Search This Blog

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Fresh is best

I do love my cooking gadgets.

One of my newest favorite stores in The General Trader, which has the most amazing array of bits and pieces and Cool Things to Cook and Make Things With; things you never even realised that you needed! Like four different grades of microplane zesters, or cool shaped cookie cutters, or a flavour injector! Or things you may have done without in the past, but now that you've bought them you realise how awesome they are and Gosh Darn It! Why didn't you buy them before?!?!? (my ceramic pie weight are the most recent addition to this category)
 So when I received a General Trader voucher recently, my Gadget Fairy did a very strange and eclectic Excited Dance in my head.

 I have resisted the temptation in the past to get a bread maker (more due to space restrictions than anything, but also 'cause yeast products and I have developed An Understanding), but I will admit to a popcorn maker and a milkshake maker sitting in my cupboard and getting an occasional spin.
 However, I have been eying off a pasta maker, ever since I had fresh pasta at a friend's house for dinner. She assured me that it was "So Easy!!" to make, and as I had previous pasta making experience (albeit with an industrial strength machine), I went and purchased (in the words of one of my favorite poems), "a shiny new machine".

 I decided to make fettuccine first, as that would let me try out both attachments (and I I had a spare packet of dried in the cupboard in case it was a disaster). I set aside an afternoon to play and fiddle and Perfect My Technique, but I was pretty confident. After all (in the words of Jeremy Clarkson- how hard could it be???
 (For those who don't watch Top Gear, this phrase is usually followed by vision of some monumental cock-up with cars in various pieces or on fire)
 But I am pleased to report that it was "so easy", in fact - almost Child's Play. A pretty simple reciepe of 1 egg and 100g flour for each person chucked in a food processor, kneaded together  and rolled out, then fed through the pasta machine a few times and voila! I got Son 2 in on the act and he did a great job of Turn Turn Turn! with the handle (except when he wanted to see what happened when he turned it the other way. Answer - backwards pasta and a cranky mum). In fact the only misstep was not putting enough flour on the pasta sheets before putting them through the cutter. 

 They did end up sticking together a bit (as you can see in the photo), but I was able to resurrect it with the annoyinging slow technique of separating each piece and dusting with flour (which I wont be doing again!).

Resurrected Pasta
 I cooked Jamie Oliver's "Fresh Tagliatelle with sprouting broccoli and oozy cheese sauce" (from "Jamie at Home"), which is a wickedly delicious sauce made out of melted gruyere and creme fraiche (and not much else).

Boiling pasta and melted oozy cheese sauce
  And it was a super delicious dish - I threw in fried bacon and some pine nuts as well for good measure. So not a very Points Friendly recipe but it was sooooooo yum!

So a successful and encouraging first Go. Next up, I'm looking to make lasagne with fresh pasta sheets, as well as home-made ravioli; The Vineyard Cookbook has some rather exciting ones, likeTim's Ravioli (from DeBortoli Vineyard) with fetta and potato, and a prawn ravioli. Mmmmmm....

 And my Gadget Fairy now has her sights on a proper tagine so I can churn out some "authentic" Moroccan cooking. Now where did I put my fez....?

No comments:

Post a Comment