I've made my ambivalence about Claire Robinson known before, but you can't argue that the Food Network vixen has a catchy concept. Five ingredients for every recipe (not counting water, salt and pepper). She comes up with some really good stuff, and the simplicity is attractive. Who loves going out to buy fifteen items to make one dinner?
So, in the spirit of Claire Robinson, and because I've started to get chard back in my CSA box, I share my very own five ingredient recipe for today's Munchee Monday.
It starts with egg noodles. Back when the CSA was giving out eggs like no tomorrow (this had to inconveniently come six months after I no longer needed the Brewer diet), I got four dozen. One was included in the share, they gave me another two as a prize for making the drive out to the farm to pick up the shares, and then someone didn't come to get theirs, so that makes four. I know that eggs keep for a long time, but they were dominating valuable fridge space! So I made quiche, ice cream, omelets, and egg noodles. Noodles are so simple and freeze beautifully. Here's how it goes:
2 beaten egg yolks and 1 beaten egg
1/3 C water
2 C AP flour
1/2 t salt
In a small bowl mix the eggs and water. In a large bowl whisk together 1 3/4 C of the flour and the salt. Make a well in the center of the mixture and drop the egg mix into the flour mix. Stir together thoroughly.
Sprinkle kneading surface with flour. Turn dough out and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes - smooth and elastic feels nice and plump, and when you push into it with your fingertip, it slowly springs back rather than staying indented). Put back in the bowl, cover and let sit for 10 minutes.
Divide kneaded dough into four equal parts. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a rectangle about 12 x 9 inches wide (or if you have a fancy pasta maker, roll it to 1/16 inch thickness). Let the noodle sheets dry, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Lightly dust dough sheets with flour, and then roll each one into a spiral, making a log shape. Cut with a sharp knife into 1/4 inch strips. Shake them out into long noodles and cut into shorter lengths if desired.
Boil immediately if you want to eat right away. They will cook really fast, like two minutes. If you want to refrigerate, they last about three days. I usually nest them up into five little portions and freeze in a plastic bag. That way you can get out just one portion at a time without them freezing all together. Frozen noodles cook in about five or six minutes. This recipe makes a pound of noodles.
Eggs and flour: ingredients one and two.
Then I took the noodles and made them into a dish with bacon and swiss chard. You can substitute any hardy green you have on hand (collards, spinach, cabbage, kale). If you don't feel like torturing yourself, or you don't have forty-eight eggs to use up, you could certainly just buy a package of dried egg noodles as well. The inspiration for this dish came from one that my old roommates Steph and Julie used to make. Julie is a vegetarian, so there was no bacon, but cabbage and buttered noodles was always an amazing dinner and cost like four dollars.
1 small bunch Swiss chard
1 ounce bacon (about one large slice)
1-2 T white wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Put a pot of salted water on to boil. Cook the egg noodles until tender (they don't take as long as regular pasta - maybe just four or five minutes.) Cut the bacon into little bits (like 1/4 inch horizontally). Place in a dry pan over medium heat. Once it is crisp and has rendered its fat, pull out onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Drop in the chard and let it wilt and cook in the bacon fat. Once it's tender, drop the heat to low and put in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Put the bacon back in the pan. Toss the drained noodles into the pan. Enjoy! This recipe serves just one.