about my bread adventures here.

 

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Chicken and Rice Primavera

Chicken medallions, tossed with breadcrumbs and cooked in a heavy skillet with caramelized onions, carrots, zucchini and summer squash.  All served over a bed of brown and wild rice.  Sometimes it’s the little things that make a recipe.  In this case it’s the homemade breadcrumbs.  I bake bread every week and sometimes make my own seasoned breadcrumbs with the leftovers.  They are so much more flavorful than store bought!  This is a dish that you can make on a week night.  There is some prep work but you can still pull it together in under an hour.  It’s a great way to use up some of that zucchini and summer squash!

4 Servings.

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Rice Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown and wild rice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 packet salt free chicken bouillon
  • seasoned salt, to taste
  • 1-1/2 cups water

Chicken Ingredients:

  • 18 oz. boneless chicken breast cut into medallions
  • 2 cups homemade seasoned breadcrumbs (or use seasoned panko)
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small summer squash
  • seasoned salt
  • 6 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth

Preparation:

Cooking the rice and caramelizing the onions are the most time consuming part of the recipe.  Once completed the rest of the meal comes together easily.  Plan on a 45 minute cook time for the rice and about 25 minutes for the onions.

Start the rice first, melt the butter in a heavy sauce pan, add the rice and stir to coat.  Toast for 1 minute then add the shallots.  Whisk together the water, bouillon and seasoning.  Pour over the rice, stir and bring to a simmer.  Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook 45-50 minutes.

While the rice cooks, add 3 tbsp. butter to a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and golden brown.  Transfer the onions to a bowl and keep warm.

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Slice or cut the chicken breast into 1/4″ medallions.  Place the breadcrumbs in a zip top bag with the chicken and toss to coat.  Wipe the skillet clean, add more butter and oil (about 2 tbsp. each) then add the chicken with all of the bread crumbs.  Brown the chicken on all sides, adding more butter if needed.

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Add 1/3 cup chicken broth or stock, stirring and tossing frequently so the breadcrumbs do not burn.  Transfer the chicken to a bowl and be sure to get all of the browned breadcrumbs up from the skillet.  Keep warm.

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Slice the carrots, zucchini and summer squash into 1/2″ match sticks.  Using the same skillet, add 1 tbsp. more olive oil and begin cooking the carrots, give them a five minute head start.  Add the zucchini and squash, sprinkle with seasoned salt and toss for 1 minute more.  I like the squash to be firm, but you can cook it a little longer if you prefer.

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Return the caramelized onions and chicken to the skillet, along with any breadcrumbs that have fallen to the bottom of the bowl.  Combine well and heat through.

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When you are ready to serve, spread the rice out in an even layer on a platter.

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Now spoon the chicken and vegetables over the rice for a beautiful presentation.  Scrape up any breadcrumbs from the bottom of the skillet and sprinkle them over the top.  Doesn’t that look delicious?  We polished off most of it in one sitting.

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Make this colorful plate, loaded with summer goodness for your family to enjoy this weekend!

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Spinach Fettuccine

Today I made my first batch of homemade Spinach Fettuccine.  The addition of spinach puree gives the dough a rich hue.  I have been wanting to try this for a while and wondered how the spinach would affect the dough.  I used tender baby spinach, stems and all (no trimming needed).  After boiling and draining it well, the spinach still had plenty of moisture, so only a tablespoon of additional water was needed to bring the dough together.  The noodles were delicious and no, they did not taste like spinach!  I used my KitchenAid® pasta press and cutter attachments to create this beautiful pasta from scratch.  I served the fettuccine in a very light tomato cream sauce tossed with caramelized onions and colorful squash.  Dare I say it was healthy?  We really did eat our vegetables!

3-4 Servings:

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Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • 4 cups water
  • salt
  • 100 g. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 110 g. 00 Flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 extra large egg
  • 1-2 tbsp. water if needed

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Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini, halved and sliced
  • 1 small summer squash, halved and sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 3 ladles of the pasta water (it will be nice and starchy from the floured pasta)
  • olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • coarse breadcrumbs for finishing

Preparation:

Boil 4 cups of water with a pinch of salt.  Measure a heaping 2 cups of baby spinach.  Cook the spinach for 5 minutes, drain and cool to room temperature.

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Puree the cooled spinach with the egg (be sure the spinach has cooled or the egg will cook).

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Transfer the spinach and egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer.

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Whisk together the flours and salt, add to the mixer bowl and combine using the paddle attachment.  Add 1-2 tbsp. cold water if needed to form a soft dough.  If your spinach has a lot of moisture you may not need the water at all.  Press the dough into a ball.

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Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest 20 minutes.  When rested, use a bench knife to divide the dough into 4 equal pieces.

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Set up 2 long sheets of wax paper sprinkled with flour.  Working with 1 piece at a time, flour the dough and press it into a disc.  Roll the dough out into a thin sheet.  I rolled mine out to setting #4 on my KitchenAid® pasta roller attachment.  Lay each sheet of pasta on the floured wax paper and cover with plastic wrap while you work with the other sections.

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Cut the pasta sheets into ribbons and hang to dry.  If you don’t have a pasta cutter tool, use a sharp knife.

