Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moroccan Beet Salad

So this is actually a ridiculously simple beet salad, but I got it from my friend Melanie who just got back from Morocco. Apparently she knows at least two other recipes for beet salad, but this is her favorite:

4 small-medium sized beets
1/2-3/4 cup beet juice(produced by boiling the beets)
juice of one lemon
2-4 Tbsp sugar (to taste)

Boil beets whole, then cool, and remove skins. Dice. Mix the juice produced from boiling them with lemon juice and sugar. Pour the sauce over the diced beets. Serve chilled as an appetizer.

She also serves most dishes with a really simple side salad as well:
Cucumbers
Tomatoes

Salt (more than you think)
Vinegar (white is fine)
Olive Oil

Remove the seeds from the tomatoes, then dice. Dice cucumbers. Combine everything. Apparently this is just the basic salad they eat with everything, but it's very refreshing for those of us who like cucumbers.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Turmeric 'Taters

Here's an easy and colorful potato side dish that uses the cheerful but under-appreciated turmeric. I've only made it in the pressure cooker, but it will probably work in a regular pot if you simmer it carefully. Only use enough potatoes that they will cover the bottom of your pan in a single layer.


They look better on the plate, but here's the basic idea. The wedges will be fluffy on the inside, slightly translucent, and obviously, bright yellow.

2-4 russet potatoes, peeled cut in wedges
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. ground coriander (optional)
hot water

In the base of your pressure cooker, heat the oil until moderately hot. Add the garlic and saute until it just begins to turn golden. Add the turmeric and stir so it colors the oil and begins to release its fragrance, about 30 seconds.

Add the potato wedges, white pepper, salt, and coriander to the pan and toss the potatoes so they are coated in the turmeric oil. Distribute the potatoes so that they form a single layer in the bottom of the pan.

Pour 2-3 Tbsp. hot water into the pan very carefully so that it doesn't wash off the turmeric yellow. The best way to do this is to hold a spoon to the inside edge of the pan and pour water slowly into it so that it slides down the side of the pan without touching the potatoes. You want to add only enough to prevent burning, but not enough that the potatoes are swimming in it.

Place the pressure cover onto the pan and cook the potatoes for 3-4 minutes, releasing the pressure using the cold-water method. Serve by carefully lifting the wedges out of the pan without breaking them.

To make this without a pressure cooker I would simmer them on low on the stovetop, adding small amounts of water throughout the process so that the potatoes don't burn. It will probably take 30-40 minutes.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Rosy Radish Water Kimichi

The first harvest of my garden has arrived, in the form of red radishes! The variety I grew is called Shunkyo Semi-long and I chose it because it matures quickly. Unfortunately (or so I thought) these radishes are too spicy for comfortable snacking or use in salads. I couldn't let them go to waste, but I just didn't know what to do with them! Fortunately, though, I emailed the wonderful Maangchi, who runs a fantastic Korean cooking blog and whom I've corresponded with in the past. She responded right away with a recipe idea: water-style kimchi ('mul kimchi'), which she recently made with similar radishes.


Take that, rabbits!

This style of kimchi has more liquid than what you find in the most common style of kimchi available in the store, though it is made in a similar way: a short and simple fermentation. The recipe that Maangchi sent me doesn't use red pepper flakes, which is a nice change from the usual red kimchis you find. The results are boldly spicy, crisp, and slightly effervescent, with a refined white-and-green palette. I'd hoped that the results would be more of a pink color from the red radishes, but they were just the slightest rosy hue (still beautiful). This recipe is very easy, uses easy-to-find ingredients, and is a great introduction to making kimchi--I urge you to give it a try.

1 qt. radishes in 1/8" slices, made up of red radishes and daikon
1/2 white onion, sliced thin
1 1.5" knob ginger, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cucumber, sliced thin (I left this out)
5-6 green onions, sliced small (optional)
5 cloves of garlic, minced with a knife
1-2 hot green chilis
4-5 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
~1 qt. boiling water

Select a well-sealing container that you would like to store the kimchi in and wash and dry it well. Place the sliced radishes and cucumbers in the container. Add 2 Tbsp. salt and mix. Boil 1 qt. water and dissove into it 2 Tbsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Pour this over the radishes and cucumbers--don't worry about it being hot, as this helps keep the vegetables crisp. Allow to cool to around room temperature.

