Chris' Recipes

Bon Appetite!

Gnocchi

Written By: Chris - Mar• 01•12

Gnocchi has become one of my ultimate food finds and what I seek out these days at fine restaurants.  I just love to eat it and it can be flavored so many ways!  Who knew? I was inspired and determined to make it myself after eating out at one of our favorite Minneapolis restaurants: Bar La Grassa!   They serve a Gnocchi with Cauliflower and Orange and it is to die for!

I prepared it as a side dish along with Garlic Shrimp on the BBQ.  It wasn’t theirs, but it was DELICIOUS!  I went on a hunt to find the best and easiest looking recipes.  I tried to find instructions which had tools and food items that I have on hand.  I ended up following one which was extremely detailed for the most part, so I give my hats off to 101 Cookbooks and a post from 2007.  It was very helpful!

I’ll do my best to share my experience!

Ingredients:

2 large Russet Potatoes
1/4 Cup egg (one egg)
1 Cup all-purpose flour
Kosher Salt

Fill a pot with cold water and salt it.  Add potatoes (skins on) that have been cut in half.  Bring the water and potatoes to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.  This takes roughly 45 minutes.

 

Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon. Place each potato piece on a large cutting board and peel each potato one at a time as soon as possible after removing from the water before moving on to the next potato.  As each potato is peeled, run it through your food mill.

 

Save the potato water.

Let the potatoes cool spread out across the cutting board so they are cooled enough that the egg won’t cook when it is incorporated into the potatoes.

Put the potatoes into a soft mound and drizzle with the beaten egg

Sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour over the top.

 

Using a metal spatula and/or large pastry scraper incorporate the flour and eggs into the potatoes.  Be sure to make sure the egg is incorporated throughout.   Continue to scrape underneath and fold over until the mixture is a light crumble.

Then very gently knead the dough. You may need to add more flour just a sprinkle at a time if your dough is feeling tacky. (I used the remaining 1/4 cup flour and possibly even added a bit more.)  The dough should be moist but not sticky.

For what ever reason I was thinking that the two potatoes didn’t sound like much and because I was hoping for left overs….  I doubled the recipe…  I won’t do that again unless I have a lot of people joining us for dinner because it made a lot!  I ended up freezing the little dumplings on a cookie sheet individually and then froze them in dinner size portions.  I later prepared them by boiling them later and they were very good, but we prefer the texture of eating them right away.  It’s just a little bit different.

Cut it into 8 pieces. (remember, mine is 16 because I doubled it) Gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a log roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife or your pastry cutter into pieces every 3/4 inch and dust with a bit more flour.

I took the time to shape each gnocchi because the instructions said so.  My understanding is that the purpose is that the little impressions will catch sauce.  I held a fork in one hand and placed each gnocchi pillow against the lines of the fork.  I dipped the fork in flour each time, and used my thumb and press in and down the length of the fork.  It was supposed to curl into a slight “C” shape, but I felt like I sort of just smashed them even though I was VERY gentle.  I ended up using a lot more flour to dust them and set them aside until ready to boil them. Each and every time that I’ve ordered them out since at a variety of restaurants, they have not had the impressions, so I’ll skip this step moving forward!

Reheat your potato water to a boil. Cook the gnocchi in batches by dropping them into the boiling water.  Don’t over crowd the pan.  You will know they are cooked because they will raise up to the top and float.  This doesn’t take very long!  Remove them out of the water a few at a time with a slotted spoon ten seconds or so after they’ve surfaced.

 

I have tossed mine in pesto that I made from scratch.  Honestly don’t know if I would go through that much work again as you can often find delicious pesto at the market.  You can toss them in whatever sauce  sounds good to you. The gnocchi I recently ordered at a little place in Yountville, CA was in a light white wine sauce and had some wonderful vegetables including mushrooms, zucchini, Klamata (Greek) olives, capers, etc. with some fresh herbs.  Delicious! 

This sauce was made by reducing chicken stock, sautéed shallots, fresh garlic, a bit of cream and the pesto.  I added slivered cauliflower just at the end to cook al dente prior to tossing it.

 

Serve immediately, top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Cheers!
~Chris

 

 

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