Milk Street Television | Crazy Noodles (Season 1, Episode 12)

you know when I go to make a quick pasta dish for supper I rely on the same old recipes butter and cheese marinara maybe a basil pesto but here at milk Street we looked around the world to come up with some new ideas one of them is from Sicily where you make a pesto with almonds and tomatoes of course in Japan they like to serve soba noodles and a miso broth and finally improve there was a lot of Italian immigrants in the 1880s and 90s and they made a whole new style of pesto using spinach instead of basil so today at milk Street it's pesto's and pastas from around the world stay tuned and hope you enjoy the show welcome to Mill streets must be you pesto Genovese say everyone knows what that is based upon oats olive oil garlic etc of course in Italy they have hundreds of different pesto's pesto is from the word pastori which means to grind up and so it doesn't even have to have herbs in it whatever I went to Peru recently and they have something called tolerate as' Verdes which is a pesto but it's not made with the usual ingredients there were a lot of Italian immigrants in the late 19th century they found spinach not basil they found a queso fresco parmesan and it's cooked a little bit differently as well it's more interesting preparation so today on Mill Street it's tolerate us various now you are the master pronunciation did I do that right thank you so much yeah Venus where this so much mayonnaise very best version of a see it's uncooked and this is a little bit different because it's a cooked sauce essentially so the ingredients are slightly different and the method of preparation is quite different and to get started actually we're going to cook our pasta down we have 12 ounces here from linguine and I will have you do the heavy lifting and put the linguine in our well salted boiling water let me do with one hand great we're going to finish cooking this pasta in the sauce later on so we're going to under cook our pasta and this is actually a method with you from Marcela Hassan the great late March Allah Hassan so this pastor calls for eight minutes were shading of two minutes and just cooking it for six minutes while our pasta cooks we're going to move on to making our sauce I have a food processor here we have one medium onion that's chopped and that's going to go in and then I have three cloves of garlic that have been peeled and smashed lightly 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil so something is the same some things are the same and some things aren't it's kind of a mash-up no pun intended because it's kind of all mashed up then I have a quarter cup of water just to give it a little bit of body a teaspoon each of kosher salt and ground black pepper now here is our big star ingredient for this dish we have baby spinach and we're going to use 12 ounces here so it's 3/4 of a pound which is quite a bit but it's all gonna get cooked down which is why we need this quantity I'm going to put about a third of this in to the food processor I was always kind of waiting to see how you get all that bowl of food processor it goes in bits ok so I'm going to process the spinach in three batches until the mixture is smooth okay so that's all processed the difference here now is that this is going to go into a 12-inch nonstick skillet and we're gonna cook this down so you just see there is our spinach paste and then I'm gonna get this going on a medium-high heat for about three to five minutes we're going to reduce this down so we're going to cook off some of the water from it and concentrate the flavors and also cook the rawness out of the spinach and the onions and that's part of what gives it the creaminess and one of the indicators is that the color starts changing from this sort of dull green to a lovely bright green color here at milk Street we love our cocktails but it turns out we were shaking them all wrong until we spoke with Jeffrey Morgan thaller he's a bartender par excellence so here's a little tip about how to shake up your alcohol we like to use this technique this is a Boston shaker it's two metal pieces some of them have a glass part they can break over time so we like the metal it also makes a nice tight seal and it lasts forever so a few points from Jeffrey first of all you need to shake a long time a lot more than you think if you have opaque ingredients like milk cream or egg whites or fruit juices you want to aerate it and that takes a bit of time number two not all ice is created equal some freezers are colder than others and therefore the ice will be colder so if you love your cocktails make sure you don't have a freezer full of food number three use a lot more ice than you think use the right amount and then triple it as Jeffrey says and finally you need to know something about dilution it's okay if some of the ice melts what's gonna happen is the cocktail is going to get colder and the ice and the cocktail will be the same temperature it'll stop melting and by the way a little bit of melting a good thing because if you have more than 85% proof alcohol all your tasting is the alcohol and not the other subtle flavor so let's get started we're gonna make a pisco sour that's a Peruvian brandy we'll start with the pisco we're using an egg white we're using some simple syrup as a sweetener and lemon juice and lime juice now here's where things get interesting Jeffrey says just put in one ice cube for a starter put the top on like that and now we're going to shake this parallel to the ground for 15 seconds and that's gonna froth up the ingredients that just one ice cube now we're gonna add the other ice to it now this is a full two cups of ice which is a lot more than people use and by the way the smaller cubes not the really large cubes are better there's more surface area and it's going to get things a lot