Whole Grain Sourdough Dinner Rolls

Today I’m making healthy, whole grain sourdough dinner rolls.  I love baking with whole grains and milling my own flour.  This is my favorite grain combination.  From top to bottom, we have White Wheat, Spelt and Kamut®.

Whole Grain Pull Apart Rolls The Extruded Noodle 007aUsing about 1/3 cup of each, I milled the grain into 1-3/4 cups of fresh flour.  You can substitute a good quality whole wheat flour such as King Arthur.  Be sure to check the expiration date as whole grain flours degrade more quickly than white flour.

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Ingredients:

  • 1-3/4 cups whole grain flour
  • 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 2 tbsp. powdered milk
  • 1-1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. softened butter
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter
  • canola oil, for the proofing bowl
  • 1 egg, for brushing
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preparation:

Whisk together the flours, powdered milk, instant yeast and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg, starter, butter and sugar.

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With the dough hook attachment, gradually add the flour mixture and the water on low speed to form a soft dough.  Increase the speed to 3 and knead the dough for 5 more minutes.  Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until doubled.

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Depending on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen it will take 60-90 minutes.

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Transfer the risen dough to an oiled cutting board and divide into 12 equal pieces.

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Form each piece into a ball by pressing it firmly into the cutting board in your cupped palm, using a rotating motion.

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Place the dough balls in a 9″ x 11″ baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another hour.

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The rolls will be touching.

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Preheat the oven to 400º.  Brush the top of the rolls with a well beaten egg.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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Bake for 17 minutes.

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Use a spatula to remove the rolls to a cooling rack, all in one piece.

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Separate the rolls just before serving.  Delicious for soaking up your favorite sauces and gravies!

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For an easy white flour version of this recipe, see my earlier post Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

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Posted in Baking, Bread, Sourdough, Whole Grains | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Cranberry Orange Tea Loaf

Long slender loaves of orange infused cranberry bread yield diet friendly slices and feed a crowd!  I have a pan that makes 3 12×3″ tea loaves, but you can also make 2 9×5″ loaves with this recipe.  It’s definitely a holiday favorite, great for entertaining and for gifting.

Cranberry Orange Tea Loaf The Extruded Noodle 008aIngredients:

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • zest from one orange
  • 1/4 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups orange juice
  • 1 bag cranberries (12 oz.)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Rinse and chop the cranberries using a food processor or electric chopper.  A few pulses should do it.  Add the eggs, shortening, sugar, zest, orange juice and cranberries to the bowl of a stand mixer and blend well using the whisk attachment.  Switch to the paddle attachment and gradually add the flour mixture.  Incorporate all of the flour, just until blended.  Stir in the walnuts.

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Coat the baking pan(s) with cooking spray.  Distribute the batter evenly between the pans.

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Bake tea loaves 40-45 minutes at 350º.  If using 9×5″ loaf pans, bake for 55-60 minutes.

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Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack.  Cool completely before slicing.

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The cranberry makes such a beautiful presentation.  Arrange the slices to show it off!

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Moist and delicious, nice for entertaining, bring to the office, even enjoy it for breakfast!  This recipe is too good to save for the holidays.  I’m making it this weekend!

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joycebug

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Low Carb Shephards Pie

Even at The Extruded Noodle we occasionally take a break from carbs.  Here, versatile rutabaga replaces the traditional potato topping in this Low Carb Shephards Pie.  Rutabaga is a nutritious root vegetable that is lower in calories and carbs than potato.  It originated as a cross between the cabbage and the turnip and may be sold as yellow turnip, waxed turnip or swede (Swedish turnip).  Hubby is always surprised at how good this is.  Follow the easy, step by step instructions and make it tonight!

3-4 Servings

For the Filling:

  • 8 oz. lean ground beef
  • olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1-1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (peas, carrots and corn), thawed
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. low sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup light beer (or substitute low sodium beef broth)

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 large rutabaga or yellow turnip
  • 1 cup grated cheese (use your favorite, I used an Italian blend)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1% milk
  • paprika
  • Italian parsley for garnish

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Preparation:

Heat water in a sauce pan with a steamer basket.  Peel and cut the rutabaga into cubes.

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Steam the rutabaga until fork tender, about 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.

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Heat olive oil in a pan or heavy skillet.  Add the onion, garlic, mixed vegetables and a pinch of salt.  Cook 4 minutes.

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Add the ground beef, thyme, pepper, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.  Break up the beef and continue stirring until browned all over.  Add the beer (or beef broth) and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

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To make the topping I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.  You can also use a food processor or potato masher.  Combine the cooked rutabaga, cheese and butter and pinch of salt.  The recipe is very forgiving so substitute any cheese you like, even cream cheese will work.  Drizzle in a little 1% milk, until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes.

