Friday, November 21, 2014
I’ve been a on a bit of a pasta buzz recently having recently received Flour+Water in the mail, the kitchen draws have become a bit more stuffed, a gnocchi board, different lengths of dowel, cavatelli machine, pasta roller (I finally replaced the hell beast that shredded my hands), fluted cutter, a new hand cranked pasta extruder too, all essential tools, well that's what I tell the wife. I’ve really enjoyed being introduced to a decent recipe for semolina pasta dough, I can now whip up a batch of orecchiette or cavatelli in no time flat, there’s something cathartic about working your way through a batch of dough rolling it down the ridges of a gnocchi board with your thumb or scraping little dough pieces with a bread knife and turning inside out over your thumb to make orecchiette.
The catalyst for the addition of many length of dowel to the kitchen supplies was the purchase of the gnocchi board and coming across the recipe for garganelli, it was rather fortuitous that the day after reading the recipe we happened to be in the vicinity of a hardware store with the ideas of purchasing some home improvement bits and bobs, many a dowel was bought and childish excitement about making pasta ensued, I mean I pester my other half with “Have you seen the pasta, it’s so cool!”, “Yeah I saw it on instagram”, “Well you haven’t seen it person!!!” I say as I grab the tray of dried pasta and shove it in her general vicinity “Cool huh”. It’s probably quite worrying I get so excited over the perfectly formed cavatelli rolling off the board, or that I’ve figured out a better way to roll, it is probably the reason I instagram so much.
By the way, if you want a really decent cast iron pan for not very much, like less than half of what a certain person is selling them for, Mitre 10 and Moore Wilson's stock Lodge pans, as I found out after I imported mine from the US, thankfully for about the same price.
The garganelli was inspired from Flour+Water, farro was used in the original, I was fresh out so opted for rye and it turned out excellent. The second pasta, cavatelli is my adaptation of the semolina dough used for orecchiette with the addition of roasted rye.
Roasted Rye Flour
Roast rye berries in a dry pan until deep brown and almost smoking, be careful not to burn. Transfer to a bowl and once cool grind in a spice grinder.
Garganelli served with crispy chicken thigh confit and garden vegetables.
Roasted Rye Garganelli
90 g Toasted Rye Flour
300 g Egg yolk
270 g Flour (00 if you have it)
Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Tip in the egg yolks and slowly work the flour in. Once a dough ball has formed tip out on the bench and knead for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Cover tightly in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes, if you’re not going to roll the pasta in half an hour, refrigerate.
Take quarter of the dough, keep the remainder covered, and run through a pasta machine until you reach the thinnest setting (1.5mm). Use a ruler or straight edge and roller cutter to slice the rolled dough into squares (about 3 cm squared).
Place a square diagonally on a gnocchi board so a point is at the top (closest to you), place a dowel (5~8 mm diameter) just below this top point and bring it up over the dowel. Roll the dowel down the board, use a bit of pressure so the dough sticks to itself but not so much the grooves cut the pasta. Place the completed garganelli on a sheet pan sprinkled with semolina.
Leave to dry at room temperature until you’re ready to cook. Cook in boiling salted water for 2–3 minutes.
Served with Pumpkin seed pesto, asparagus, celery-parsley salad and malt pickled red onion.
Roasted Rye Cavatelli
50 g Toasted Rye Flour
180 g Semolina
130 g Flour
178 g Salted water (168 g Warm water with 10 g Salt Dissolved in it)
Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the water and slowly work the flour in. Once a dough ball has formed tip out on the bench and knead for about 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Cover tightly in cling film and let it rest for 30 minutes, if you’re not going to roll the pasta in half an hour, refrigerate.
Cut off about quarter of the dough, cover the remainder. Using your hands roll out into a thin log, about a pencil width thick. Cut into 1cm segments. Hold the gnocchi board in one hand at an angle and place a piece on the top edge. Use the heel of your thumb push down on the dough and towards the bottom edge of the board, the dough should curl up and fall of the board.
Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Lemon, juice and rind
Pumpkin Seeds, roasted and ground
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
I like having a little decompression time when I get back from holiday before I head back to work, so coming back from Melbourne to a long weekend at home is perfect. I had a batch of Saison to bottle and another batch ready to brew, a hoppy little pale ale, and gives me a chance to get out of holiday mode. I'm not one usually to eat 3 square a day at home, but on holiday I always seem to manage breakfast lunch and dinner, and with the choices available it's hard to resist! Town mouse was definitely a highlight, the food is so crazy good it's hard to put into words, but if you're ever there I and it's still on the menu I highly recommend the fermented veal tartare. The bbq on the last day was also memorable, but then sitting out in the 33°C sun with a cold beer and a tray full of collard greens, pulled pork and brisket is hard to surpass. I could probably go on and on, as it feels like all we did was drink, eat and move on to the next place, with what we managed to put away at Chin Chin I'm surprised we haven't come back several sizes larger. It was also great to get out of the city and into Yarra valley, I got quite touristy and bought a t-shirt from White Rabbit brewery, Little creatures sister which is a must get to in the city also, any way I should stop before I rabbit on for too long.
This is a pretty simple throw together, well it helps if you can sort the wings the day before as this does result in a superior crust. In a bowl toss together chicken wings, semolina flour, cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli powder. Cover and refrigerate, toss now and then to make sure the wings are fully coated. The next day, preheat the oven to 220°C, line a tray with baking paper, sprinkle in some fresh semolina flour on the chicken and toss, arrange on the tray and cook for 20 minutes, turn and cook for a further 20. Remove from the oven and toss through some hot sauce (even better hot sauce and melted butter) and serve with a crisp slaw.
I prepared some chipotle mayo to toss the wings through, this is an eggless version as can't serve raw eggs at home at the mo, take 4 chipotle in adobo sauce and place in a jar that can fit an immersion blender, add about 1/4 of a cup of peanut oil and about the same of cider vinegar, blend together and adjust the salt. Sprinkle in about 1/4 of a tsp of locust bean gum and xanthan gum, blend for about 1 minute, until the dressing has emulsified, adjust the amount of xanthan gum to thicken the "mayo" but don't go too crazy with it as it will become snotty.
Monday, November 3, 2014
As one does, I spend a bit of down time trawling through ebay seeing what bargains can be had, and quite often have to forcefully tell myself that no I do not need vintage Mello Yello crown caps, even if my home brew bottles would look awesome, but every now and then I just can't help myself, especially when it’s a gnocchi board for less that $5 and free shipping, it’s a must purchase if you want to hand roll cavatelli, which ever since the machines purchase I have wanted to have a go on a proper wooden gnocchi board. Well, order placed, I had hopes that it’d turn up before I left on holiday, in fact I had a few packages I hoped wouldn’t be sitting on the doorstep for a week while I was away, maybe I have an online shopping problem.
180g fine semolina
168g warm water
- Dissolve salt in water.
- Mix flour and semolina together.
- Form a well and pour in water.
- Mix together and knead for 10 minutes.
- Cover tightly with cling film and rest at room temp for 30min.
- Cut off about quarter of the dough, cover the remainder.
- Using your hands roll out into a thin log, about a pencil width thick.
- Cut into 1cm segments.
- Place a piece on the top edge of a gnocchi board
- Push down with your index finger across the board and drag with pressure towards the bottom, it should curl over itself. (Kind of like stroking the length of the board with the flat of your index finger with some pressure)
Chicken poached in stock with peas, thyme, pulled apart.
Peas from the poaching liquid passed through a mouli to purée and remove the skins, then with an immersion blender, olive oil and cider vinegar are emulsified into the purée. Seasoned with a little Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Transferred to a little piping cone made from parchment paper.
The poaching liquid is topped up with enough water to boil the cavatelli, cook for 5 minutes.
Asparagus sliced in half, sautéed in pan then finished with pasta stock to poach. Fresh garden peas tossed in at the last second to warm through.
The pasta is tossed with some of the cooking liquid, chicken, fresh peas, asparagus and olive oil, seasoned, arranged on a plate, the pea “mayo” piped on, and finished with a little grated parmesan.