Slice up the onions, green chilis, and ginger and add them to the kimchi container. Mix well and taste. It should be pretty salty but not overwhelmingly, so adjust the salt accordingly. Add cold water to reach the rim of the container and cover.


My kimchi after 2 days. Note the small bubbles on top from the fermentation.

Let the kimchi sit on the counter to ferment for 1-2 days. This is a summer recipe, so with warm days that's all it should take (allow more if it is cool inside or if you ferment it in the refrigerator). Serve with hot or cold noodles, rice, or anything that suits your fancy.

The results are deliciously powerful and have just the tiniest blush of pink. Even an ordinary pack of ramen seems like a meal with these mixed in at the end.

Thank you Maangchi!

Pad Thai

This is the 100th post on the blog! Good work, family--I think we've created something wonderful here. Keep on postin'! Now that I'm writing this 100th post, I feel like I should commemorate it with some kind of special recipe, but this is just what I made for dinner tonight. In the end I guess that's the most appropriate thing to post, since the only theme for our blog is "food the Magidows cook".

I learned this recipe from my roommate, JiJY, and it's the 'dry' style of pad thai, rather than the saucier American style. You can use any meat and add vegetables as you like, though it's best kept simple. The most important trick is to keep the noodles undercooked, since you want them to stay robust at the end. Tamarind sauce can be a little harder to find, but most Asian stores carry it--unfortunately there are no substitutions for this and you need it to proceed. If the paste is very thick, thin it with hot water so that it pours readily but still coats a spoon.




1 lb. 1/8"-wide rice noodles (aka 'medium rice sticks', 'ban pho')
1 lb. meat, diced (chicken or pork) or raw shrimp, whole
2 shallots, minced
2 small hot chiles, sliced thin
1 small onion, sliced thin
(you can also add 1-2 c. of another vegetable here, such as broccoli or spinach)
2 eggs, beaten with a dash of fish sauce and a pinch of sugar
3-4 green onions, in 1.5" pieces
2-3 c. fresh beansprouts

1/3 c. tamarind sauce
3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
3 Tbsp. fish sauce
3-4 Tbsp. brown sugar
oil for frying

1/4 c. peanuts, roasted and crushed
lime wedges
cilantro for garnish

Soak the noodles in hot tap water until they're soft enough to bend without snapping, but still firm (about 30 min.), drain. Using kitchen shears, snip the noodles a few times so that they will be easier to manage in the pan.

In your largest frying pan or wok, heat 3-4 Tbsp. oil until very hot. Add the shallots and hot chiles and stir over high heat for ~1 min. Add the meat and a dash of fish sauce and cook until the meat is cooked through and beginning to brown (if you use shrimp, hardly cook them at all). Add the onion slices and cook until they just begin to stoften. Add the vegetable (if it is something chunky like broccoli you should blanch it before adding) and cook until just tender, adding some fish sauce and oyster sauce partway through cooking.

Clear the meat and veggies to the side of the pan and add a little more oil. Pour the beaten eggs into the center of the pan and stir them constantly until they cook through and are fluffy. Mix everything in the pan together well.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the drained noodles to the pan. Pour the tamarind sauce over and add some more oyster sauce and the brown sugar. Combine the noodles, meat, vegetables, and sauce until everything is well coated. Taste and adjust for seasoning using the above sauces. Add the green onions and beansprouts and toss until they soften a little.

Serve with lime wedges, cilantro leaves, and crushed peanuts to garnish. The texture should be somewhat dry and the noodles should be resilient. I'm not sure how to make the saucier style of pad thai, but I think you would just add more oyster sauce and sugar and reduce the tamarind.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Fresh Spring Rolls and Singapore Noodles

An ode to rice noodles!

Today I had fun exploring the international grocery stores in Rochester. Rice and Spice, an Indian place, is great and I got excellent service there. The shopkeeper helped me find everything on my list and even gave me some recipes. The Asian Food Store was really seedy and kind of freaked me out a little bit (especially the half-wit working the meat counter), but I found some amazing glazed pork and was inspired to make this meal.