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Heat the oven to 400°.  Coat a 9″ round or square baking dish with cooking spray.  You can also use a pie dish, like I did here.  Add all of the filling.

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Spread the rutabaga evenly over the top and sprinkle with parmesan and paprika.  Bake for 25 minutes then broil on low for 4 minutes to brown the top.

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 Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately!

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This meal is very good and will satisfy your hunger without being too heavy!

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 ***************

Hint: Speed up the prep by peeling and steaming an entire rutabaga ahead of time.  You can freeze half for another recipe.  Or, use half of the rutabaga for this recipe and save the other half for oven fries later in the week.

Oven Fried Rutabaga

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joycebug

 

 

Posted in #dashdiet, Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Low Carb | Leave a comment

Pull Apart Dinner Rolls

Here is a nice easy recipe for yeasted rolls, perfect for family get-togethers and holiday dinners.  Forget those bland tasting supermarket rolls, these are so much better and they can be made ahead for less stress the day of your big event.

Ingredients:

  • 4-3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered milk
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. softened butter
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil for proofing
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preparation:

Whisk the egg in the bowl of a stand mixer.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, powdered milk, sugar, and yeast.  On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture and water using enough water to form a soft dough.  Increase the speed to 3 and knead for 5 minutes.

Add the canola oil to a large bowl with the kneaded dough and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel and let the dough rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  The dough will double in size.

Gently deflate the risen dough and transfer to a cutting board.  Use a bench knife to divide the dough into 21 pieces.  Cup each piece in the palm of your hand and press against the cutting board in a rotating motion to form a tight ball.

Use a large baking sheet lined with parchment, or butter a 9 x 11″ glass baking dish and a 9 x 9″ glass baking dish.  Arrange the rolls 1″ apart, and mist with cooking spray.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another hour.  The rolls will be touching.

Beat an egg until frothy and brush over the top of the rolls.  I like to sprinkle half the rolls with toasted sesame seeds.  Bake in a 400º oven for 15 minutes.

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Use a spatula to slide the rolls onto a cooling rack (in one piece).

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They can be served warm or at room temperature.  Pull the rolls apart just before serving.

 

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Posted in Baking, Bread, Holiday Favorites | 1 Comment

Beef Stir Fry

Stir-fry dinners are a fast and easy weeknight meal.  Try this one with beef!  Prep your veggies ahead and this dish comes together in 15 minutes!  The recipe serves 2 but you can easily double or triple for a large family.

For the sauce, whisk together the following:

  • 3/4 cup broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 1/4 cup Mirin (rice wine)
  • 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp. corn starch

Prep the following:

  • 1/2 lb. stir fry beef
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup snow peas, ends removed
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup carrot, cut into match sticks
  • 1/4 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 oz. Chinese noodles (I like Hang’s noodles)
  • 2 tbsp. organic canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2-3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds

Put it all together!

Whisk together the sauce ingredients and let stand while you prep the veggies.  Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet and set aside with the scallions for finishing.  Cook the noodles, drain and set aside.  Now add a little canola and sesame oil to the skillet and brown the beef, 1-2 minutes.  Toss with a little soy sauce and set aside.  Add the vegetables to the skillet with the rest of the oil.  Stir fry until the veggies are crisp tender, 3-4 minutes and toss with more soy sauce.  Now add the meat and noodles back to the skillet and slowly pour in the sauce.  Toss and stir continuously until well combined and the sauce begins to thicken.  Transfer to a large serving platter and garnish with the scallions and sesame seeds.

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Look at the vibrant color in this dish!  This is one of my favorite weeknight meals.  Try it at your house!

 The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

Posted in 30 Minutes or Less, Asian Inspired, Dinner for two | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Braised Lamb Shanks with Farro

For our first Italian Sunday Dinner of 2015, I made a hearty lamb stew with farro.  I had been thinking about this recipe for a while and the lamb shanks were waiting patiently in the freezer!  Farro, a nutty flavored whole grain is a staple in Italian cooking.  You can substitute any whole grain such as spelt, barley or wheat berries.  Although you will see three different pans being used in the photos, the truth is the entire dish can be prepared in one pot.  You will need a pot or deep skillet with a cover that can go from stovetop to oven.  A Dutch oven is perfect.

Ingredients: (serves 2)

  • 1.5 lb. lamb shanks (1 large or 2 small)
  • 1/2 cup flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil for browning
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups low fat, low sodium beef broth
  • 1/3 cup farro (substitute spelt, barley or wheat berries)
  • 6-7 gold baby potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. rosemary
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

Preparation:

Season the lamb shank with salt and pepper then dredge in the flour.  Shake off the excess.  As you can see from the photo, I had visions of cutting the lamb shank in half but even my butcher knife was not up to the task.  So I left it in tact for a 2 hour braise until the meat was falling off the bone tender.

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Heat a heavy skillet or Dutch oven and add 2 tbsp. olive oil.  Brown the lamb on all sides.

