You Gonna Eat All That?

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Location: Virginia, United States

(Biscuit Girl)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Schezuan Beef Noodle Soup

Lots of cooking in the kitchen this weekend. As much for the need to eat and prep my Daring Baker's May challenge as it was to relieve stress. While I can't say what I prepped for the Daring Baker's challenge, I can report that we have several containers of strawberry jam that I made yesterday.

Today was the DB prep as well as noodle for some Schezuan Beef Noodle Soup that Jim cooked up. We've only had this dish at restaurants and wanted to make it at home but never found the right recipe. Today while surfing the net, Jim came across a recipe that looked good. Using it and several others he put together a soup that was slap your momma good. I know.....terrible term to use on Mother's Day but it's true, this soup was great! And there is enough leftover for dinner tomorrow night.

To go with it, I also made scallion pancakes, another elusive recipe that I've tried to make several times before with limited success. But after looking at several, I made one that came as close to the real thing as ever.

Scallion Pancakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp salt
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
vegetable oil

Mix the flour, water and salt in a bowl until a ball is formed. Turn out onto a flat surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth. Add flour or water as needed. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and divide into 6 sections and roll into balls. Keep covered until ready to roll out. One piece at a time, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8" thick and brush with oil.
Scatter about 1-2 tbsp of the scallions on top of the dough.
Roll up the dough like a cigar.
Then coil it up .Cover and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. When all are done, take out one piece and roll it out to about 1/8" thickness. (don't worry if it squishes out green onions)Heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 tsp oil. When hot add one pancake and cook until the bottom is golden brown, flip over and brown the other side. Repeat with remaining pancakes. Slice into 4-6 pieces and serve.

Egg Free Chinese Noodles
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp corn or peanut oil
1 cup water

Mix all the ingredients and knead by hand for about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes.

Unwrap the dough, cut into 4 equal pieces. Cover set aside. Take one piece at a time and flatten with your hands into a disc. Roll out to a 14 inch square (and less than 1/8" thick), dusting with flour as needed. Move the dough to a cloth or paper towel to dry while you work on the other three pieces.

Taking the first piece you rolled out, liberally dust both sides with cornstarch, smoothing it out with your hands. taking opposite edges, fold the dough into thirds. Using a pizza cutter, slice the dough into even strips about 1/8" in width (or slightly wider if you like). Unroll the noodles by tossing them with your fingers. Spread them out on a cookie sheet to dry for 15-20 minutes. You can cook them at this point or put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate or freeze them.

To cook them: Place in boiling soup or water for about 3 - 4 minutes or until desired tenderness.

Schezuan Beef Noodle Soup
3 1/2 lbs beef short ribs bone-in
2 1/2 quarts water
1/2 cup aji-mirin (or shaoxing and additional brown sugar if needed)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tsp five spice powder (or 5-6 whole star anise pods)
2 tsp whole szechuan peppercorns
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 inch piece of ginger, cut into several pieces and crushed with the back of a knife
6 green onions, green parts chopped, white parts crushed with the back of a knife
6 cloves garlic, crushed with the back of a knife
10 cilantro stems, leaves separated from stem pieces

Soak beef in cold water for 20 minutes to remove blood, then dispose of water
Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to boil in stock pot.
Add beef, return to boil, skim foam and impurities from surface.
Reduce to simmer, add aji-mirin, soy sauce, five spice powder, szechuan peppercorns, pepper flakes, ginger, white part of green onions, garlic, and cilantro stems.
Simmer for 2 1/2 hours. Remove beef, then strain solids from soup and add soup back into pot. Debone the beef, then remove fat and cartilage and add back into pot.

Return to boil, use soup to cook chinese wheat noodles (store-bought or use recipe here). Also, if desired add steamed greens or use broth to cook baby bok choy or watercress. Serve in soup bowls with cilantro and green onion tops for garnish.

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Blogger Ilva said...

I love those scallion pancakes, they really are such a great idea, thanks for sharing the step by step method!

3:49 AM  
Blogger Deborah Dowd said...

The soup looks delicious and I am envious of the scallion pancakes! I tried them once but they did not taste the way I expected. Maybe I will give them another try!

11:25 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

The scallion pancakes look fabulous! Are they really as easy as they sound? We will have to give them a try. Yum!

11:08 PM  

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