colder more quickly and this is just ten seconds now we're gonna have a nicely chilled cocktail and lots of nice foam to it and a little bit of bitters on the top at the end is nice so for Mill Street that's how to make a pisco sour and from Jeffrey Mergenthaler that's how to shake up a cocktail so Chris you can see our sauce is cooked down and the colors also change to this deep beautiful emerald green our pastas also cooked and drained and remember it's undercooked slightly we've saved a cup and a half off the pasta cooking water and it has a starchiness to it that's going to add some flavor and body into our sauce you know I had a small pond in Vermont once to look just like that it was kind of stagnant but did you taste it no I did even the cows wouldn't drink now it looks good so I'm gonna get this back up to a simmer and then this is what's going to cook the pasta through the rest of the way just so I understand so the pasta is what two or three minutes short of being cooked something like that it's two minutes shorter which means the pasta is essentially thirsty and instead of drinking up additional water it's going to absorb some sauce which is going to add the flavor and that's a technique we actually use quite a bit at milk Street we under hydrate our pasta or starch and then have it take whatever additional hydration it needs from the sauce that it's in just pull the sauce through the pasta so this is gonna finish cooking for about three to five minutes until the pastas cooked all the way through and then we'll come back and add a couple more finishing ingredients and then we'll be ready to eat so our pastas just cooked through now till it's al dente and I'm going to add just a quarter cup of heavy cream now the original recipe they might have used condensed milk right yeah I have seen condensed milk in some traditional recipes but we do like cream here so I'm going to turn off the heat and then although again some original recipes didn't have parmesan Parmesan cheese eventually did make its way over to Peru and to milk Street and so we're gonna add two ounces of Parmesan cheese does it taste better with Parmesan one should be honest everything's better with cheese I'm just gonna stir that through and then we are ready to eat I'm gonna give you a job then why don't you serve it yes this is a great job so the last thing I'm going to add here Chris is queso fresco which is a form of fresh cheese screamy and mild and that's a lovely texture so I have 4 ounces of queso fresco and if you can't find the queso fresco then feta is a fair substitute did you care to serve I get to do I'm doing everything here man I like I move I'm serving so we really liked serving this with lime wedges for a little squeeze of brightness and acidity on top so how do I eat this in front of a bunch of very hungry people who really want to be honest this is definitely second date on words or carry a toothbrush that is really good very smooth creamy but it's also fresh tasting oddly no cooking it down really cooks the harshness off the garlic and the onion as well so today Mill Street we took a natalia classic pesto genovese by way of peru and made a dish that only takes half an hour to make and as spinach it has cream within a queso fresco some parmesan very simple to make but the secret is that the sauce actually cooks in a skillet the undercooked pasta goes in with a sauce and absorbs all that flavors of the sauce so it's fresh tasting but it's also creamy it just has a wonderful taste and texture Reyna thank you you're welcome Chris enjoy you know here at milk Street we like to ask friends and chefs about their favorite pieces of equipment and when I asked Andy Ricker of the Pok Pok restaurants Thai restaurants about his favorite kitchen gadget or tool naturally he said the mortar and pestle because it's central to Thai cooking now two reasons for this one is very often it's easier to use a mortar and pestle than let's say a food processor you don't have to clean it up the same way more importantly the items get ground and pulverized which means they release more flavor the cells get broken up that's not true when you slice or dice with a very sharp blade now one thing about how to use a mortar and pestle because Andy gave me a little tip on it back in medieval times they used very large mortar and pestle so they could be three or four feet high with very large pestles and it turns out they were using gravity that you just pull up the pestle like this and let it go so that's the first thing you taught me so let's take some garlic we'll take some shallot as well shallots are used very often in Thai cooking and some ginger and I'll put a little coarse salt in as well so the first thing you showed me was you don't start by grinding like this you just use gravity and this is granite it's very heavy you want by the way a very coarse surface both on the bottom of the pestle and on the bowl itself and we also like pestles that have at least six inches of diameter so it's big enough so I'm not really doing any work here so just using gravity letting the pestle drop because it's very heavy does a lot of the work and once you get it so it's about half smoosh down like that then you can use this motion which of course everyone knows where you can start to go in a circle and back and forth and really end up making a paste now this pace is gonna have a lot more flavor than anything you cut with a knife or with a food processor it's not sliced and diced it's actually smashed it releases a tremendous amount of flavor so thank you Andy the mortar and pestle is now a regular part of our kitchen tool set here at milk Street when we say pesto most people think basil and pine nuts the classic pesto genovese a from Northwest Italy but pesto just means to pound or grind so there are literally dozens of sauces that are referred to as pesto