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Sauté the carrots and onion in the same pan.

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Rinse the farro and add to the lamb and vegetables.

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Whisk together the wine, beef broth, garlic, rosemary and thyme.  Pour over the lamb and vegetables and add the bay leaf.  Cover and bake for 2 hours.

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While the stew is cooking, prepare the finishing touches.  Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a heavy pan and add 1 tbsp. olive oil, 6 garlic cloves and 1/4 tsp. rosemary.  Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and gently cook until the garlic is soft.  Cut the baby potatoes in half.

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Two hours later and the lamb smells amazing.  By now the bone has served its purpose, creating a rich and flavorful sauce.  This pan has been working hard!

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Removing the meat from the bone was easy and for a nice presentation I decided to transfer everything to a clean casserole.

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Arrange the potato halves over the top and brush with the garlic butter.

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Cover and bake for another 45  minutes, brushing with the garlic butter half way through.  Remove the cover for the last 20 minutes.  Garnish with parsley and it’s ready to serve!

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Isn’t this beautiful!  The look, the smell, the taste!

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Please do try it!  Serve with red wine and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.

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Posted in Comfort Food, Dinner for two, Italian Sunday Dinner, Stew, Whole Grains | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

BBQ Chicken Bites

Soft enriched dough surrounds cheesy bites of chicken!  Finger food at it’s best, this is an appetizer that everyone will love!  The recipe makes 4 dozen or more bites and you can prepare most of it ahead of time.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 3 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar

For the filling:

  • 2 cups (about 10 oz.) cooked chicken breast, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup prosciutto, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, chopped fine
  • 5 tbsp. softened butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce plus more for brushing and dipping

Preparation:

Combine all of the dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes to form a soft supple ball.  Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl, and turn to coat.  Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dishtowel and allow to rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.  While the dough rises, prepare the filling.  Combine the cooked chicken, prosciutto, cheddar, 4 tbsp. melted butter and BBQ sauce.

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Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 4 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a 12″ rope.

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Use a rolling pin to flatten each section into a 4″ wide rectangle.

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Rub 1 tbsp. softened butter over the dough, and distribute the filling evenly down the middle of each section.

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Carefully roll the dough up around the filling and pinch the seams to seal.  Roll into a cylinder shape and place seam side down.  Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes more.

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Use a serrated knife to cut 1″ rounds.

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Arrange the rounds on 2 baking sheets lined with parchment.  You can optionally cover and refrigerate at this point, and take them out 20-30 minutes before you are ready to bake.

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Preheat the oven to 400º and bake for 8-9 minutes.  The tops will be lightly browned and the centers will be bubbly.

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As soon as the bites are done, brush them with more of your favorite BBQ sauce.

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Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with more BBQ sauce for dipping.

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Now watch them disappear!  This appetizer is sure to be a hit!

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Posted in Appetizers, Chicken, Comfort Food, Holiday Favorites | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans are the perfect addition to your appetizer buffet.  Serve with fresh fruit or alongside the cheese and crackers.  They are an addictive snack so you may want to make a double batch!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pecans
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar

Preparation:

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet on medium low heat (for best results don’t use a nonstick skillet).  Stir frequently, and don’t leave the pan unattended.  Nuts will be toasted and fragrant in about 3-5 minutes.  Don’t let them burn!  Next push the nuts to the side of the skillet and add the butter in the center.  As the butter melts stir in the nuts and turn to coat.

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When the butter is completely melted and bubbling, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the nuts.  Continue stirring constantly until the butter and sugar form a syrup.

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Remove the pan from the heat.  You can put the Candied Pecans right into a serving bowl (if using a plastic bowl then let them cool a bit first).   They were delicious right out of the pan, but I thought they were at their best when they had cooled to room temperature.

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I plan to make these again and will double the recipe next time!  The leftovers would be great on a salad, or as a topping for your oatmeal.

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Posted in Appetizers, Holiday Favorites | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Spiced Apple Cider

Tis the season for Spiced Apple Cider!  Easy to make in the crockpot and sure to become a family favorite!  Mulling spices infuse the cider with flavor, and fill your kitchen with the wonderful aroma of cinnamon.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp. allspice
  • 1 tbsp. cloves

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Preparation:

Add the cider, brown sugar and nutmeg to the crockpot.  I like to use a tea ball for the mulling spices.  You can also wrap them in cheese cloth and tie in a bundle with cooking twine.  Drop the tea ball into the cider, cover and heat on low for 2-3 hours.

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Serve with orange slices.  For the adults, offer brandy or rum on the side!

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It’s a cup of comfort and joy that will warm you to your toes :-)

 

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Cheers!

