So, first let me say sorry it has been so long between posts. Our family has been quite busy...between surgeries and a seizure, I haven't had a tremendous amount of time to update my recipes. But with no further ado I bring you the best addition, to date, to our families menu planning....Buckwheat Soba Noodles.
Pop Quiz: Is buckwheat a grain?
If you answered yes, you are in the same boat I was a week ago, after all buckwheat does have the "wheat" name in it. But the answer is actually no! Buckwheat isn't a grain at all, and it doesn't contain gluten despite what one might conclude. It is actually in the same family as Rhubarb So, it is a "safe" alternative for allergy ridden families!
After the discovery that buckwheat wasn't a grain and in the same family as quinoa, which N can eat, I got so excited and just had to try a recipe with it.
While I was contemplating a recipe one of my favorite blogs, The Nourishing Gourmet posted a Buckwheat noodle recipe, perfect timing. I took this as a sign from above that Soba noodles should be one our menu this week!
One thing worth noting is that Buckwheat is considered a complete protein, so no "meat" is required when using these noodles. Which I really appreciate with the budget being tighter these days.
Here is the recipe:
2 cups freshly ground buckwheat groats (hulled buckwheat is light in color and can be found at Wegmans, Lori's Natural foods and or Feel Rite in Buffalo)
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
The above made enough for N,J, and Me with enough for 2 lunches, and we ate it as a Main meal, not a side dish. I would double if you are feeding more than 4 adults as and using this as a main dish.
The night before you want to eat your noodles, measure out 2 cups of freshly ground buckwheat groats and place it in a large glass or non-reactive bowl. Slowly stir together 1/2 cup water and vinegar and add, mixing with a non reactive spoon, to the flour. The mixture will be dry and clumpy.
Start to hand knead the flour and water together. (side note: this is an extremely sticky and messy process. You might think you have done something wrong because the flour is just stuck to your hands, but you haven't! Just keep going, it will get better.) When you have most of the flour in a ball, feel free to knead on a clean surface a few times till a stiff, but not too dry ball is formed.
Clean the bowl and return the dough to the bowl. Place a wet, but not dripping, towel over the bowl and let sit for 12-24 hours.
Now, normally I hate rolling dough out, but I have to say these were easy and quick to roll out. I managed to complete rolling and cutting all the pasta within 20 minutes!
Cut the dough into 3 or four sections and heavily flour the surface of a large wooden cutting board or counter top if you don't have one. Make sure you have ample flour, if the dough is sticking at all, add more flour to the surface of the dough. Roll out one section of the dough until about 1/8 inch thick. You may roll thinner or thicker depending on the thickness of pasta you like. The thinner you roll it, the easier it breaks into pieces post cooking when trying to toss with sauces etc.
When you have reached a desired thickness cut noodles in desired width. I cut mine the thickness of fettuccine, but have fun with this. The kids could even help. To make it slightly easier to cut. I folded my dough into thirds so it was less cutting, again important to make sure they are well floured and not sticky! When noodles are cut, hang over the edge of the bowl. Repeat process with the remaining dough. LET THE DOUGH REST FOR 10-20 MINUTES.
Bring a pot of water with ample salt to a rapid boil and boil your noodles for about 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water, and toss with desired sauce immediately. They will get sticky quickly, so have your sauces ready! Enjoy with finely sliced carrots, cabbage or broccoli.
N and J both really liked them, and we were all glad to have some sort of pasta back in our diets! :)
I wanted to let you all know we did this recipe with traditional tomato sauce and it was amazing! So, for those of you who wonder does buckwheat work well with italian dishes? Yes, is the answer!