I love Singapore noodles, even though they have nothing to do with Singapore, but they are hard to find. I've been meaning to figure out how to make them and today was the perfect chance. The dish is a lot like fried rice in that you use little bits of vegetables and meat, whatever you have on hand, except that it's made with rice noodles and seasoned with curry powder. I used chicken thighs and some glazed pork, and left out the traditional shrimp. Feel free to improvise and conduct Operation Icebox.

Update: Check out the Chicken Salad Springrolls and Hoisin Peanut Sauce I created later using leftover Hmong Chicken Salad! Also 

The springrolls are also well suited to improvisation and using what you have on hand. As long as they have rice noodles, something crunchy, and something aromatic you're doing well, especially if you keep an eye to color. You can make them vegetarian or use virtually any kind of protein: pork, shrimp, beef, seasoned tofu, etc... The great thing is that it's easy to keep rice noodles and springroll wrappers on hand.

The rice noodles I used for this recipe are one size smaller than I should have gotten (though they still worked pretty well). Look for ones that say 'rice vermicelli'.


Fresh Spring Rolls

6-8 springroll wrappers (sometimes called 'rice plates')
1 c. thinly sliced roasted red pork
1 large bundle or several small bundles of rice vermicelli (to make 2-3 c. cooked noodles)
1 handful Thai basil, cilantro, and/or mint
2 c. mung bean sprouts
2-3 leaves of Chinese cabbage or lettuce, sliced thin
1 carrot, julienned
radish, julienned or sliced thin, depending on size and shape

Boil the rice noodles for 3-4 minutes, then drain and rinse several times in cold water. Wash the herbs and vegetables well. Assemble all your ingredients to make an assembly line. Fill a shallow dish with warm water and make sure you have a clean, smooth working surface to form the rolls (such as the countertop or a plate).


Once everything is set up the assembly goes quickly.

1) Dip a rice wrapper in the water just long enough to get it completely wet. Place the wrapper on your work area, allowing some water droplets to wet your work surface.

2) Place the meat on the lower third of the wrapper in a way that will look attractive when you serve the springrolls.


Notice how the meat overlaps to form a pleasing pattern and there are a variety of colors in the roll.


3) Add some lettuce/cabbage on top of the meat for crunch and carrots nearby to provide color contrast.



4) Place a small handful of rice noodles on top of the lettuce so that it forms a narrow mound the size of your desired springrolls.

5) Place some herbs on top of the noodles and some beansprouts on the edges.


6) Fold the left and right sides over the filling. Bring the bottom flap up and over the filling.

7) Roll the contents away from you, tucking the edges in as you go and gently compressing the filling as you roll so that it makes a nice cylindrical shape. Bring the excess wrapper around the roll.

8) Keep the rolls moist as you work, handling them with wet fingers if they begin to stick together.

Trying to capture the dying light and avoid using a flash.


Singapore Noodles

As I mentioned before, the ingredients are flexible, and this can be made as a way to use up odds and ends. You can use leftover meat (omitting the meat-cooking step) and any vegetables you please.

1 large bundle rice vermicelli (to make 1 qt. cooked noodles)
1 onion, sliced thin
1/2 lb. chicken or pork , finely chopped
1 c. small cooked shrimp (optional)
1 large egg, beaten with a pinch of sugar and salt
1/3 c. each of the following vegetables, chopped finely:
  • carrots
  • celery
  • red or Chinese cabbage
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 hot chili peppers, minced
3-4 green onions, sliced into 1" pieces
1 handful cilantro, chopped
2 handfuls beansprouts
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
4 Tbsp. light soy sauce
3 Tbsp. curry powder
crushed peanuts (optional)
oil for high-heat cooking


As always, pre-prep is the key to a good stir-fry. Not pictured are the chopped meat, garlic, and cilantro.

Use a large pan of wok. Heat 1-2 Tbsp. oil until just smoking and add 1/2 of the chopped garlic and the hot chilis. Stir for 30 seconds, then add the chopped meat. Stir constantly, adding 1 Tbsp. fish sauce and 1 Tbsp. soy sauce partway through cooking. Cook just until the meat is no longer pink in the center, then remove it from the pan into a large bowl.

