Friday, May 23, 2008

Whimsical Vermicelli - Truly delicious pasta from the different corners of the world

Interesting Facts about Vermicelli

Are thin white slightly transparent rice noodles wound into a skein shape.

How and why this italian pasta got incorporated into the indian cuisine is not known and it is probable that the name was borrowed and applied to a similar product already in existence in India. Muslims consider the month of Ramadan as the holiest in their calendar. Austerity reigns in every home and the devout keep a fast from sunrise until sunset. A traditional sweet to eat after moonrise in Ramadan is made of fine vermicelli milk saffron and nuts.

Like all pasta vermicelli is made from wheatflour/ The dough is passed through machines with perforated cylinders which shape it into fine needles. These are fan or oven dried until hard and carefully packed to avoid breakage. Sometimes they are sold broken or roasted

As the name suggests vermicelli is worm like. It is fine hard pale beige in colour and sold in stick measurlng nearly 30cm. Venmicelli has a pleasant biscuit like aroma and taste which develops when it is fried in ghee or roasted.

Packed in cellophane or cardboard verrnicelli is widely available. It should keep well for 4 to 5 months.

culinary uses
Vermicelli milk pudding is extremely popular all over India. Vemmicelli also makes lovely addition to clear soup and some stews. It makes a great quick snack

Japanses Vermicelli

Translating as "spring rain," harusame are Japanese noodles made from soybean, rice or potato flour. They're available in Asian markets and many supermarkets. Harusame are also called CELLOPHANE NOODLES and Japanese vermicelli.

Spanish Vermicelli Recipe
1/2 lb vermicelli (angel hair nests). Vermicelli usually comes in 1 lb packages, so about 1/2 a package.
1/2 cup olive or grape seed oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
2 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups chicken broth
Salt and pepper


1 In a 9-inch frying pan (with lid), fry the vermicelli on both sides in hot oil until golden brown in color. Remove from pan.

2 In the same oil, brown the minced onion, add the chopped tomato. Add chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3 When broth is boiling, add vermicelli and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the vermicelli has soaked up the liquid, about 30 minutes.

Serves 4.

Sesame and Cilantro Vermicelli Salad Recipe

Honey Soy Dressing
1/4 cup grapeseed oil or corn oil
3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper or chili powder
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp soy sauce (less if using tamari which is more concentrated than soy sauce)

8 ounces of vermicelli, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup sliced and chopped red bell pepper
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 Cook the pasta in a large saucepan in salted boiling water, according to directions on pasta package. Drain but do not rinse.

2 While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a microwave-safe dish, heat the vegetable oil, sesame oil, and red pepper, in the microwave on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the honey and soy sauce and mix well.

3 Combine the drained pasta with the dressing in a large bowl until the pasta is well coated. Cover and chill for several hours.

4 When ready to serve, mix in the cilantro, peanuts, green onions and bell pepper. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Baked Vermicelli

Ingredients :

4 oz Vermicelli cooked and drained
4 tbl Butter
4 tbl Flour
1/4 cup Onion finely diced
16 oz Evoporated Skim Milk (3 small cans)
4 oz Colbyjack Cheese grated
4 oz Parmesan Cheese grated
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, Freshly Ground
3 dsh Tabasco Sauce
1 dsh White Pepper
1 dsh Cayenne Pepper
1 dsh Ground Nutmeg
2 x Eggs beaten
1/3 x To 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs

Method :
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain and place into a baking dish that has been buttered, oiled or sprayed with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a sauce pan, and add onions and saute until transparent. Add flour to make a roux and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the milk and stir until hot. Remove about a cup of the milk and set aside. Add the cheeses to the saucepan and continue stirring untill the cheese has melted.

Add the spices. Gradually add the eggs to the cooled reserved milk and beat until the eggs are incorporated.

Stirring continuously, add the eggs to the saucepan a little at a time. Continue stirring and cook until the sauce begins to thicken. Pour the cheese sauce over the vermicelli and sprinkle withe the breadcrumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown on top.

For a really neat looking dish, do a crust of breadcrumbs by layering the bottom and sides of the baking dish with beaten egg followed by a layer of breadcrumbs. Repeat several times. Then bake and unmold onto a serving plate.

Dry Sweet Vermicelli ( Sevian Sanja )

Ingredients :

4 tbl ghee
4 tbl raisins
4 tbl flaked almonds
300 gm vermicelli broken into short lengths
60 gm caster sugar
1 tsp cardamom powder

Method :
Heat the ghee in a pan and fry the raisins and the almonds until golden.

Remove with a slotted spoon.