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Seafood Chowder

Rich creamy seafood chowder was on the menu at our house this weekend.  The inspiration for this recipe came from a favorite summer spot that hubby and I have visited quite often.  Spoiler alert – there’s rum and bacon!  Read on to learn how to recreate this delicious dish.  For a beautiful presentation, I served the chowder in bread bowls and a link to that recipe is also included.  It takes several hours to prepare but well worth the time!

For the chowder:Bread Bowls with Seafood Chowder The Extruded Noodle 053a

  • 6 oz. shrimp, peeled and chopped
  • 12 oz. flounder or other white fish, diced
  • 6 oz. can chopped clams
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, cut into small dice
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. red bell pepper, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. butterBread Bowls with Seafood Chowder The Extruded Noodle 026a
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups fish stock (or chicken broth)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • big pinch of cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. dill
  • 3 tbsp. rum
  • 2 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 6 tbsp. half n half
  • 4 strips bacon
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a heavy stock pot.  Sautee the celery, onion, garlic, bell pepper and potato for 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Sprinkle 2 tbsp. flour over the vegetables and stir.  Gradually add the 2 cups chicken stock, stirring constantly.

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Cover and simmer on low for 2 hours.  Use a stick blender to partially puree the vegetables.

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Just look at the transformation from thin liquid to rich creamy chowder.  We are now about an hour away from serving.  It’s time to cook the bacon!

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Reserve the rendered bacon fat in the skillet.  You should have about 1 tbsp.  Quickly whisk in 1 tbsp. flour to make a roux.  Whisking constantly, add 1 cup of fish stock to the pan to deglaze.  Strain the thickened mixture through a fine mesh sieve.  Add about 1/2 cup to the stockpot and rinse out the skillet.

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Chop the flounder into small pieces and add directly to the stock pot, along with the chopped clams.  I like to quickly cook the shrimp in a skillet with a little oil or butter, just until it turns pink.

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Add to the stockpot with the rum, dill, paprika, cayenne and liquid smoke.  Simmer on very low heat for 45 minutes.  Stir in the half and half toward the end of the cooking time and keep warm.

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This is so good.  The roux gives it a beautiful color.  You are now ready to serve.  The bread bowls really do make a beautiful presentation and I hope you are inspired to give this a try.  Top each bowl with chopped bacon and enjoy!

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Click here for the Bread Bowl recipe!

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Posted in Comfort Food, Seafood, Soup | 1 Comment

Bread Bowls

I’m making a very special lunch this weekend!  Bread bowls have been on my to-do list for a while!  Today they will be filled with creamy seafood chowder, but you can substitute your favorite soup or stew.  Thicker is better!  Make the bread bowls the night before your meal.  The bread will have better texture and structure to hold the hot liquid.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 2 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • olive oil

4 Servings

Preparation:

Combine the starter and the honey in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, salt, yeast and malt powder.  With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture and water to the starter.  When combined, increase the speed and knead for 5 minutes.

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Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat.

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Cover with plastic wrap and a dishtowel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft free area for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

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Remove the risen dough to a cutting board.

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Use a bench scraper to divide the dough into 4 even pieces.

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Working with one section at a time, pat the dough into a rectangle.

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Fold the left side over and press into the dough, like this.

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Fold the right side over, letter style and press.

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Rotate the dough 180º and stretch into a rectangle.

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Fold the left side over and press.

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Fold the right side.

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Turn the dough over and shape into a tight round.

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Do the same with all four sections of dough.  Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Arrange the dough balls with enough space in between to double in size.

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Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 500º.  Use a sharp serrated knife to score an X in the top of each dough ball.  Brush the tops with a little more olive oil.

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Bake for 2 minutes at 500º, then reduce the temperature to 425º and bake an additional 18-20 minutes.

Bread Bowls with Seafood Chowder The Extruded Noodle 003a

Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store overnight in a paper bag or airtight container at room temperature.  If the bread feels too soft the next day, take it out 2 hours ahead of time.

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To serve, cut the top off each bowl.  Using a spoon, scoop out some of the bread from the inside.

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Fill each bowl with soup and serve immediately.  We had seafood chowder garnished with crumbled bacon.

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What a lunch!  If your mouth is watering at the sight of my seafood chowder then be sure to look for the recipe in the next post.

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

This recipe is dedicated to Meghan
Posted in Bread, Comfort Food, Sourdough, Whole Grains | Tagged | 1 Comment

Roast Turkey Gravy

Quite possibly the best turkey gravy I have ever made.  Forget skimming the pan drippings and fussing over a roux.  This is much easier and you can make it ahead so there will be no last minute gravy fiasco.

Ingredients:

  • 1 turkey drumstick, thigh or large wing
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 carrot
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp. Wondra flour
  • 6 cups turkey stock

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400º. Heat the olive oil in an oven proof skillet.  Add the turkey, vegetables and thyme sprigs, season with salt and pepper.

Roast Turkey Gravy The Extruded Noodle 008a

Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, turning the turkey once.  Transfer to the oven and roast for 45 minutes.