Repeat the above process with the oil and garlic. This time add the onions, carrots, celery, and cabbage, again adding the fish sauce and soy sauce part way through. When the vegetables are 3/4 cooked, move them to the edges of the pan and pour the egg into the center. Stir it constantly until it forms small, fluffy pieces. Toss the contents of the pan together until the veggies tender-crisp and then remove everything from the pan into the same bowl as the meat.

Allow the pan to cool a bit and rinse the noodles in cold water again to loosen them up, and drain them very well. Add oil to the pan and heat it up to medium-high. Add the noodles to the pan, immediately stirring so that they don't stick too badly. Add 2 Tbsp. of soy sauce and 2 Tbsp. curry powder and stir to combine.




Return the meat and vegetables back to the pan, along with any juices that collected to the bowl. Do your best to combine things thoroughly, while trying to stir as little as possible (ie, be efficient--too much stirring and the noodles break apart). When things are half-combined, add the cilantro, beansprouts, and green onions and one more Tbsp. curry powder. Remove from heat and keep tossing. When everything is fully combined, serve piping hot and garnished with more beansprouts and chopped peanuts.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Pesto and Sausage Desperation Deliciousness

I came up with this recipe at The Byway, when my roomies and I were famished and didn't have much in the house except some iffy potatoes, some freezer-burned sausage, and some fabulous pesto given to us by a friend. The whole turned out to be far greater than the sum of its parts and now this is one of my standbys. It can be made with either pasta or potatoes, but I think it's best with the more unexpected potatoes. This dish is especially welcome in the dead of winter when basil seems like a miracle.


Here it is with pasta, but I assure you it's tastier with potatoes.


3-4 links of Italian sausage, sliced into rounds
2 handfuls of waxy potatoes (~1.5 lbs), cut into large-bite size chunks
OR 3/4 box pasta
1 onion, diced into large-ish chunks
2 green peppers, cut the same as the onions (optional)
2-3 spoonfuls pesto
Olive oil for frying

Boil the potatoes in well-salted water until they're mostly cooked, but not falling apart (or make pasta). Drain well, reserving a cup of the water from the pot.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in your largest skillet. Once it's cooked through and nicely browned, remove it into a bowl. Add oil (if needed) and then cook the onions and peppers over high heat until they're soft enough for your liking and then transfer them to the bowl with the sausage.

Reduce the heat to medium and if the bottom of the pan is crusted, add some more oil. Place the potatoes in the pan in a single layer and allow them to brown slightly. Flip them once and allow them to brown on the other side. If you're using pasta, simply add it to the pan to heat up and loosen it (crispifying it is yummy too!). If you need liquid, use some water from draining the potato/pasta pot.

Return the sausage, onions, and peppers to the pan and toss thoroughly. Remove from heat and add the pesto, combining well. If you used pasta you may need to transfer the lot to a big bowl for tossing. Descend ravenously upon this dish.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Crockpot Chicken Tajine-like thing

Well, I have actually NO idea how to cook a proper tajine, and in fact I've only eaten them a couple times. However, I was trying to get rid of ingredients, and this is sort of what resulted. When my friend gets back from Morocco, I will be sure to force her to teach me what she's learned.

The proportions below are based on what I used, YMMV.

Ingredients:
2 chicken thighs
2 carrots
1/2 large onion
1 can chickpeas (I added the liquid from this as well)
2 tomatoes

1 thai bird chili
5 or so allspice berries
1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
5 or 6 small bay leaves
Pinch whole cloves
Pinch whole cumin seeds
A little chopped ginger
A little curry powder
A little ground tumeric
Squirt of honey

Put everything in crockpot. Add a bit of liquid (chicken broth, water)I put it on high for 4 hours, but you could probably throw everything together in the morning, put it on low, and return after work to food. I served it on couscous made instant style (approx equal parts boiling broth/water and couscous), though you can be fancy and steam the couscous. However, unless you're throwing a bit party and trying to impress people, I'd do it the instant way, since it's main role is going to be absorbing the stew broth.