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I let my pasta dry a little while I caramelized the sweet onions in 3 tbsp. of butter.  This takes at least 20 minutes of frequent stirring (don’t walk away!).  You want the edges of the onions just beginning to brown.

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Next I heated a large pot of salted water for the pasta.  It will cook in just 3 minutes so have the sauce ready.  For the sauce, heat a large skillet with a little olive oil, and toss the zucchini, squash and bell pepper with the caramelized onions.  When the pasta water is boiling add the pasta and set the timer for 3 minutes.  Next add the tomato paste to the center of the skillet, toast it quickly then add a ladle of the pasta water.

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Turn the heat down to low, add 2 more ladles of the pasta water with the half and half, and season with salt and pepper.  Gently remove the pasta with a spider strainer and add it to the skillet.

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Toss well then transfer everything to a serving platter.  Top with grated cheese and coarse breadcrumbs.

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Here is our beautiful, colorful dinner plate.  It was delicious and I will be making spinach pasta again soon.  This dish was vegetarian, but you could jazz it up with sausage, chicken or bacon.  I hope you enjoyed this week’s Italian Sunday Dinner.

 

 

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Posted in Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Eat your Vegetables, Farmers Market Favorites, fresh pasta, From Scratch, handmade pasta, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Seafood Oriental

Seafood Oriental!  Today I’m making a seafood stir fry with an Asian flair!  The inspiration for this dish was a restaurant meal that I had while vacationing this summer.  A sweet sauce tops a generous helping of  shrimp, scallops and lobster over rice and it is loaded with healthy veggies.  I used a mandoline to slice everything nice and thin for quick cooking.  Canned baby corn can be found in the Asian section of the supermarket and really adds to the sweetness of the dish.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. raw shrimp
  • 6 oz. sea scallops
  • 6 oz. lobster meat
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large carrot, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1/4″ pieces
  • 3/4 large onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 red bell pepper sliced thin
  • 1/2 can baby corn, drained and halved
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 tsp. ginger
  • toasted sesame seeds

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Preparation:

I had a small lobster cooked at the market.  As soon as we got home I removed the meat, peeled the shrimp and rinsed everything off under cold water.

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The stir-fry comes together very quickly, so you will want to start the rice ahead of time, especially if you are using brown rice which takes at least 45 minutes to cook.  While the rice cooks, prep the vegetables.  I finished slicing everything in minutes with my mandoline.

Seafood-Oriental-The-Extruded-Noodle-010aHeat a large skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil.  Add the onions, peppers and carrots.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Toss for 1 minute and add the seafood.

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Toss 30 seconds and add all of the cabbage.

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Drizzle with sesame oil and a little soy sauce.  Add the baby corn, cover and cook 5 minutes.  Whisk together the cornstarch, broth, soy sauce, Mirin and ginger and pour it over the skillet.  Toss and stir well as the liquid thickens.

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To serve, spread the rice out on a platter.  Top with the seafood and garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds.

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The verdict, I came close to matching the restaurant version with less salt and more veggies.  That’s what I call a success!  It was a nice change from our usual and I will be making it again before the summer is over.

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Jambalaya Pasta

Fra Diavolo meets Cajun!  Today I am cooking up a spicy pasta dish with a southern twist, delicious and a little different than my usual.  Cayenne pepper gives it a real kick, and it can be anything from a modest pinch to a generous shake, you decide.  I borrowed smoky Andouille sausage and shrimp from traditional recipe, along with the “trinity” of pepper, onion and celery.  I finished it with a tomato cream sauce but instead of rice I served it over penne, I love my pasta!

Dinner for 2

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. Andouille sausage, cut into coins
  • 6 oz. large raw shrimp (about 12), peeled and deveined
  • 1 large broccoli crown, cut into florets
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, diced (I used Italian peppers that we had on hand)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • olive oil, about 2 tbsp.
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp. half and half
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • sea salt
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 6 oz. penne pasta, cooked 2 minutes less than package directions
  • 3 ladles of the pasta water

Preparation:

Once the veggies are prepped, this meal comes together in about 15 minutes.  Cook the pasta to 2 minutes less than package directions, reserving 3 cups of the pasta water.  Heat a large skillet with olive oil.  Add the onions and sausage and cook 1 minute, then add the broccoli, pepper, celery and garlic.  Season with salt, Old Bay and cayenne and cook for 5 minutes, stirring and tossing continuously.

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Make a space in the center of the skillet and add the tomato paste.  Let it toast for 1 minute, pushing it around with a spatula then toss it with the sausage and vegetables.

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Add 1 ladle of the pasta water with the shrimp.  Season with more Old Bay, salt and cayenne, and continue cooking just until the shrimp turns pink.  Add 2 more ladles of pasta water with the half and half.

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Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss well for another minute or 2.

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Transfer to a platter and dinner is ready.  It smells so good, I hurried through the photo shoot so we could dig in!

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Hubby loved this dish and so did I.  The Andouille and shrimp were perfect together, the veggies cooked just to crisp tender.  I went easy on the cayenne this time, but the heat was definitely there.  I will be making it again soon!