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Remove the turkey from the pan.  Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and whisk for 30 seconds.

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Continue whisking as you drizzle in the turkey stock.  Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.  Taste and add more salt if needed.

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Strain through a fine mesh sieve or use cheesecloth.

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Discard the vegetables.

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Look at the beautiful color!  I have been making mediocre gravy for years, but no more.  From now on this is my Thanksgiving go-to recipe.

Roast Turkey Gravy The Extruded Noodle 027a

 

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Holiday Favorites | Leave a comment

Brick Chicken

Brick Chicken The Extruded Noodle 027aThis recipe has been on my 2014 culinary bucket list.  My husband was a little surprised when I asked him to get me a brick!  The technique is simple, a whole split chicken is cooked skin side down in a heavy skillet, weighed down with a brick to ensure continuous contact with the surface of the pan.

 

I used an oval Dutch oven for this recipe.  A cast iron skillet would also work.  You need a pan (not nonstick) that can go from stovetop to oven.  The chicken came out beautifully browned and moist.  This marinade is amazing!

 

 Brick Chicken The Extruded Noodle 007aIngredients:

  • 3-lb. chicken, split down the middle (but not cut all the way through)
  • 2 tbsp. peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • Brick Chicken The Extruded Noodle 009a1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil + 2 tbsp. divided
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

 

 

Preparation:

Toast the whole peppercorns, coriander seed and fennel seed in a hot skillet for 2 minutes, just until fragrant.  Grind in a coffee grinder.  Transfer to a small bowl with the paprika, cayenne, cumin, turmeric and salt.  Whisk in the olive oil, lemon juice and zest.  It smells really good!

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The chicken came from our local poultry farm and to make things easy I asked them to split it for me.  Rinse the chicken thoroughly and pat dry.  Place in a large baking dish.

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Now rub the chicken all over with the spice mixture.  Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

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Wrap the brick in aluminum foil.

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Preheat the oven to 375º.  Heat your Dutch oven or oven proof skillet on the stovetop and add 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter.  Place the chicken in the pan skin side down and cover immediately with the brick.  Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes to develop the crust.

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Transfer the Dutch oven or skillet to the oven and continue cooking for 35 minutes more.  Carefully remove the brick and use a thermometer to check for doneness, 165º

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Transfer the chicken, skin side up to a serving platter.  Look at the beautiful color!

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Can you see how moist it is?  Hubby and I both loved the marinade.

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I made sweet potato and corn bread to go with the chicken.  It was a great meal!

 

Brick The Extruded Noodle

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

 

 

Posted in Chicken, Chicken Dinner, Comfort Food | Tagged | Leave a comment

Multigrain Sourdough – My Favorite Bread Recipe

Ever wonder why I sometimes taunt you with pictures of my homemade bread, hot out of the oven with no recipe link?  The truth is that I bake more by feel than by formula.  My favorite bread, the one I love to make on a Sunday afternoon is one of those recipes that are part measurement and part instinct.  Professional bakers might snicker, but remember our Nonnas were making amazing bread long before there were master chefs.  So with that in mind, today I took the time to write down my recipe for you.  Even if your measurements are a bit off, it will yield a consistently good loaf.  Read the notes at the end to learn more about my sourdough starter and my home milled flour.

Ingredients:Multigrain Sourdough Boule The Extruded Noodle 070a

  • 1 cup fully active sourdough starter
  • 1.5 cups freshly milled whole wheat flour (or substitute store bought whole wheat flour)
  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. diastatic malt powder
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp. milk

Preparation:

Why use a starter?  The flavor that a starter imparts to your finished loaf is what real artisan bread is all about.  Think of your favorite bakery loaf vs. the bland mass produced supermarket variety.  So why are we using instant yeast in a sourdough?  The starter will absolutely leaven the bread all by itself, and it will be amazing.  But it will take much, much longer and hey, we’re busy right?

Sourdough Starter The Extruded Noodle

Measure the flours, for a total of 3 cups.  The more whole grain flour you use, the more water you will need to properly hydrate the dough.  Whisk in the instant yeast, salt and diastatic malt powder.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the starter and a squeeze of honey.  Gradually add the flour mixture and the water with the dough hook attachment on low.

Multigrain Sourdough Boule The Extruded Noodle 019aWhen all of the ingredients have been incorporated, the dough will look very wet.  Increase the speed to #4 and knead for 5 minutes (use a timer).  You will have a soft, supple dough.

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Transfer to an oiled bowl and turn to coat.

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Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and allow to rise for 75 minutes or until doubled.

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Gently deflate the dough and transfer to a cutting board.  Stretch and pat the dough into a rectangle.

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Now fold the left side over, like a letter fold, and use the side of your hand to press it into the dough.

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Fold the right side over and press.