This recipe is kind of basic, and is missing some flavors, though still pretty tasty. You can really go one of either ways based on what I've seen of tajines: You could add sour stuff, like lemon slices including the rind (you could use pickled lemons as well) and green olives (and maybe reduce the "sweeter" spices a bit). Or you could go the sweet-savory route, and add raisins (esp. golden/sultanas) and dried apricots (or apricots preserves).

And a random trivia note:
Nobody in the "Mashraq" "The East" of the Arab world (Egypt and east, basically, as opposed to "al-Maghrib" "The West" basically most of North Africa) would refer to the grain served with this dish as "couscous" since that would sound like an incredibly dirty word repeated twice in the dialects in those regions. Instead, they called it "maftoul" for the small kind, and "maghribi" for the larger kind. Ain't language fun?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Kunafa

Someone just asked me for this recipe, so I figured I'd put it online as well:

Kunaafa كنافة

Main dessert:
• Cheese- I recommend something fairly flavorless- either get special cheese at the Arab market, or mozzarella (without salt is probably best)- As much as you want.
• Shredded Filo dough(probably one package is good)
• 2 sticks butter
Syrup:
• 1.5 cups sugar
• ¾ cup water
• Optional:
- 1 tsp. rose water
- 1 tsp. lemon juice


Main dessert:
1. Melt butter
2. Rip Filo pastry into slightly smaller chunks
3. Pour melted butter over Filo pastry- mix thoroughly
4. Butter baking dish.
5. Crumble cheese into pan
6. Put Filo on top of cheese
7. Put pan in oven at 425 until cheese is melted and Filo is golden brown.

Syrup:
1. Mix sugar and water
2. Cook until syrupy.
3. Add rose water and/or lemon juice
4. Cook a tad longer.
5. Pour over cooked kunaafa (individually or on the same thing)

Notes:
- You can put pistachios over the kunaafa as well.
- To keep it warm, you can put the pan over a pot of simmering water. This works best if you make it in a metal pan, since it will conduct the heat better.
- A visual presentation(with some variations- crème instead of cheese, sandwiched style) can be found at:
http://www.uaekitten.com/goodies/hungry/esp4guys/konafah.html
- The sugar syrup proportions are kind of made up. Just see what works.

Here's a picture of a slice of the stuff:


And here's a picture of it from my kitchen:

Making Pelmeni, Basic Pasta Dough

For mom's birthday I decided to make her some pelmeni (Russian dumplings) with my awesome new pelmeni-maker. I learned about this clever device when we had crazy Russian neighbors on Jackson Street, and the babushka of the house invited us over and made a batch of pelmeni. I hadn't come across the mold in any of the Russian stores around town so I turned to eBay and sure enough I found it there. I ordered it and it was delivered within 3 weeks for under $25. It's a fantastic way to decrease the labor involved in making tasty, tasty little dumplings.






<--My fabulous pelmeni mold!








The instructions that came with it were very poorly translated into English, but Joe's roommate was able to translate them much better from the original Russian. So far I've only made meat-filled pelmeni, but the possibilities for fillings are boundless and could involve potatoes, vegetables, kasha, or whatever you can think up. Here's the step-by-step process I used with recipes along the way:

The Dough

This is a basic egg pasta dough and can be used for making noodles or dumplings of any kind.

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
cold water
extra flour for kneading

Mix the flour and salt. In a large bowl or directly on the counter, form the flour into a pile with a well in the center . Crack the eggs into the well. With one hand, mix the dough until it starts to combine. Add the cold water with your other hand until the dough begins to cohere. Start kneading, adding flour as necessary to keep it fromsticking, until the dough is smooth and fairly stiff. Wrap in plastic wrap or a moist towel and allow to rest for 1 hour or more.

After the dough's rested, pinch off golf-ball sized pieces for each round to line the pelmeni mold. When rolling out the dough, add LOTS of flour to keep it from sticking. If you add enough flour you can manipulate the dough with ease, folding or rolling it up when need be.

If you're not making pelmeni, simply roll the dough out nice and thin and either cut it with a pasta maker or use a knife. To cut with a knife you can do it free-hand or roll up large sheets of rolled-out dough into tubes and slice crosswise into whatever width you like. You will wind up with little curled up noodle spirals, which you should gently unravel and toss with flour too keep them from sticking while you're working. See the photo here. Either freeze them at this point for later use, or boil them in salted water until they rise to the top.

