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July Daring Cook: Hand-made (literally) Pasta

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

This was a challenge I was up for!  I don’t eat much pasta anymore (not like in University) and usually it is rice noodles to avoid gluten.  A colleague of mine makes all his own pasta with his KitchenAid and it has always been good, and he said it was easy, so here is my version 🙂

I went with a basil fettucine because I wanted to use what was in season, and I could use the basil from my garden. My recipe was from All Recipes (click here) and the only variation I made was to omit the food processor and do it all by hand (except for the basil, needed it chopped very fine and paste-y).

The whole process was really, really, simple.  It was nice getting my hands messy.  I let it chill more than 2 hours, and only rolled out enough for one plate, rewrapping the rest for the freezer.  Again with the local theme, I threw in some fresh peas (from my garden!) with olive oil.  It didn’t quite come out as thin as I wanted, but once cooking the basil smell was strong.  Definitely will try again, but in the food processor!

The finished product


Daring Kitchen Cooking Challenge: Japanese

One of the reasons I started this blog is because I had been reading on Twitter about people’s completed Daring Kitchen challenges and I wanted to make what they were making!  So I signed up for both the Cooking and Baking challenges.  So once a month now I will be showing what I made.

This month the challenge was to make a cold Japanese salad of soba noodles with two sauces and tempura.  I found all but one ingredient in the local Loblaws which made making this much less daunting.  A lot of it was prep work and I was able to make the sauces ahead of time.

Here is my batter, it has to be kept cold (hence the ice pack in the bowl; we ran out of ice cubes) and should be kept lumpy which I found hard to leave alone.

I then prepped the veg.  I went with what we had on hand, as we had just received our first Organic Food box which had zucchini and broccoli, and added in some red pepper.  Just to make sure it wasn’t a completely vegetarian meal, I threw in some pre-cooked shrimp.

Post with tempura














On to the soba noodles.  For those who don’t know, they are buckwheat noodles.  I enjoy buckwheat pancakes, so I was looking forward to them.   A very quick cook and it is traditional to eat them cold.

On the left is the Mentsuyu-traditional dipping sauce which is a mix of rice vinegar and soy sauce.  On the right is the spicy dipping sauce with green onions, mustard and vinegars.  We all preferred the second one, and went from dipping to putting it right into the noodles.  I topped the noodles with sliced green onions, keeping it simple.

Not sure I would make this again.  I am not a fan of deep-frying, I find it goes everywhere.  The noodles were good, might eat them hot the next time and with maybe a western-style sauce instead.

Now onto my baking challenge!

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