Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beef and Noodles, Chicken and Noodles

      As I promised earlier, since this is Country Guy's favorite meal, I am adding a post on making noodles.  Many of you are better at making noodles than I am, I'm sure, but while living in Nebraska I discovered that a lot of people not only don't make their own noodles, but they had not even heard of serving them over mashed potatoes which is the favorite way to eat them in our part of the country.   If you've never had these, give them a try.  It is easier to do than it sounds and much more tasty than you can imagine.

Beat as many eggs as you want depending of the size of the crowd you're making them for.  (Let's start with 3-5.  Add 1/2 to 1 tsp. salt,  a little pepper and enough flour to make a stiff dough.  (Start with about 1 cup and add more as needed.)  Turn out onto floured surface and knead a few times to incorporate enough flour to keep dough from being sticky.  Roll out into a thin circle, adding more flour if dough tends to stick to surface.  (If using several eggs, you may want to divide the dough and roll each part separately).  After rolling, cut the circle into quarters and stack them together.  If they are sticky, add flour between the layers.  Roll up and slice into noodles (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick).  Separate and remove as much loose flour as possible, and let dry on the counter for a few minutes up to a couple of hours, depending on how much time you have.

Beef & Noodles/Chicken & Noodles   In the meantime cook a chicken, or a beef roast to which water, salt & pepper have been added--either in the oven, or by boiling.  Reserve the broth, add more water if necessary, and some of the cooked meat to the broth.  Bring the broth to a boil and slowly add the noodles--trying not to add much excess flour if there is some left on the counter.  Continue to stir as you drop the noodles into the water so they won't stick together.  (You will probably need to add more water or canned chicken, or beef broth so that you will have enough broth to cook the noodles, and to keep the sauce created from the flour in the noodles from becoming too thick.  If you add too much liquid, you can always pour some off before serving, so don't get anxious.  After making these a few times you will be better able to estimate how much is needed.)  Cook about 15 minutes, or until done.  Serve over mashed potatoes.  Serve the rest of the meat as the main course.  (I especially like cooked frozen peas served with this meal, and fresh chilled tomatoes when they are in season.)
    You can use these noodles in any way you would use packaged egg noodles.  (I make them for chicken noodle soup, and stroganoff, too.)  For chicken noodle soup I only use 1 or 2 eggs making a small amount of noodles for the soup.

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