today we're going to make a pesto from Trapani and Sicily that relies on tomatoes and almonds that pesto is called trap an Daisy in a food processor combine four ounces of toasted slivered almonds one small garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes process until coarsely ground about 20 to 30 seconds toasting the almonds will keep them crisp when we combine them with the tomatoes and the red pepper flakes will give the pesto a little kick to make this a truly year-round recipe we're using always available cherry tomatoes but grape or small plum tomatoes work to add one pound of cherry tomatoes 3/4 of an ounce of fresh basil leaves and 3/4 of a teaspoon of kosher salt and pulse until uniformly ground but still chunky 10 to 12 pulses now transfer to a large bowl and add 1/2 a cup of extra virgin olive oil and 1 ounce of grated pecorino cheese give it a stir by hand for the pasta we're using 12 ounces of rigatoni but you can use any short sturdy pasta like Gemelli just make sure it has ridges for the sauce to cling to we like to cook our pasta in four quarts of water seasoned with two tablespoons of kosher salt add the pasta to the bowl with a pesto and toss if the sauce is too thick you can add a bit of reserved pasta water but don't add it right away there's so much moisture from the tomatoes that you might not need it taste and season with kosher salt pepper pepper flakes and more pecorino okay Catherine so it's the middle of the week I want a quick pasta dish but it's kind of interesting that here in the States we think of noodles we say pasta which means Italian of course they're Chinese noodles they're Japanese doodles so we're gonna broaden our perspective start with some soba noodles which have a little buckwheat flour or the tastier but the question is how to make this sort of a one-pot supper or One Bowl supper great so what I love about this dish cress is it comes together so quickly it's quick and easy but it's really flavorful and filling and it feels like a complete meal and it is very similar to those kind of one pot pasta dishes we're used to we're just gonna switch up the ingredients a little bit so to get started we're actually gonna make a miso butter and compound butter is sort of like a scary word you think of like a fancy French Steakhouse no it's really mashing a couple of ingredients together to make a really tasty sauce and I think when we think about me so a lot of times we just think oh it's that little simple soup that we have it you know the sushi takeout but it's actually a really versatile ingredient and adds this great kind of umami flavor a lot of times we think about like Parmesan and pasta this is gonna sub in for the parmesan this is gonna give you that really nice umami savory flavor and so we're gonna mix it and you only get to say you mommy once I know right so okay now we're done I was just waiting for reaction out of you I know it's one of your favorite work so I'm adding five tablespoons of white miso here when you go to the grocery store it's unbelievable what you can find and just you know your everyday grocery store they will often have multiple kinds of miso so there's red miso there's yellow miso we prefer the white kind because it is sweet and mellow and it's also probably the most widely available and to that I'm gonna add four tablespoons of salted butter we got this idea from David Chang of New York City's Momofuku restaurants he's really well known for making miso butters so we're gonna mash that together so this is basically an old French compound butter except a non French ingredient which would be Mesa exactly and it's really simple to make and so flavorful and it makes this really nice creamy sauce obviously we have a lot of richness and creaminess here I'm gonna add one and a half tablespoons of grated ginger and that'll just kind of brighten it up by the way we did find that if you keep your ginger in the freezer lasts for a few months not a few days it's easier to grade too but it gets fluffy you look at the fluffy texture so you'd have to use about twice as much as called for in the recipe because it just fluffs right up in the tablespoon alright so that's pretty well mixed and it's all gonna come together when we add our pasta later on now to the asparagus one kind of challenge when you're cooking asparagus is it almost wants to be treated like two different vegetables so you have these feathery tips which can overcook really easily and then you have the stalks which are a little more fibrous and take some more time so there's this great cookbook author her name is Nancy Hachi su and she recommends taking any kind of leafy green that has a thicker stem and just dipping it in the boiling water and then you throw the whole thing in now here we're gonna cut these up we want it bite-sized anyways so we're just gonna time it a little bit differently and we're gonna add the stems before we add the tips so first I'm just gonna snap off the tips and throw these in a bowl so we have them separate and when you're looking for asparagus you know if there really is quite a wide variety of asparagus the really thin ones tend to overcook and if you get the really thick ones you have to peel them to make them tender so you want stocks that are about a half-inch at the end I'm gonna just place these about a half-inch thick okay so moving on to our noodles you might be surprised that when you go to the grocery store there's actually several types of soba on the shelves and like you mentioned earlier soba noodles always have buckwheat flour in them now there are some that are 100% buckwheat that's actually not what we're looking for because it tends to be kind of brittle luckily most brands have some wheat flour in them that makes them a little more pliable you just want to check the label and make sure that you're getting some that has both wheat