Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Gnocchi

All,
Here is one of my favorite Italian things to eat: gnocchi.

For those of you who don't know, gnocchi are basically little potato dumplings.  They are incredibly easy to make and work with a number of different sauces and garnishes. 

Please note that while the recipe looks long, I always write recipes in bullet point form and I also like to write things out as simply as possible so it is easier for those who are not culinarily inclined.

Happy cooking



Gnocchi

Serves 4



Ingredients                                  Amount

Idaho potato                               1 ea

Whole egg                                  1 ea

Flour                                          @ ¾ cup....enought to make a dough not sticky

Salt and pepper                          to taste


Procedure:

-Preheat oven to 350F

-Wrap the potato in foil and bake for an hour or until tender

-Make sure you have a clean and dry counter with @ 3 feet of space to work on. A wooden counter is ideal but not a requirement

-While the potato is baking, put approximately 1 gallon of water on high heat to boil

-Place a food mill in a mixing bowl large enough to hold the food mill

-Once the potato is cooked, remove the foil, place a folded towel in your hand and peel the potato using a small knife and your thumb. If you are careful you will not burn your thumb.

-Slice the potato up and place in the food mill

NOTE: This must be made right after the potato comes out of the oven, don't let the potato cool

-Pass the potato through the food mill and mix in the egg and seasoning

-Place some flour on your work surface and add the potato-egg mixture, more flour and seasoning.

-Mix everything together as if you were kneading bread until all ingredients are incorporated.

-Add more flour if necessary. You want the dough to be moist but not sticky

-Tear off a piece of the dough and cook it in boiling water until it floats and taste it. Adjust seasoning as necessary

-Take some of the dough and roll out the dough back and forth with the palm of your hands until it is the thickness of a thick cigar. Don't press down, let the motion of your hands form it

-Get a bowl of ice water ready that is large enough to accomodate a strainer or colander

-Cut the dough into pieces about and inch or two wide using a dry knife or dough cutter

-Put the dough pieces in the boiling water and cook until they are floating

-Remove them with a strainer and place in the ice water, repeat the process with remaining dough

-Remove the gnocchi from the ice water once cooled, drain and toss with a little olive oil so they don't stick. Keep in the refrigerator until ready for use.


To serve:

Either drop the gnocchi in boiling water or saute in a non-stick pan, finishing in the oven until hot and serve with your choice of sauce:



Here are some suggestions of what to serve with gnocchi

-Tomato sauce topped with ricotta and parmesan

-Parmesan cream sauce

-Cream sauce with gorgonzola

-Sauteed mushrooms, roasted garlic, smoked bacon and demi glace

-Use as a garnish to top beef, lamb or chicken stew

-Toss with any type of pesto

-Spicy tomato sauce with roasted peppers, caramelized onions and herbs

-Mushroom cream sauce with herbs

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