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Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Pasta, Skillet Dinners, Stir Fry | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Blueberry Banana Bread

Foodie friends, the inspiration for this beautiful quick bread came from one of our weekly “use it up” challenges.  We had 2 pints of blueberries in the fridge plus an overripe banana that had been calling out to me, and here is what I made.  Perfect with our afternoon coffee, it was delicious and not overly sweet.  Best of all I used only 1/4 cup of butter and no oil in this recipe.  The banana, ricotta and blueberries keep the crumb nice and moist.  I also baked it in 12″ x 3″ tea loaf pan for smaller, diet friendly slices.

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Dry Ingredients:

Whisk Together

  • 2-1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger

Wet Ingredients:

Whisk Together

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • half stick of butter (1/4 cup), softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup 1% milk
  • 6 oz. low fat ricotta

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350º.

2. Rinse and dry 1 cup of fresh blueberries.  Make sure they are completely dry.  Take 1 tbsp. of the flour mixture and toss the blueberries in it.  Flouring the blueberries will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the batter.

3. Blend the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth.

4. Switch to the beater attachment, add the flour mixture and blend just until moistened.

5. Gently fold in the floured blueberries with a spatula.

6. Mist a 12″ x 3″ loaf pan with cooking spray. (Note: You can bake this in a 9 x 5″ loaf pan, just increase the baking time by 10 minutes.)

7. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and spread it evenly with a spatula.

8. Bake 55 minutes at 350º.  Cool in the pan for 20 minutes then transfer to a rack.

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Just look at the rise on this quick bread!  The ripe banana and brown sugar give it a beautiful coloring.

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This slender loaf yields about 16 slices.  You will definitely want more than one slice each!  I hope you enjoyed this post and are inspired to give it a try.

 

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Chicken Corn Chowder

The heatwave has finally broken and I’m making a delicious Corn Chowder.  It’s one of those recipes that you must make when sweet corn is in season.  Enjoy it for lunch or a nice light dinner.  Like most soups, it is even better (and thicker) the next day.  We are fortunate to live near several local farms and fresh corn is just a five minute drive up the road.  Mr. Extruded Noodle loves corn chowder and I made this just for him   It’s ready to enjoy in about 90 minutes.

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Now I know you are asking, can’t I make this with frozen corn?  You can, but you will be missing a key flavor component in the recipe.  The base of this chowder is made from the corn cobs.  After the kernels are stripped, the cobs are simmered to make a stock.  You can substitute chicken broth and use frozen corn, but seriously, try it this way.  It is very, very good!

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I used Maine white potatoes in this batch and I did peel them, but you can leave the skins on if you like.  Don’t use baking potatoes, they will break down and get too mushy.

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6 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 3 Maine white potatoes peeled and diced (use young, thin skinned or waxy potatoes)
  • 12 oz. boneless chicken breast
  • 4 oz. hicory smoked bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • olive oil
  • butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • paprika
  • Old Bay® seasoning

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Preparation:

Strip the corn kernels from the cob and refrigerate (you should have about 4 cups).  An easy way to do this is to stand the corn straight up on a cutting board and run a sharp knife down the sides.  Place the cobs in a stock pot with 6 cups of water and 1 tsp. salt.  Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Strain 4 cups of the corn stock through a fine mesh sieve or use cheese cloth.

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While the corn stock is simmering, season the chicken with Old Bay.  Heat a Dutch oven over medium low and cook the chicken breast in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter for about 10-15 minutes, just until cooked through.  Remove from the pot, cool and dice then keep refrigerated.

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Add the bacon to the pot and cook until crisp.  Remove and drain on paper towels, reserving the fat.

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Add the onion to the pot with the reserved bacon fat along with 1 tbsp. of butter.  Cook for 15  minutes, stirring frequently.

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Sprinkle the flour over the onions and stream in 4 cups of corn stock and one cup of chicken broth, whisking constantly.  Add the potatoes, corn kernels, 1/2 cup half and half, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves, and more Old Bay.

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Simmer on low until the potatoes are cooked through.  Add back the reserved chicken and sprinkle with more thyme.  Cover and let the chicken heat through, 5 minutes more.

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Serve in shallow bowls and garnish with crumbled bacon and a sprinkle of paprika.

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This is the first time that I have made this chowder but we will be having it again, everyone loved it!  The smokiness of the bacon is a nice contrast to the sweet corn.  Visit your local farm stand and make some this weekend!

 

The-Extruded-Noodle

 

 

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Posted in Comfort Food, Farmers Market Favorites, Seafood, Soup, Under an hour | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Skillet Fusilli and Sausage

You simply cannot have enough skillet recipes.  They come in handy for quick lunches, easy dinners and times when you have bits of this and that in the refrigerator to use up.  Sweet Italian Sausage is the star of this dish, and it imparts great flavor to all of the other ingredients.  This is also a great recipe to use fresh Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes while they are in season.  Dinner is on the table in under a half hour.

4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage, cut into coins
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes (or substitute 1 can 14.5 oz.)
  • 6 oz. whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Chipotle seasoning
  • Italian seasoning
  • fresh Italian parsley
  • grated Parmigiano Reggiano for serving

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Preparation:

Dice the veggies and sprinkle with Chipotle seasoning, salt and pepper.  Slice the sausage into coins.  My sausage was frozen, which made it easier to cut even slices.

