Sunday, May 1, 2011
Tiny pillowy goodness!
I swear, SRW posts will be coming up soon. Gotta get all those pics organized first.
SO, in the meantime, GNOCCHI!!!
One of my favorite Italian foods. Which is saying something, because I love pretty much all Italian foods.
And it's surprisingly simple. Of course, way back when I first tried gnocchi, I still had practically no concept of how to turn raw ingredients into cooked food, so my awe may have been a bit skewed.
It's a dough made of flour, an egg or two, and some baked potato, all mixed together. If I were Italian, or had an Italian grandmother, I'd probably be able to talk for hours about the little techniques and tricks that are necessary to make perfect gnocchi...but as this was my first time (and I haven't had enough experience to talk for hours about my own thoughts on the matter), this is all you get. (Be glad!)
You take a hunk of your dough, roll it into a rope of your desired thickness, and slice it into individual dumplings. Then, to get those cute little ridges, take 2 forks, and make them spoon (wait...fork?) with one of the gnocchi in between them.
A single, gentle (but firm!) roll along the fork prongs is all it needs. And, actually, I found that all I needed to do was sort of squish it down a bit on the sticky sides (where it was cut from the dough) and that made enough of a ribbed definition for me.
(Aside: reading over that paragraph, I'm realizing how silly writing cooking instructions can be. I like to think that I have strong writing skills, but it's so much more effective to actually show someone how to cook something.)
Hopefully, there's enough detail for you to see on there. I'm still scrubbin' it, photography-wise, so for now, I'm stuck with editing the shit out of Pax's iphone pictures. Le sigh.
I swear, though, this is way better than the original photo. Now you can actually see the horribly unflattering yellow cast of our kitchen when it's dark outside! Instead of just seeing...dark blurs. I know, it's a very exciting improvement.
Right, so once you have your gnocchi, you can do whatever you'd like with it! I decided to pan-fry mine in butter, because that's how I roll.
Then I toasted some walnuts...
...and made a cream sauce, tossing in some fresh chopped parsley at the end.
(Please forgive the slight blur...again, these are iphone photos.)
In retrospect, I could have pan-fried the gnocchi for less time, then let them simmer in the sauce to finish cooking. More of a time-management issue than a technical/textural one, though.
And then, if you want to be super gluttonous (and I always do), after your very substantial bowl of hearty potato dumplings, you can sneak back to the kitchen, see that there's just a few spoonfulls of (very tasty) sauce in the pan, and rationalize to yourself what your about to do, for the sake of not wasting good food.
So, you're going to crisp up some (butter-slathered) bread under the broiler.
Then, do this:
And bask in the glory of hedonism. Quickly, though, before your digestive system realizes what you're shoving its way!