Multigrain Sourdough Boule The Extruded Noodle 042aRotate the dough 180º, stretch and fold the dough again.  Here’s the stretch.

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And the left fold.

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And the right fold.  See how I tucked the ends in?

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Now turn the dough over and shape it into a tight round.  There’s the boule!

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Oil a 9″ round baking dish and sprinkle the bottom with cornmeal.  Set the shaped dough into the baking dish, and cover with plastic wrap and dish towel.

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Allow to rise another 30 minutes.

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Preheat the oven to 425º.  Set a baking dish with water on the bottom shelf to create steam.

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Brush the top of the loaf with milk, and quickly score the top twice with a sharp serrated knife.

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You can also do a box score (like a tic-tac-toe).  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the pan after 5 minutes and cool on a rack for at least 4 hours before slicing.  Here is today’s loaf.

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Here’s a loaf that was box scored.

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You’ll have a hard time waiting for the bread to cool!

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Wonderful spread with butter, dipped in oil or toasted the next morning.  I also use this recipe for my pizza dough, and some of this loaf may turn up in my Thanksgiving stuffing.  Bread baking is addictive and I have been doing it for many years.  I hope this post will inspire you to try it yourself.

The Extruded Noodle ©

 joycebug

 

Notes:

English Muffins The Extruded Noodle 001aAbout my sourdough starter:  My starter is  now over 2 years old.  You do not have to capture wild yeast from your back yard!  I bought my starter, and if you don’t know someone who will share a bit with you I recommend you do the same.  Companies like King Arthur and Sourdoughs International (my personal favorite) have a fine product.  Taking care of a starter is not difficult.  I keep mine in the fridge in a 1 qt. ball jar with the cover on very loose (it needs to breathe).  I feed it once a week, with equal parts flour and water by weight (100% hydration).  Typically, 1/3 cup stone ground rye flour and 1/3 cup all purpose flour, and 1/2 cup of water.  I don’t get all hung up on the measurements.  If it feels like it needs more flour or water, I add a little more.  I am looking for a consistency of thick pancake batter, and that to me is more important than the measurement.

About my flour:  I mill my own whole grain flour.  Many of my recipes are 100% whole grain and others like this one are a blend of whole grain and white flour.  My favorite grain combination is White Wheat, Spelt and Kamut®.  Whole grain flour can quickly become rancid sitting on the shelf, as it degrades more quickly than white flour.  Freshly milled flour is tastier and more nutritious.  If you use store bought, buy in small quantities and be sure to check the expiration date.

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I love hearing from you!  Questions and comments are always welcomed.

 

Posted in Baking, Bread, Sourdough, Whole Grains | Leave a comment

Pork Chops with Cipollini

Have you tried cipollini?  Cipolla means onion in Italian, and cipollini are small onions.  They are a sweet addition to this beautiful dish.  To make peeling easier, I soaked the cipollini in water before I started preparing the meal.  This easy dinner for two is on the table in 30 minutes.  With only one pan required, cleanup is a breeze!

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork chops, 6 oz. each
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 12 cipollini, peeled
  • 1-1/2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 small apple, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup of wine (use what you have on hand)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Preparation:

Heat a large skillet with the olive oil and butter.  Season the cipollini with salt and pepper and cook on medium low for 8-10 minutes, turning every few minutes.  Dredge the pork chops in the flour, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add to the pan.  Cover and cook 4 minutes.

Pork Chops with Cipollini The Extruded Noodle 025a

Turn the pork chops, add the mushrooms and apples to the pan and toss well.  Add the wine, cover and cook for an additional 4 minutes.  Remove the cover, stir and simmer another minute or two, allowing the liquid to thicken.

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Plate and drizzle with some of the pan juices.  Isn’t that beautiful?

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Another delicious weeknight dinner, fast and easy with minimal cleanup.  For more 30 minute meal ideas, check out my 30 Minutes or Less menu!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

 

 

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

Escarole Bean Soup with Chicken

There’s a chill in the air and soup is on the menu!  Navy beans are one of the easiest to work with and a good overnight soak guarantees success, so don’t reach for the can!  Store bought stock is ok, just be sure to choose low sodium.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 cups dry navy beans
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. sage
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pkg. salt free beef bouillon
  • 4 cups stock
  • 1 cup reserved cooking water from the beans
  • 1 boneless chicken breast (about 10 oz.)
  • 1/2 head of escarole

Preparation:

Soak the beans overnight in water.  Drain and rinse, and add to a clean pot of water.  Simmer for 2 hours.

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Drain 2/3 of the cooked beans and reserve the other 1/3 with about 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

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In a heavy stockpot, sauté the carrots, celery and onion in a little olive oil.  Add the stock, all of the seasonings, and the drained beans.

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Use a stick blender to puree the reserved beans and cooking liquid.

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Add to the pot.  Simmer on low 1/2 hour.