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Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Heat a large skillet on medium low with a little olive oil.  Brown the sausage on all sides then add the onions, pepper and zucchini.

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Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently then add the tomatoes and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.

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Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

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Drain the pasta, add it to the skillet and toss well.  Drizzle with good olive oil and transfer to a serving bowl.  Finish with fresh parsley and grated cheese.

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Dinner is served, a hearty meal on the table in under a half hour and it is delicious!  If you enjoyed this recipe check out some of my other skillet dinners here.

The-Extruded-Noodle

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Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Comfort Food, Farmers Market Favorites, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Skillet Dinners | Leave a comment

Oatmeal Honey Sourdough Loaf

Today’s bake is an Oatmeal Honey Sourdough.  The enriched bread is slightly sweet with a soft crumb, almost like cake.  The honey and sourdough compliment one another perfectly.  We will have it with dinner and hope there are leftovers for toasting during the week!  Ingredients like wheat berries, bran and germ can be purchased in small quantities in the bulk section.  This is a great way to try out a new recipe and only buy the amount you need.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white wheat berries, milled
  • 1/2 cup red wheat berries, milled
  • 1/3 cup steel cut Irish oats, milled
  • 2 tbsp. wheat bran
  • 2 tbsp. toasted wheat germ
  • 1-1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 to 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • canola oil, for the proofing bowl
  • 2 tbsp. old fashioned rolled oats for topping

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Preparation:

Mill the oats and wheat berries, or substitute 1-1/4 cups whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup oat flour.  Whisk together the flours, bran, germ, salt, yeast and diastatic malt powder.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the starter, honey, and egg.  With the dough hook attachment, gradually incorporate the flour mixture and enough water to form a soft dough.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat.

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Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let it rise for 2 hours.  Stretch and fold the dough to redistribute the yeast, then return to the bowl for 45 minutes.  Perform a final stretch and fold before shaping into a round.  Place in a baking dish coated with cooking spray and sprinkled with corn meal.  Cover with plastic wrap and rest 30 minutes.

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Brush the top of the loaf with milk, and sprinkle with old fashioned rolled oats.  Slash the top in a box score.

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Preheat the oven to 425º and bake for about 40 minutes.  My loaf rose so high that it got a little singed on top but it was delicious!

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Cool the loaf completely on a rack before slicing.

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This loaf did not last long.  Here’s the crumb shot.

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Try it spread with butter or dipped in olive oil.  We managed to save a few slices for breakfast and it was very good toasted.

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Home made with love!  With freshly milled whole grains and no preservatives, this bread tastes nothing like store bought.  Try it and see.   I hope you enjoyed today’s bake!

 

The Extruded Noodle ©

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Skillet Chicken and Vegetables

My 14″ skillet is the hardest working pan in my kitchen.  Skillet dinners are great for busy weeknights.  Healthy fresh ingredients cook up quickly for tasty meals that everyone will love.  Use veggies that you have on hand, including leftovers from another meal.  With a little advance preparation, you can have this dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.  I used fresh Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes that I had made earlier (a link to that recipe is included) and we had some leftover cooked broccoli.  Substitute your favorite veggies that are fresh and in season.

4 Servings

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Ingredients:

  • 20 oz. boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-1/2″ cubes
  • olive oil
  • Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes, from scratch or substitute 14.5 oz. can
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cups cooked broccoli florets
  • 1/2 yellow squash, sliced into half moons
  • salt and pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • 6 oz. whole wheat orecchiette pasta
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish
  • grated cheese for serving

Preparation:

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  While the pasta cooks, heat a large skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, and brown it on all sides.  Begin adding the vegetables, using a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper as needed with each addition.  Start with the onion, cook until translucent, then continue with the broccoli and the squash.  Stir frequently.

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Next add the roasted tomatoes (drain first if using canned) and the garlic.  Toss well to combine, cover and cook 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes are heated through.

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Drain the pasta, reserving a little of the pasta water.  Toss the pasta with the chicken and vegetables, and if it seems dry add a little of the reserved pasta water.  Taste to adjust the seasoning, and finish with a drizzle of good olive oil.  Transfer to a serving dish.

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Now here is where I drive everyone crazy with the camera.  It’s a beautiful plate with all the colorful veggies and I must have my photos to share with you!  Garnished with slivers of fresh basil, it is finally ready to bring to the table.  Serve it with grated cheese.  We also had a loaf of freshly baked bread with oil for dipping.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  Thanks for stopping by!

 

The-Extruded-Noodle

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Posted in #dashdiet, 30 Minutes or Less, Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Eat your Vegetables, Farmers Market Favorites, Skillet Dinners | Leave a comment

Oven Roasted Plum Tomatoes

It’s the peak of the season, when farmers markets and grocery stores are overflowing with beautiful ripe tomatoes.  Now is the time to make your own roasted tomatoes from sweet, vine ripened fruit.  Use it as a chunky sauce to top your crostini, pizza or pasta.  Add to skillet dinners for a quick meal.  Plum tomatoes are firm and easy to work with and they roast up delicious and sweet.  See how easily they can be peeled and seeded.  Make the most of the summer harvest and try this very easy recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 9 plum tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • garlic powder
  • Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

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Preparation:

Choose tomatoes that are red and firm.  To peel, use a sharp paring knife to cut a slice off the top and bottom.  Stand the tomato on one end, and cut downward to slice the skin off.