NOTE: For mom I made the dough with spelt flour, which works pretty well but is very delicate due to the low protein content. The higher the protein content of the flour, the more water you'll need to add and the more pliable the dough will be.

Basic Meat Filling

1 lb ground meat (half pork/half beef or chicken are good options)
1 medium onion
a good handful of parsley
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Place the onion and parsley in a food processor with the blade attachment and mince finely. Otherwise do your best with a knife. Add the meat, salt, and pepper and chop together until fine but not pureed.

Assembling the Pelmeni

1. Roll out the dough so that it is very thin, less than 1/8". Place the dough over the mold and allow it to relax into the holes for a minute or so.















2. Place 1/2 tsp. filling in each hole.















3. Roll out another circle of dough and place this over the filled mold. Gently press each circle of the mold so that the bottom layer of dough stretches to accommodate the filling.















4. Roll a rolling pin over the mold, pressing down hard so that the dough is cut on the edge of each dumpling. Work from the outside in, being careful not to rupture any of the cells or leave any un-rolled.















5. Remove the excess dough and make sure the rolling was complete.















6. Turn the mold upside down and knock/poke out the dumplings. Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once they are frozen through, store them in a ziploc bag. They should last for many months.















Cooking the Pelmeni

To cook them, throw the frozen pelmeni into salted boiling water. Boil them until they float and wrinkle up a bit, about 5-10 minutes. The simplest way to serve them is tossed with melted butter, and it is traditional to dress them with some vinegar as well.


You can boil and drain them and fry them in fat, with or without meat and/or vegetables.

You can also serve them in broth, either boiling them in the broth or adding it separately. The water from boiling them can serve as broth in a pinch, especially if one of the dumplings spills its contents.

They are so tender and delicious that it's best to keep your broth simple. I like to pick one vegetable as an accompaniment, such as carrots or leafy greens. This picture was made with the following recipe:















Boil 20-30 pelmeni in well-salted water for 10 minutes. Meanwhile steam some carrot pieces. Reserve 1 cup of the water from boiling. Heat up some chicken broth. Combine the chicken broth, pelmeni water, carrots, pelmeni with 2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar, black pepper, and a handful of chopped chives.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Fettuccine alla Carbonara

This might just be the perfect weeknight meal.

Have you ever thought to yourself, "wouldn't it be awesome if there was a combination of scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese that also contained ham and only took about half an hour to make?" Then this is the recipe for you! It's incredibly simple and deeply satisfying. Make this and a simple vegetable side and you'll be full for hours and possibly even ready to run a marathon.

My version is fairly close to the original Italian style, but with more locally available ingredients. Instead of pancetta I used diced ham, and instead of romano cheese I used sharp white cheddar. Some recipes complicate things by adding peas or parsley, but really it's supposed to just be noodles, eggs, cheese, black pepper, and a little ham (you could even use leftover roast fowl instead). I'm an overachiever, so I made my pasta from scratch, but this is still totally delicious with boxed noodles.

TIP:
You must remember to reserve some of the pasta boiling water. This is useful in a number of recipes and the way I do it is to put a cup in the colander when I'm setting up so that when I pour out the noodles I can't help but see the cup and remember to fill it.

1 lb. fettuccine
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. diced pancetta, ham, or thick bacon
3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
3/4 c. grated parmesan
1/4 c. grated romano or white cheddar
lots of salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 c. pasta boiling water

Set a large pot of water on to boil and salt it well. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry your pork product of choice until crispy, reserving any drippings for later. Beat the eggs well with some salt and pepper.

Boil the noodles until al dente and reserve 1 c. of the water you boiled them in. Drain the noodles and quickly return them to the pot they were boiled in. Add the eggs and toss with the noodles to combine well. The heat of the noodles will cook the eggs. Quickly toss in the cheese, ham, ham drippings, and several grinds of black pepper. If you need to loosen the noodles up a bit while tossing, add some of the water from boiling a couple of tablespooons at a time (you won't need a full cup). Ta da! It's very rich, so don't heap too much on your plate unless you're famished.

Bonus pasta-making photo.