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Clean and chop the escarole.  Cook the chicken breast in a skillet with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Cool slightly and cut into small dice.

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Add the escarole and the chicken to the pot and simmer on low for an additional 20 minutes.

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Serve with grated cheese.

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The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in #dashdiet, Comfort Food, Dash Diet Friendly, Healthy Italian Favorites, Soup | 2 Comments

Pilgrims Delight

Imagine your Thanksgiving dinner, layered and baked lasagna style.  The turkey, the stuffing, the potatoes and the gravy.  I even snuck in a few green beans, and because I’m Italian, there’s prosciutto!  Assembly is a snap.  I made each layer from scratch, but imagine how easy it would be if you had Thanksgiving leftovers!  I was going to call this dish Thanksgiving Lasagna, but my husband took one look and said “Pilgrims Delight!” Inspired by the “Thanksgiving in a Bucket” craze, I think our Pilgrims Delight takes the idea to a new level and makes an impressive presentation.  Oh, and it was delicious!

The Turkey:Pilgrims Delight The Extruded Noodle 018a

  • 24 oz. boneless turkey thighs, cut into 3″ pieces
  • toss in olive oil, fresh thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper
  • brown on all sides and cool
  • wrap each piece in a slice of prosciutto

 

The Stuffing:Pilgrims Delight The Extruded Noodle 022a

  • 6 cups day old sourdough bread, cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 cup minced celery
  • 1 cup minced onion
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp. each sage, thyme, salt, pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock
  • Combine well and refrigerate until ready to assemble

The Sweet Potato:Pilgrims Delight The Extruded Noodle 025a

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and baked (or boiled) until soft
  • mash well with 2 tbsp. butter, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon and pinch of salt

The Potato:Pilgrims Delight The Extruded Noodle 030a

  • 1 large baking potato, peeled and baked (or boiled) until soft
  • mash well with 2 tbsp. butter, 1/4 cup half n half, pinch of salt

The Gravy:

  • 1/2 cup cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup turkey broth

Put it All Together:

Coat a casserole dish with cooking spray.  Spread the stuffing evenly over the bottom of the dish.  Begin layering the prosciutto wrapped turkey over the stuffing.

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Continue arranging the turkey bundles in a single layer.

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Top the turkey with a layer of potato, in alternating bands of white potato and sweet.

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Finish it off with a border of green beans, and spoon some of the cream of mushroom soup over the white potato.

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Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more.  Garnish with rosemary.

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I served it with homemade bread and extra gravy.

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Believe me when I tell you, this was delicious!

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 Let us give thanks!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Comfort Food, Holiday Favorites | Leave a comment

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle

I have been wanting to make this dish for a while now.  If you are a frequent reader, you know I am a big fan of KitchenAid® and love all of their pasta making attachments.  Since I found out they do not make a pappardelle cutter, I have been on the hunt for an alternative.  Here it is!

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According to Wikipedia, the name pappardelle derives from the verb “pappare”, to gobble up.  The Extruded Noodle crew had a great time making the pappardelle, and gobble it up we did, along with the veal meatballs, rich Marsala sauce and homemade bread.  What a meal!

Pasta Ingredients:

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 055a

  • 100 g. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 100 g. semolina flour
  • 213 g. Italian “00″ flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 8-10 tbsp. ice water

 

Meatball Ingredients:

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 008a

  • 1 lb. ground veal
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs

 

Sauce Ingredients:

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 015a

  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup, fat free low sodium chicken broth
  • 2/3 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1 tbsp. flour

 

Preparation:

To make the pasta dough, whisk together the flours and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, gradually combine the beaten eggs and flour mixture with the paddle attachment.  Drizzle in  just enough of the ice water to form a dry crumbly dough.

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It should hold together when you squeeze it, like this.

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 019a

Divide the dough into 4 pieces and flatten each into a disk.  Roll each piece into a thin sheet.  I used my KitchenAid® pasta roller, and rolled each sheet to the 4th setting.  Lay the sheets of dough on lightly floured parchment paper.

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 024a

Now for my new toy!  The roller scores the dough into perfect even strips.

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How cool is that?  The Extruded Noodle crew can’t wait to get in on the action!

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The scored sheets separate easily into clean cut noodles!

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Tada!

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 055a

Now, let’s make the meatballs!  Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix well, use your hands.

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Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.  Form 24-26 small meatballs, 1-1/2″ in size.

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 008a

Broil the meatballs 4 minutes on each side, turning once.

Veal Meatballs with Pappardelle The Extruded Noodle 059a

Set up a large pot of salted water to boil while making the sauce.  In a deep skillet, sauté the onions and garlic in a little olive oil.  Add the parsley, spinach and mushrooms to the skillet and toss well to combine.  Cook for 2 minutes, then add the Marsala wine and all but 1/4 cup of the chicken broth.