flour and buckwheat flour I spend all my time at the soba noodle aisle by the way so I know I've seen you bring down the aisles okay so this is one of those recipes Kris that it's really important that everything is prepped like we've done before we start throwing stuff in the pot because that's the beauty of it it comes together really quickly in one pot and we developed this so that everything would cook in the time it takes to cook your soba noodles so most soba noodles take about four minutes to cook if you buy a different kind of noodle that's fine but you're gonna have to adjust the recipe just to make sure that you're not overcooking the noodles or the asparagus so we've planned for four minutes and the way we're gonna do this definitely gonna need my timer so first we're gonna add our noodles to the pot we're gonna let that cook for one minute then we're gonna add stems that's gonna cook for another minute and then we'll add the tips and that'll be two more minutes and then we're ready to drain and we're good to go okay okay I'm gonna set my timer for a minute mister and Kris it's worth mentioning that this is unsalted water so usually when we cook pasta we salt it of course with me so it turns out that depending on what brand you buy the saltiness can vary pretty widely so we have our salted butter we have our salting miso it's gonna get plenty of seasoning just from the sauce you can always add a little salt at the end but we're gonna kind of break our rules and not salt the water that's that's very upsetting what else I know I knew that this was gonna be a point of contention for you all right it's been a minute we're gonna add the stems let's set it for one more minute all right Chris now I'm gonna set the timer one last time for two minutes as we add the tips and then we're just gonna drain it and mix it with our miso butter okay Chris so we drained our noodles and I'm just gonna go ahead and mix these with the miso butter I'm gonna add three in make sliced scallions and then I'm gonna add the soba and the asparagus and this again is why you want everything ready because we want our noodles to be hot so that the butter melts and then we reserved a half cup of that starchy pasta water and this isn't an exact science here Chris we saved a half cup but you just want to add enough so that you have a nice creamy consistency and that the miso butter really coats the noodles and the asparagus I'm gonna add a little bit more and while I'm mixing this up I'm gonna put you to work did I please have your favorite moment I've been waiting for this level recipe so I have a small pan that's been heating up over there for about three minutes and I'm gonna have you fry up a couple eggs that we didn't put right on top of this to finish the dish I feel great because now I can roll out pie dough I can carve a turkey and I can maybe I can cook a fried egg I'm expanding my repertoire so so we like to use carbon steel here every time you use it put a little oil in it heat it up to the all smokes take some paper towels and rub it out so it's nice and seasoned this has been heating at very low heat by the way if you heat a pan like this a heavy pan it's good to use low heat so it's even heating and we just need to spoons of butter this is an 8 inch pan and we're just gonna cook 2 eggs so we're gonna melt the butter until it stops foaming it's a good idea to have the eggs already cracked in a bowl so you don't end up with a broken yolk and you get them all out at the same time into the pan so you don't have a delay so that's about right put a little seasoning on them and believe it or not we're gonna put the top on and that means some of the moisture from the butter also from the egg turns to steam is gonna cook the top of the egg so you don't have to flip the egg halfway through cooking and we'll just put the timer on for 3 minutes it'll probably be a little bit less depending up on your stovetop but that's the rough amount of time does this look good or what come on I mean I'm so impressed those are beautiful the whites are nice and fat the yolks are gonna run all over the noodles we have some toppings some more scallions we already put those three scallions in with the miso butter as well add some fresh scallion flavor and now I'm gonna add a little sashimi togarashi and it is a pretty popular Japanese spice did you practice that before you said that a few times let's be a boss about it but it's delicious and it has a little bit of heat it has some orange and some sesame we found it at the grocery store but if you can't no worries you can easily just substitute about a teaspoon of red pepper flakes with 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds can I eat lemon a squeeze of lemon you want a little acidity I mean look how pretty that is you did a really nice job with the eggs you know I can do it I can do it Turkey and roll a pie crust that's you know let's be there's nothing sadder than an overcooked egg topping and this is permanent the weights are set the yolks are creamy mm-hmm you know what's really surprising about this is that it has a really rich flavor that miso gives it that your mommy flavor I thought I'd never say that again but it gives it some real richness and depth to it it's a terrific flavor yeah like we said it's kind of like the parmesan they do with butter it really is a good combination so today I'm Millstreet we took the concept of a quick pasta dinner and turned it into something a little more interesting with soba noodles that have buckwheat in them some asparagus we talked about how to cook that properly a compound butter with butter and miso as well and finally we put egg on top that was the most important part of course by the way you can get all the recipes from this season at our website which is milk Street you you

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