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Now take each tomato in the palm of your hand and squeeze it over the sink to release the water and seeds.  Cut into 1″ dice.

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If there are still too many seeds you can rinse them off under cold water.  Place the tomatoes in a colander to drain, then pat them dry with paper towels.

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Now spread the tomatoes evenly on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and 2 tsp. brown sugar.

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Bake for 350º for 30 minutes.  Aren’t they beautiful?

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Use them in all your favorite summer recipes!  This batch is going into an easy skillet dinner and the recipe will be up shortly.

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As always, thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this summer delight.  Click here to see some of my other Farmers Market Favorites.

The-Extruded-Noodle

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Posted in #dashdiet, Dash Diet Friendly, Farmers Market Favorites, From Scratch, Healthy Italian Favorites, Under an hour | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Sourdough English Muffins

I never buy supermarket English Muffins any more.  Once you have tasted the goodness of homemade you won’t either.  This is my go to recipe, made with a sourdough starter and freshly milled whole grain flour.  They are simply the best!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 2 cups whole grain flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 4 tbsp. powdered buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. softened butter
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil (to coat the proofing bowl and cutting board)
  • cornmeal
  • cooking spray

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Preparation:

I bake bread every week, and whole grains are a pantry staple.  I mill my own multi grain flour from red and white wheat, Khorasian wheat and spelt berries.  If you don’t have a grain mill, purchase a good quality whole grain flour and be sure that it is fresh (check the expiration date).  You can combine several flours together as I have for a multi-grain blend.

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I am blessed to have a very vigorous sourdough starter that I have nurtured for the last 4 years.  I feed it weekly and it needs only 6 hours to become fully active.  On the day I want to bake, I take it out of the refrigerator early in the morning, feed and by noon it is ready to go.  If you don’t use your starter as often it could take several days to activate, so plan ahead.  To make this recipe without a sourdough, substitute an additional 2/3 cups whole grain flour and 1/3 cup water, and increase the instant yeast to 2 tsp.

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Combine 3/4 cups starter, the softened butter and 1 tsp. honey in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Whisk together the flours, buttermilk powder, salt, yeast and diastatic malt powder.  With the dough hook attachment, gradually begin mixing in the flour mixture and water to form a soft sticky dough.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it several times to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, mist with cooking spray and dust with cornmeal.  Turn the dough out onto an oiled cutting board and use a bench knife to divide it into 12 pieces.  I used a scale to weigh out uniform 3 oz. pieces but you can eyeball it.  Shape each piece into a round ball and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Use English Muffin rings if you like, or just free form for a more rustic look.  If you don’t have enough English Muffin rings, large canning jar rings are a great stand in (can you spot one in this photo?).  Rub the inside of the rings with oil so the dough doesn’t stick.

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Mist the tops with cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap for a second rise of 30 minutes, they should not quite fill the muffin rings.  Preheat the oven to 425º.  Bake for 15-16 minutes.

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The tops will be light with just a little browning on the sides.

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The bottoms are nice and toasted.  Sprinkling the baking sheet with cornmeal gives the bottom a nice crunch.

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Transfer to a cooling rack.  Don’t cover or package them until they are completely cooled.  You can store them at room temperature for up to 2 days.  They freeze beautifully, wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags.

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I know you have been waiting patiently to see the crumb shot, here it is!

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English Muffins have become a Saturday tradition at our house.  Breakfast made with love.

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Thank you for stopping by and I hope you have enjoyed today’s bake.  Check out some of my other  bread recipes here!

 

The-Extruded-Noodle

 

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread Pudding French Toast

Cinnamon Swirl Bread Pudding French Toast.  This is probably my favorite breakfast casserole.  Most of the preparation can be done ahead, so it is a real time saver when you have company coming.  I love making it for Sunday Brunch.  It’s so delicious, everyone will want seconds!

A recipe within a recipe…

The Cinnamon Swirl Bread you see in this recipe is from scratch, and that just makes it all the more special.  The preparation is straight forward and well worth the extra effort.  Here’s how…

8-10 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of homemade cinnamon swirl bread (recipe here)
  • 1 tbsp. softened butter
  • 11 eggs, divided
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 cups 1% milk, divided
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • chopped pecans, about 1/3 cup

Preparation:

A day or 2 before, make a loaf of Cinnamon Swirl Bread.  It’s a delicious sweet bread that is perfect for French Toast.  Cool completely on a rack, and store it at room temperature for 24 hours in a plastic bag.  If you are going to buy the bread, choose a good quality enriched loaf, sweet bread, brioche or cinnamon bread.

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The night before, cut the bread into cubes.  Arrange the bread cubes evenly in a 9″ x 13″ buttered glass baking dish.

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Whisk together 8 eggs, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 1-1/2 cups 1% milk.  Pour the mixture over the bread cubes.

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Be sure all of the bread cubes are coated.

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Cover the baking dish with foil, and press it down evenly with your hands.  Refrigerate overnight.