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Whisk the reserved 1/4 cup chicken broth and the sour cream together until smooth.  Return the meatballs to the skillet with the sour cream mixture and simmer 15 minutes.  Sprinkle with flour to thicken the sauce.  Isn’t that beautiful?

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Now the hard work is over and it’s time to finish the dish.  When the water has reached a rolling boil, add all of the pasta, stir and cover.  You want the water to return to a boil right away, but watch that it doesn’t boil over!  Cook the pasta for 3 minutes.  Fresh pasta cooks quickly, do not overcook!  Drain the pasta into a large serving bowl.  Look at our pappardelle noodles, dotted with flecks of whole grain!

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Arrange the meatballs in a ring around the pasta and top with the sauce.  Garnish with more parsley.

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Serve with grated cheese, more sauce and crusty bread to soak it all up!

Another great Italian Sunday Dinner brought to you by The Extruded Noodle ©

 joycebug

 

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Posted in Comfort Food, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | 1 Comment

Baked Stuffed Shells

Baked Stuffed Shells are on the table for this week’s Italian Sunday Dinner.  I couldn’t decide between a spinach ricotta filling or a meaty Sloppy Joe style filling.  I ended up making both, and mixing them together!  I like a chunky tomato sauce, so I start with whole San Marzano tomatoes and use a stick blender to partially break them down.  If you prefer a smooth sauce then use your favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box large shell pasta (I used Barilla)
  • 2 large cans whole San Marzano tomato
  • 1/2 carton fat free ricotta
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped into small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. each of basil and oregano
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Italian parsley, for garnish

Preparation:

For the ricotta filling, roughly chop the baby spinach and stir it into the ricotta.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate.

Stuffed Shells The Extruded Noodle 022a

For the Sloppy Joe filling, cook the onions and garlic in a heavy skillet with a little olive oil.  Add the ground beef and break it up with a spatula.

Stuffed Shells The Extruded Noodle 016a

Pour the tomatoes into a bowl and use a stick blender to partially puree.  Add the basil and oregano, and more pepper.  When the meat is completely browned, add 2/3 of the tomatoes and simmer covered for 45 minutes.  Puree the remaining 1/3 of the tomatoes into a smooth sauce and keep warm in a small saucepan on low heat.  After the meat sauce had cooled I combined about half of it with the ricotta filling.

Stuffed Shells The Extruded Noodle 023a

Cook the shells to al dente, about 1 minute less than the package directions.  Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and ladle some of the reserved sauce over the bottom.  Use a spoon to fill the shells and arrange them in the baking dish.

Stuffed Shells The Extruded Noodle 028a

Top with more sauce and parmigiano reggiano.

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Cover with foil and bake at 350º for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Garnish with more cheese and fresh parsley.

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I had more shells to use up, and extra Sloppy Joe filling for a second dish.

Stuffed Shells The Extruded Noodle 048a

I don’t know which version I liked better!  We had a great Sunday dinner and plenty more for leftover night!

The Extruded Noodle ©

joycebug

Posted in Comfort Food, Healthy Italian Favorites, Italian Sunday Dinner, Pasta | Leave a comment

Split Pea Soup

Digging in the back of the freezer this morning I spotted the leftover Easter ham bone.  It was a cold rainy day here in New England, a great day to make soup.  Split Pea is one of my favorites, and it comes together in just a couple of hours.  If you don’t have a ham bone, pork shanks also work well in this recipe.  Double the amount of peas for a thicker soup.

Ingredients:Split Pea Soup The Extruded Noodle 011b

  • 1 leftover ham bone, or pork shank
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1-1/2 cups split peas (about half a bag)
  • 1 pkg. salt free beef bouillon
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • ground black pepper

Preparation:

Place the ham bone or pork shank in a stock pot and cover with water.

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Add a bay leaf, cover and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and simmer 1-1/2 hours. Transfer the ham bone to a plate and cut away any bits of meat from the bone and reserve.  Skim any visible fat from the broth. Chop the onion, carrots and celery into small dice.  Add all of the vegetables, the sage, thyme, pepper and beef bouillon to the stockpot.  Simmer 30 minutes.

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Rinse the split peas under cold water, and add to the pot.  For thicker soup, use more peas.

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Simmer for an additional 40 minutes, or until the peas are tender.  When the soup is ready, I like to use a stick blender to partially puree the ingredients.  If you prefer, you can  puree the whole thing.  Just be sure to remove the bay leaf first!  If you don’t have an immersion blender, transfer a portion of the soup to a food processor or regular blender, puree and return to the pot.  Add back all of the reserved meat and warm through.

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Can you smell it?  This soup is so delicious.  Serve with a nice chunk of crusty bread for a great lunch!

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You will be very happy that you made a big pot of this soup, as it tastes even better the next day!  Be sure to add this one to your fall menu!

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