In the same ghee fry the vermicelli until golden without allowing it to brown.

Add the sugar and mix well.

Sprinkle in a few drops of water stir and cook until soft adding a little water as necessary.

Take off the heat and stir in the cardamom powder.

The dish should be dry.

Serve warm garnished with the fried raisins and almonds.

Can be made richer with the addition of ghee and nuts.

Fried Vermicelli Noodles

Ingredients :

300 gm flour vermicelli noodles or 'mein seen'
100 gm small prawns - shelled
25 gm carrots - shredded
2 x Chinese black mushrooms - sliced thinly
50 gm white cabbage ('wong ngah pak')
25 gm bean sprouts
1/2 tbl chopped garlic
1 tbl oyster sauce
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 dsh monosodium glutamate
1 dsh pepper
1 x salt to taste
Enough water or stock

HEAT enough oil in a wok and deep-fry vermicelli (a bundle at a time) until golden. Remember that vermicelli turns golden very fast, in a matter of seconds. Remove and drain on absorbent kitchen paper. Plunge deep-fried vermicelli into a basin of cold water then drain well in a colander. (This is to remove the oil from the vermicelli.)

Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons oil in the wok and saute garlic until light brown. Add the prawns and all the vegetables and stir-fry well. Stir in vermicelli. Mix in seasoning and enough water or stock. Stir-fry well. Dish out and serve.

Footnote: This dish should come out rather damp but not soggy.

Serves 4

Kashmir Beef on Vermicelli

Ingredients :

500 gm Tenderbeef steak, eg rump, porterhouse or schnitzel
1 lrg kumara, peeled and diced finely
1 x capsicum, chopped
1 cup Wattie's stirfry vegetables
1 jar Sharwood's Korma cooking sauce
1/2 x 400 g can Samoa coconut cream
1 pkt San Remo vermicelli
1 tbl First Choice olive oil

Method :
Cook the pasta in boiling water until just tender.

Slice the Tenderbeef into small strips.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the beef and brown well.

Add the capsicum and stirfry vegetables, toss through to combine.

Mix together the cooking sauce and coconut cream.

Add to the meat and vegetables. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta and serve with the rich, fragrant beef over the top.

Add lemon slices and coriander leaves.

Kheer [Vermicelli Pudding]

Ingredients :

1 stk butter
2 handf very fine vermicelli
4 cup Milk
1 pt Whipping cream
1 handf raisins
3 tbl Sugar
4 x Almonds (optional) peeled
And thinly slice

Method :
1. Melt butter in 4 qt. pot
2. Break vermicelli into 3 inch pieces. Over low heat stir vermicelli into butter till it turns lightly brown.
3. Pour in the milk and stir over medium heat till the milk boils.
4. Put in the raisins, almonds and sugar.
5. Continue to cook under low heat for 10 minutes.
6. Add whipping cream and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
7. Remove from heat and when cool, chill in the refrigerator before serving

Mango Salsa Over Vermicelli

Ingredients :

8 oz Vermicelli or other fine
Strand pasta
1 3/4 cup Diced mangoes
3/4 cup Diced sweet red peppers
1/2 cup Diced red onions
1/2 cup Diced sweet green peppers
3 tbl Olive oil
3 tbl Lemon juice
2 tsp Crushed garlic
1/2 cup Chopped corander or parsley

Method :
1. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package instruction or until firm to the bite. Rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.

2. In bowl of food processor, combine mangoes, and all other ingrediants.

Process on and off just until finely diced. Pour over pasta; serve at room temperature.

TIP: Use a ripe sweet mango for a more intense flavor. If unripe, mangoes are unpleasantly sour. I have used papaya instead of mangoes. Make ahead))) Prepare salsa early in the day and refrigerate.

This will also allow it to develope more flavor.) Pour over pasta just before serving.

Vermicelli Pie
Ingredients :

6 oz Vermicelli
2 tbl Butter or margarine
1/3 cup Grated parmesan cheese
2 x Eggs, well beaten
1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup Chopped onion
1/4 cup Chopped green pepper
8 oz Can stewed tomatoes
1 x (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3/4 tsp Dried whole oregano
1/2 tsp Garlic salt
1 cup Cream-style cottage cheese
1/2 cup (about
2 oz ) shredded mozzarella
8 x To 12 pepperoni slices

Method :
Cook vermicelli according to package directions; drain. Stir butter and Parmesan cheese into hot vermicelli. Add eggs, stirring well. Spoon into a greased 10-inch pieplate. Use a spoon to shape noodles into a pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees, uncovered, for 9 minutes or until set.Combine beef, onion, and green pepper in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat until meat is browned, stirring to crumble; drain well. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and seasonings. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Spread cottage cheese evenly over pie shell. Top with meat sauce.

Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; sprinkle with mozzarella, and top with pepperoni. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8servings.

Spicy Meatballs with Tomato Vermicelli

Ingredients :

500 gm minced beef
1 cup mashed potato
2 tsp sambal oelek
1 tbl light soy sauce
1 tbl ground coriander
1 x teaspoongrean ground cumin
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 x egg lightly beaten
1/4 cup peanut oil
Tomato vermicelli
425 gm can tomatoes crushed
1 cup water
1 x onion chopped
2 clv garlic crushed
1 tbl light soy sauce
100 gm vermicelli

Method :
Combine beef in a bowl with potato sambal oelek soy sauce coriander cumin cardamom nutmeg and egg.

Shape tablespoons of mixture into balls.

Heat oil in a frying pan add meatballs in a single layer fry on all sides over medium heat until cooked through.

Drain on absorbent paper.

To make Tomato Vermicelli:

Combine undrained crushed tomatoes water onion garlic and soy sauce m a pan bring to the boil reduce heat to low simmer uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add vermicelli simmer for 3 minutes or until vermicelli is soft.
Serve with meatballs.

Serves 4

Vermicelli upma
vermicelli - 1 cup,
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp,
urud dal - 1/2 tsp,
gram dal - 1/2 tsp,
asafoetida - a pinch,
red chillies - 2,
oil - 5 tsp,
curry leaves - a bunch,
onion - 1 (optional)

Roast vermicelli in ghee/oil for 2 min until it becomes slightly white in color. Heat oil, add mustard seeds.
When it pops, add red chilies, urud dal, gram dal and asafoetida.Add curry leaves and finely chopped onions.
Add the roasted vermicelli .
Now add 2 cups water and leave it covered in low heat. Stir occasionally and cook until it becomes soft.
Roast cashews in little ghee and add it to the upma.
Serve hot
If onions are not added you may have to add 2 1/4 cups of water instead of 2 cups..

Now a vermicelli dish with a History!

Vermicelli Alla Sangiovannello (Midsummer Eve's Pasta

Ingredients :

3 x Salted anchovies or 6 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 x Garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Fresh red ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 sm Dried hot red chile pepper or 1/4, OR
1/4 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbl Capers
1/3 x Pitted and chopped black or green olives
2/3 cup Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt to taste
1 lb Spaghetti, vermicelli, or penne

Method :
If you are using salted anchovies, rinse them thoroughly under running water and strip away their bones. Then chop them coarsely. (If you are using oil-packed anchovy fillets, simply chop them.)

In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, gently sweat the garlic in the oil. When the garlic is soft, add the anchovies and cook, stirring with a fork and pressing the anchovies to dissolve them in the oil.

Add the chopped tomatoes and cook just long enough to soften them and release their juices. Add black pepper and, if you wish, the pepper flakes, and cook a few minutes more to blend the flavors. Stir in any of or all of the other possible ingredients - capers, olives, and parsley, reserving a little parsley for a garnish.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Drop in the pasta and cook until almost done - about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and turn it into the pan with the sauce. Stir to mix well and let the pasta finish cooking in the sauce, another 2 minutes. Turn into a heated serving bowl, garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.

In years past, on the night of June 24, the Feast of St. John or San Giovanni, true Baresi celebrated midsummer's eve by taking their tables outside and dining in the streets or on overhanging balconies from which they could call to each other and carry on conversations and flirtations.

"True" Baresi are denizens of the old town, living in the crowded warren of narrow streets and alleys and overarching white-washed walls that still curls like a North African medina around the harbor's edge beside the beautiful twelfth-century church of the city's protector, St. Nicholas of Nyra, now of Bari. (Even among themselves, the Baresi have a reputation for thievery so it's not at all surprising that they seem to have entered Christian history in the year 1087, when a group of Barese businessmen of the time stole into the Greek city of Myra on Turkey's Agean coast and made off with the relics of the local saint, Nicholas, whom they later set up as the patron of Bari. And, yes, he was the original Santa Claus.)

On this, the longest (or almost) night of the year, the traditional dish served is vermicelli, spaghetti, or penne with a simple sauce of oil, garlic, anchovies, and tomatoes. Some add capers, some hot chile peppers and parsley, some olives, either black or green, but the basic idea is a quick, fresh, simple dish that celebrates the flavors of summer.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I just have to try the sesame and cilantro vermicelli salad recipe... it looks too delicious!