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The next morning whisk together an additional 3 eggs and 1/2 cup milk.  Pour it over the bread cubes and press down with a spatula to keep everything level.  Sprinkle the top with cinnamon, nutmeg and chopped pecans.

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Preheat the oven to 350º.  Mist a sheet of foil with cooking spray, and cover the casserole with the oiled side down (so it doesn’t stick to the bread) and bake 25 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

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Despite my efforts to keep everything perfectly even, we had a little volcano popping up in the top left corner!  It didn’t matter, it was delicious!  Serve it hot out of the oven.  You can dust it with powdered sugar and drizzle maple syrup over the top, but it really doesn’t need anything extra.  This is a very special treat for the whole family, made with love.

The-Extruded-Noodle

 

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St Louis Ribs on the Grill

Tonight we are celebrating the 4th of July with St. Louis Style Ribs on the grill.  The secret to tender juicy ribs is a long slow cook time on low heat, placing the meat to the side of the heat source instead of directly over the flame.  Using a dry rub also keeps the meat nice and juicy on the inside.  Hubby and I are sharing a half rack tonight along with first of the season local sweet corn.  You can adjust the recipe to your family size.

Dinner for 2

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Ingredients:

  • Half rack St. Louis Style Ribs
  • Cooking spray
  • BBQ Rub (try my favorite blend)
  • BBQ Sauce (we love Bull’s-Eye)

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Preparation:

Whisk together the rub ingredients.

  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne

Pat the ribs dry, and coat them all over with the rub, use your hands to work it in.

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Mist the grill grates with cooking spray.  Light one side of the grill on medium low.  Place the ribs on the opposite side.

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Grill for 60-90 minutes, checking the temperature with a thermometer after 1 hour.

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During the last 10 minutes of cooking, brush the top with BBQ Sauce.

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Yes, it’s that easy.

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Happy 4th from The Extruded Noodle kitchen!

 

The-Extruded-Noodle

 

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High Hydration Sourdough

This recipe is for my bread friends.  I know you love bread as much as I do!  With a little practice you can work with a high hydration dough like this one to bake light airy loaves and sandwich buns, even with whole grains.  The wet sticky dough is turned and folded using a bench scraper, no hand kneading.  It produces a soft crumb with beautiful air bubbles forming the characteristic holes.  I used freshly milled grains and a sourdough starter in this recipe.  If you don’t have a grain mill or a sourdough I am including substitutions.  See how I created a beautiful round loaf plus six sandwich buns all from one batch of dough.  

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Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup spelt berries, 70 g.
  • 1/3 cup kamut berries, 70 g.
  • 1/3 cup sorghum berries, 70 g.
  • 1-3/4 cups bread flour, 225 g.
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1-1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 3/4 cup sourdough starter, 175 g.
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1-3/4 cups warm water
  • olive oil
  • more flour for the cutting board
  • cooking spray
  • corn meal
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • sesame seeds
  • rolled oats
  • coarse salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • dehydrated bell pepper
  • dehydrated garlic
  • crushed fennel

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Preparation:

Begin with a fully active sourdough starter.  Measure out 3/4 cups (175 g) and add to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Stir in a tsp. of honey.  (If you don’t have a starter, substitute a poolish made from 100 g. water, 40 g. rye flour, 35 g. all purpose flour, 1/8 tsp. instant yeast.  Let the mixture stand 2-3 hours at room temperature or overnight refrigerated.)

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Mill the grain (or substitute 200 g. whole grain flour), about 1-1/4 cups.  Whisk together the whole grain flour, 1.75 cups bread flour, salt, yeast and diastatic malt powder.  Add the flour mixture and 1-3/4 cups warm water to the mixer bowl and knead 5 minutes on medium speed with the dough hook attachment.  Although I said knead, you can see in this video clip that the dough is very wet, the consistency should resemble pancake batter.

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Use a spatula to scrape the dough into an oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel, and place in a warm spot to rise.

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In 60-75 minutes the dough should be puffy and bubbly.  The dough will be hard to handle so prepare your work surface first, coat a large cutting board or counter top with a generous amount of flour for working the dough and coating your fingers.  See how elastic the dough has become as it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

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Turn the dough out onto the floured work surface.

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Now with minimal handling, use a dough scraper to turn and fold the dough over several times, incorporating flour as needed.  Cover and rest 15 minutes.

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I have prepared a sheet pan for buns, lined with parchment paper and an 8″ round stoneware baking pan for the loaf.  Both the parchment and the loaf pan have been coated with cooking spray and dusted with cornmeal.  The weight of the final dough is about 36 oz. and I’m using a scale to weigh out six sandwich buns, 2 oz. each.  Use the bench knife to cut pieces of dough for the buns and transfer them to the baking sheet with floured fingers.

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Use a spatula to turn the remainder of the dough into the loaf pan.  Handle it as little as possible to retain the air bubbles.  Rest 30 minutes.

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Mist large sheets of plastic wrap with cooking spray, and cover the rolls and the loaf with the oiled side down so that it doesn’t stick to the dough.  With the plastic wrap on, press the sandwich buns into 5″ rounds with a small rolling pin.  After 30 minutes the buns will be puffy with visible air bubbles.  Preheat the oven to 450º.

