crane

Simple Things

Been cooking a lot of simple food completely from scratch lately: chicken noodle soup. granola, scallion pancakes, and blueberry topping. Simple enough that I haven't been going to a recipe for them, just making them up as I go along, and I've been pleased with the results.

I'm fighting off another cold these last two days, which is why the soup. The granola came from a craving and having pignoli and almonds in my freezer. John calls the result Pignola, as it resembles the Italian cookie. The three of us ate an entire stack of scallion pancakes for dinner tonight, and I've been having the blueberry topping on everything from waffles to yogurt, the granola and oatmeal, ice cream and crepes. That's been nice.

It's also been nice to just buy a carton of whipping cream and use my little nitrous whipper to have plain whipped cream whenever we want it.



Scallion Pancakes
450 g all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup boiling water
kosher salt
oil
1 cup chopped spring onions or scallions

Put the the flour in the bowl of a food processor. Turn it on. Pour the boiling water in the top, through the feed hole, all at once. Keep the processor on until the dough makes a cohesive ball. Then turn it off. Let the dough sit while chopping the green onions and finding the rest of the ingredients.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead a little until even. Not too much so it doesn't toughen. Cut into eight equal pieces. Roll into balls, cover seven of them with a damp cloth or paper towel. Take the one, roll it out into an oblong, about a foot by six inches. Pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil on it, and use the fingers of one hand to spread the oil thinly to the edges of the piece of dough. Use the other hand to get a pinch of salt and sprinkle it over the oiled surface. Then sprinkle chopped scallions all over the surface, approximately 2 tbs per pancake.

Roll up the oblong along the narrow edge until it makes a roll. Coil the roll like a snake, and then squash the whole thing down with your palm to make a disk. Roll the disk out to an 8-inch circle. Set aside and cover with a damp cloth.

Do the same with the rest of the dough pieces.

Heat a non-stick skillet over the stove at medium high. When it's hot, turn down to medium, add two teaspoons of oil, and when the oil is hot, gently slid one of the rolled disks into the pan. Cook until golden brown, turn, and cook that side until it has brown spots as well. Put on a plate and put into a warm oven to hold until all the others are done.

Cut the whole stack into quarters and serve with any meal you'd use a flat bread with.


Pignola
4 cups rolled oats (NOT quick oats)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pignoli
1/4 cup cashews (because I like cashews, you can do more pignoli instead if you like)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Heat the oven to 275°. Mix the oats and nuts in a big bowl. Mix the syrup, brown sugar, and vegetable oil in a smaller bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, stir to combined, add the almond extract, and then pour over the oats and nuts. Mix that thoroughly to distribute the liquids through the drys, and turn onto a half sheet pan. Bake 15 minutes, stir the granola on the sheet, return to oven for another 15 minutes or until it smells toasty. Remove from oven, let cool, store in an air tight container.

Blueberry Topping
2 cups frozen blueberries
1 tsp arrowroot starch
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbs. water
1 Tbs lemon juice
1/4 tsp powdered lemon peel
1/4 cup sugar

Put everything in a pot, put it on medium low heat, stir to make sure it doesn't burn underneath. Bring to a simmer, and let it bubble for two to five minutes or until it thickens and clears. When the arrowroot is cooked it'll go clear instead of white. Cool, put into a jar, serve on everything.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Noodles:
1/2 cup semolina
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 large egg

Soup:
I rib celery chopped
1 medium carrot chopped
1 medium onion chopped
2 tsp oil
2 cloves garlic (or more to taste), chopped fine
1 half a chicken breast, chopped
3 14 oz cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 chicken boullion cube
1 Bay leaf
1 Tablespoon dry parsley
1/2 tsp dry thyme
Pepper to taste.

Knead the noodle stuff together, ball up into plastic wrap for an hour in the fridge.

Sautee the celery, carrot, and onion in the oil for a few minutes until translucent, add the garlic until fragrant.

Dump everything else into the pot and bring it to a slow simmer.

Roll out and cut the noodles. I use a pasta machine with the wide noodle cutter, and then cut those down to 2 inch (+/- a few inches) pieces.

Throw the noodles into the soup. Alternatively, just use whatever dry egg noodle you want to use and follow the package directions for how long they should cook in the soup. Cook until done.

Eat.
Tags:
I've been craving scallion pancakes. Thanks for the recipe.
You're very welcome! It's one of those things I should do more often, but always remember in the spring as the scallions come up first.
Pine nuts.

Uhm... Pinon?

Around here Italian bakeries have these lovely chewy almond cookies that are covered in toasted pine nuts.
mostly I have them toasted with pasta, especially as extra extra pine nuts for pesto
Oh man the homemade chicken noodle soup is making my mouth water. I haven't had any in probably 10 years or more. I should probably rectify that soon. :D
Oh man I'm not even sure where my mom's recipe is. I just remember it always took two days and two people because my mom and dad would boil (or cook?) a whole chicken and then pick it clean.

My brother and I loved it growing up but it always took too much work for me to ever try it in my own kitchen. XD
I couldn't find my copy of the recipe, but my mom's trying to put it together from memory. I'll let you know if she ever comes up with one she's satisfied with. ;)
Thanks for the scallion pancake recipe. I'd been craving those as well. There's a Chinese restaurant down the street from where I used to work in Cambridge, MA that did a wonderful job on these. I was so predictable about ordering them that they would start cooking them as soon as I walked in the door. Yum!
You're very welcome!

and it's always the *best* restaurants that do that kind of thing for you. That's is very, very cool.

Edited at 2010-04-22 04:56 pm (UTC)