Kamis, 15 Oktober 2009

Turkish Egg Noodle (Erişte)

Making Turkish egg noodles, erişte--originally a Persian term meaning strips--is usually or was a good reason for gathering for the neighborhood women. A group of women would come together at someone's house. Some would make the dough, some would knead it, and some would roll it into rounds, while others would cut the noodles, lay them on tables, or mix them. And other would make tea and serve the working group with food or just keep company. Noodles are usually made late summer or early fall so that they would dry easily, but nothing's written in stone as long as you can dry them you can make them anytime.

makes ~ 2 pounds of Turkish egg noodles

5 eggs
1/2 liter milk
1 kilo / 2.2 lb flour
1 cup semolina
1 tsp salt

-Beat eggs well.
-Add milk and salt and beat again.
-Put the flour, semolina, and salt in a big bowl. Make a pool in the middle by pushing flour to the sides. Pour egg and milk mixture into this pool.
-Start bringing flour to eggy mixture and kneading. Knead until you have a firm enough that it wouldn't stick to your hands yet soft enough so that you can roll it.
-Divide the dough into 5-6 equal parts. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for half an hour.

-Sprinkle flour on the counter or your work space.
-With a rolling pin roll each dough out into circles, about 22-23 inch / 55-60 cm in diameter and 0.1 inch / 2 mm thick.

-Lay these dough sheets on a clean table cloth in a room away from direct sunlight and let dry.

-They should be dry enough so that when you cut it with a knife it wouldn't stick yet not too dry so that it would break. ~8 to 12 hours.

-First cut each circle into 1.5 icnhes / 3-4 cm wide strips.

-As you can see they don't have to be perfect.

-Now stack 3 or 4 of those strips, and cut them horizontally into matchstick forms.

-Lay noodles back on table cloth to really dry for another day or two. Make sure they don't stick to each other. Separate them with your hands.

-After cutting matchstick shape noodles, you will have odd shape leftover noodles at the ends of the strips. Save them and dry them as well to use in soups.

Now, how to make Turkish egg noodles. Simple. The ratio of noodles to water is 1 to 2, similar to rice.

serves 2 people

2 cups of egg noodles
4 cups of water
1 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp butter ( my personal preference) or olive oil
crumbled Turkish or Bulgarian white cheese or Greek feta
ground walnuts

-Boil 4 cups of water with salt and butter/oil.
-Once it boils, add noodles and cook on low-medium with the lid slightly ajar until noodles soak all the water.
-In my family, noodles are served with crumbled white cheese and ground walnut on top, but you can certainly be creative.
Bon appetit!
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