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Bake the buns first.  Remove the plastic wrap, brush with milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds and rolled oats.  Bake for 8 minutes, then use a spatula to transfer the buns to a cooling rack.

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While the buns are baking, prepare the loaf.  It should be nice and puffy.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with salt, pepper and seasonings.  I’m using dehydrated garlic, onion, bell pepper, fennel and sesame seeds.

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When the buns have finished baking, lower the oven temperature to 425º and bake the loaf for 30-35 minutes.  This loaf has a soft crumb and delicate crust.  Carefully remove it from the pan and cool on a rack for at least 2 hours.  Try to resist cutting into it too soon as the top will deflate.

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I know you can’t wait to see the crumb shot.  Here is one of the sandwich buns.

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I bake a few thin sandwich buns like this every week for lunches.  This dough is perfect for making light, soft buns!

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Finally, the finished loaf.  I love the soft, open crumb, like eating cake!  We are dippers, and this bread is excellent dipped in olive oil!  The leftovers are great toasted.  I hope you have enjoyed today’s bake and that I have made you curious about baking with sourdough and milling your own whole grains.

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The-Extruded-Noodle

 

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Farfalle with Squid Rings

Foodie friends, we are still getting caught up after returning home from vacation, and I’m so glad we keep a well stocked freezer and pantry!  Tonight’s meal has just a few simple ingredients and is on the table in 30 minutes or less.  About 3 servings, but hubby and I were hungry and we polished off most of it :-)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz. whole wheat farfalle pasta
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 2 cups sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 lb. squid tubes, thawed and cut into rings
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

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Preparation:

Cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the package directions.  While the pasta is cooking heat a large skillet over medium low.  Add 1 tbsp. each of butter and olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.  Add the onion and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add the tomatoes and garlic, season to taste.  Cover and cook another 3 minutes.  If it looks dry, add a ladle or two of the pasta water to the skillet.

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When the pasta is almost done, add the peas and the squid rings to the skillet.  Season and  cook 3 minutes longer.  Drain and add the pasta, tossing well to coat.  Cook for another minute or two, depending on how firm you like your pasta.  Finish with another tbsp. of butter and drizzle of olive oil.

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Isn’t that beautiful?  Transfer everything to a serving platter and garnish with fresh basil.

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I used what I had on hand for this dish.  If you don’t have squid, shrimp or chicken would be fine substitutes.  I think a little chopped fennel would be delicious along with a splash of white wine.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Click here for more meal ideas that are ready in 30 minutes or less!

 

The-Extruded-Noodle

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Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Healthy Italian Favorites, Pasta, Seafood, Skillet Dinners, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Chicken Pot Pie-Less

Foodie friends, when you have just returned home from a calorie laden vacation the last thing you need is a heavy meal!  So our first “back to reality” dinner was a deconstructed chicken pot pie, minus the crust.  It was an easy meal made from pantry staples, which is nice when coming home to an almost empty fridge.  We didn’t miss the crust at all, well maybe just a little…

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 14 oz. boneless chicken breast cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (I used stir fry veggies)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • Seasoned Salt (or use salt and pepper)
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. corn starch
  • fresh basil for garnish

Preparation:

Cook 1/4 cup brown rice in 3/4 cups of chicken broth seasoned with salt and pepper.  While the rice cooks, cut the chicken into cubes and chop the onion and garlic.  Heat a large skillet over medium low.  Add olive oil and begin cooking the onion until translucent.  Add the chicken and spread it out in the pan.  When the chicken has browned on all sides add the frozen vegetables and the garlic.

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Toss everything well and season to taste.  Cover and cook 5 minutes or more, depending on how well done you like your vegetables.

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Whisk together 1 cup chicken broth, 2 tbsp. cornstarch and more seasoning.

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When the rice is cooked, add it to the skillet along with the cornstarch mixture and toss together until everything is coated and the liquid has thickened.

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Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with fresh basil leaves.

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There you are, an easy meal on the table in no time, with only 2 pans to clean.  Now that is a weeknight dinner everyone can look forward to!

The-Extruded-Noodle

 

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Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Chicken, Comfort Food, Dinner for two | Leave a comment

New Orleans Shrimp Boil on the Grill

Tonight we are having dinner on the grill with a spicy New Orleans twist!  Bites of shrimp, sausage, potato and corn are assembled into foil packets and served up hot and flavorful! It’s easy to make, and most of the prep can be done in advance.  We loved the shrimp and sausage combination, and I’ve added sweet onions to the mixture and zucchini for color.  If you have never tried Old Bay seasoning this recipe is a good excuse to go and buy some, you will find yourself using it in on everything.  Plan on about 45 minutes to prep and cook this meal.  I know you will enjoy it as much as we did.

4 packets

Ingredients:

  • 12 extra large raw shrimp
  • 4 oz. Andouille sausage
  • 2 ears of corn, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 1/2 bag of baby marble potatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into 1″ slices
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • olive oil

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Prep:

Defrost the shrimp under cold water (if using frozen), peel and devein leaving the tails on.  Cut the sausage into 1/2″ slices.  Place the potatoes in a microwave safe dish with a little water and microwave for 4 minutes to give them a head start.  Start the grill while you assemble the packets.

