Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Industrious Diva ...

Roll up your sleeves, take a deep breath and get some water boiling on the stove - we're making noodles today! I promise it will be easy and, frankly, its great fun. The Hungarian Cookbook describes csipetke (pronounced chi-pet-ke) as "the missing link between the noodle and the dumpling, a bit of each but not quite either." I'd say that's exactly right.

I've altered the recipe by substituting whole wheat pastry flour for the traditional all-purpose white flour. That's a personal choice and you should feel free to use either. Even with the whole wheat, the resulting dumplings are remarkably light and tender. While csipetke are traditionally used as an accompaniment for goulash, they'd make a welcome addition to any soup ... and, frankly, they're pretty darn good all on their own.

Csipetke (pinched noodles):

  • 1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp. of salt
  • 1 egg
  • a few drops of water
  • 1 tsp. olive oil - for coating the cooked noodles
In a large bowl, mix the flour and the salt together to combine. Add the egg and stir to form a stiff dough, adding a few drops of cold water as needed to form a ball. (I needed about a scant tablespoon or so.) Press the mixture together with your hands to form a ball of dough and knead the dough on a smooth, hard surface until smooth. (Kneading roughly 10 - 12 times.) Cover with a clean tea towel and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil and add a pinch of salt. Remove the dough from the towel and cut it into quarters.

Working with one quarter at a time, use the heel of your hand and press the dough flat, flip over and press again, continue pressing and flipping until the dough is roughly 1/4 inch thick, but no need to measure or be precise.

Using your thumb and index finger, pinch off dime-sized pieces of the dough, and press them between your fingers. Continue pinching off pieces of the dough until you have completed one quarter of the dough. Again, no need to be precise - we're making peasant food here, not precious food!

Gently drop them into the boiling water and cook for 10 minutes at a rolling boil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cooked noodles to strainer, drain completely and place into a bowl. Toss with 1 tsp. of olive oil to coat.

Continue in the same fashion with the rest of the dough, cooking one batch at a time until all of the csipetke have been cooked. Be sure to toss each additional batch with the first so that all of the dumplings will be coated with oil, adding a drizzle more if necessary. Cover and reserve until ready to serve the soup.

When ready to serve, place some csipetke in the bottom of a soup bowl and ladle the finished soup over the dumplings. Serve and enjoy!

The finished csipetke are visible in the top photo, on the left side of the bowl. In a word, these noodle-dumplings are outstanding! I can't imagine eating the goulash soup without them and the whole process took far less time to complete that it did for me to write this. Making your own noodles is a satisfying endeavor and nowhere near as challenging as it sounds. If I can do it, so can you. Really.

Bon appetit!


Being Brazen said...

your blog makes me want to start cooking more interesting things :)

PS - thanks for stopping by my blog

The Diva on a Diet said...

Welcome, Being Brazen, and thanks! I enjoyed your blog too. Drop in any time and tell me what's cookin'! :)

words words words said...

Wow, these look so easy! I can imagine these being a great substitute for noodles in a chicken noodle soup or for udon or wontons in an Asian soup. Perfect for when you want the homemade noodle taste but don't want to spend all day crafting them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making noodles without a KitchenAid. We'll have to try this. It would be good in any soup probably!

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never seen those! How cool!

The Diva on a Diet said...

W W W - I agree, completely. Good suggestions all! They'd be awfully good on their own with some really fresh butter, black pepper and parmesan cheese too.

Duo - LOL, I hadn't though of that, but it was nice to make them without need of an appliance. Awfully quick to make too.

Blonde Duck - Try 'em, you'll like 'em! :)

Juliet said...

Yum. Dough always look so yummy to me! I love bready stuff. So good. I had no idea there was a cross between a noodle and a dumpling - that is so up my alley.

Deb said...

What's better than any soup? Any soup with noodles!