Monday, February 20, 2012

Gnocchi: Fun to Say, Easy to Prepare, Adorable in Every Way.

I have a fondness for carbs in all their glorious shapes and textures. Gnocchi is something I have been known to crave. I order it often when dining out, but have never made it from scratch, until now. This is an adaptation from this Epicurious recipe. Here's how it went down:

Bake 4-5 Russet potatoes at 450 for an hour, or until tender. Scoop out the innards and mash. Mix in one egg yolk, 1/2 tsp of salt, a few grinds of pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and 7-8 tablespoons of flour until you have a nice dough that holds together. Divide into four pieces and roll into logs about 18 inches long. The expression "easy as pie" should really be changed to "easy as gnocchi". Because pie is not easy. 

Cut into 1/2 inch dumplings and roll each piece with a fork to achieve those adorable lines, which will be the vessel for the awesomesauce.
Cook them in a large pot of salted water (in small batches) just until they rise to the top. I overcooked my first batch and served those to the kids, smothered in Parmesan cheese. They loved them.

For the sauce:
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet. Add chopped red pepper (I used half of a large pepper), 2 chopped shallots, 12 ounces sliced mushrooms and 1 tablespoon of freshly chopped sage. Saute until brown. Add 1 3/4 cup of chicken stock and reduce for 10 minutes, give or take. Season to taste.

Add gnocchi to sauce and cook until heated through. Add 3 cups of chopped arugula and cook until wilted. Plate up and drizzle with truffle oil, if you have it on hand.

Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and you are left with this:
If I ever have another child, I will name him or her, Gnocchi. Mark my words.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

You'll Like This if You Like Spinach. And Who Doesn't?

I'm not going to do a lot of writing in this post, because I even bore myself. A post will be coming soon about how lame I am. But for now, dinner. Portabello Mushrooms with Creamy Spinach-Artichoke Filling, adapted from this recipe.

Portabellos, brushed with garlic, olive oil and roasted for 10 minutes.
Cream cheese, Greek yogurt, thyme, red pepper flakes.
 Then you add spinach (I used fresh and sauteed it in leftover garlic olive oil) and chopped artichokes. Top with a blend of Parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, more thyme and garlic olive oil.

 Bake for 10-12 minutes and dinner is served.

This is the reaction you will get upon serving this dish.

Actually, the kids had scrambled eggs and spinach for dinner and this definitely was NOT the reaction. But your adult guests will love this.

Peace. Over and out.