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Lay out 4 sheets of foil, 12″ long.  Divide the ingredients evenly on the 4 sheets.  Drizzle with olive oil (1-2 tbsp. per packet) and sprinkle with Old Bay.

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Bring the sides of the foil together and fold over twice to seal, then do the same on each end.  Turn the heat down to medium low and place the packets on the grill.  Cover and cook for about 15 minutes.

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Use tongs or a spatula to remove the packets from the grill and open carefully so the steam doesn’t burn your fingers!  Serve immediately.  Doesn’t that look good?

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This is a must try dish for summer!  Packets can be assembled ahead and refrigerated for easy entertaining.

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We will be having this again very soon, I’m already thinking of some variations that I want to try.  I hope you have enjoyed tonight’s dinner on the grill, and thank you for visiting!

The-Extruded-Noodle

 

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Posted in #dashdiet, BBQ, Dash Diet Friendly, For the Grill, Seafood, Under an hour | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Individual Beef Wellingtons

This week I took a little detour from my usual comfort food meals and prepared a real gourmet delight!  Beef Wellington has been on my to do list for a while, at Hubby’s request.  Beef tenderloin, the star of this dish is not usually available at our local supermarket, but this week not only did they have it, but it was on sale!  We got to the  store, expecting to purchase a small tenderloin roast, but found it was only being sold as individual fillets.  What to do?

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Of course you know from the title of this post that I decided to create individual serving Beef Wellingtons.  Yes, there are a lot of steps and it took about 2 hours to prepare this dinner.  The verdict, totally worth it.  They were amazing!

3 Servings

Duxelles:

  • 3 g. dried Porcini mushrooms
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 8 oz. (about 3 cups) mixed fresh mushrooms such as white button, Shitake, baby bella
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper

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So what are Duxelles?  A very fancy name for a mixture of finely minced mushrooms, shallots and herbs, Duxelles is used to make sauces and stuffing.  I am using both dried and fresh mushrooms in this recipe.  Dried Porcini can be purchased in small packets and are also available in the bulk section of some markets.  Definitely worth the trouble of seeking them out, they will intensify the flavor of your sauces and gravies.  To prepare, bring 1-1/4 cups water to a boil and add the 3 g. dried Porcini mushrooms.  Turn off the heat and soak for 20 minutes.  Drain the mushrooms and reserve the liquid (it will be used later to make a sauce).  Process the fresh mushrooms, shallots, porcini, garlic and thyme into a fine mince.  Heat the butter and olive oil in a skillet and cook the mushroom mixture until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl to cool.

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Beef:

  • 3/4 lb. beef tenderloin cut into 3 fillets
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Wipe out the skillet, add more olive oil and sear the fillets 2 minutes per side.  Season with salt and pepper and cool slightly.  Set the skillet aside (don’t wash it) for making the sauce.

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To Assemble:

  • 6 tsp. Grey Poupon
  • 6 slices of prosciutto

Arrange 2 slices of prosciutto cross-wise on a sheet of plastic wrap.  Spread 1/3 of the mushroom mixture on the prosciutto.  Coat one beef filet with 2 tsp. mustard and place in the center.

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Wrap the prosciutto around the beef to form a packet then wrap in plastic wrap.  Continue with the other fillets then place them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

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Pastry:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
  • flour for rolling
  • 1 egg, beaten

Divide a sheet of puff pastry into 3 sections.  Roll each section into a 5 x 10″ rectangle, 1/8″ thick.  Cut out 2 circles from each section, 5″ diameter.  Unwrap each meat bundle and place on top of one pastry circle.

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Brush around the edges with water and top with another circle of pastry.  Pinch the edges together to seal, and crimp with a fork.  Place on a nonstick baking sheet.  Continue with the remaining bundles to create 3 individual Beef Wellingtons.

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Preheat the oven to 425º, brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg and pierce several times with a fork to allow steam to escape.  Bake for 20 minutes.

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Sauce:

  • reserved 1 cup mushroom liquid, strained
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/2 cup sliced Shitake mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. half and half
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs

Heat the mushroom liquid and brandy in a small sauce pan.  Heat the skillet that the beef was seared in, add more olive oil and cook the mushrooms and shallots until they release their liquid.  Remove the pan from heat, and pour in the mushroom liquid.  Deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom with a spatula.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.  Finish with 1 tbsp. butter and 2 tbsp. half and half.

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Serve:

Transfer the Beef Wellingtons to a serving platter.  Strain the sauce and drizzle over the top.  Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

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This was a meal fit for a king and queen.  Mr. Extruded Noodle was very happy.  So much so that he didn’t mind cleaning up all the pans I used!

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The Beef Wellington was very filling!  I served it with a side of roasted marble potatoes and that was more than enough.  We had one each and split the 3rd one for lunch the next day.  I will certainly be making this again in the future, maybe doubling the recipe for a small dinner party.  I hope you enjoyed this post and don’t forget to Pin it for your own special occasion!

The-Extruded-Noodle

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Posted in Dinner for two, Dinner Party, Elegant Dining, Holiday Favorites | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment