Saturday, November 11, 2006

Gnocchi

Pronounced "nyoh-kki", gnocchi might be the most beautiful stuff on the planet; creamy, chewy, light and satisfying, gnocchi is the Italian word for dumpling, originally derived as the plural of "gnocco", which is literally translates as "lump". Yes, the derivation of its name may not be the most enthralling ever, but that aside they are damned tasty. Why am I telling you this? Well, to be honest, I'm not. This particular blog post is more of a reference for myself than anything else, as, this very evening (well, it was atleast still Saturday when I started writing this, can't say it will be when I finish!) I made home made gnocchi. It was delicious, although a little too nutmeggy. With these home made potato dumplings, my good friend and house mate, Emma, made the sauce in which they were coated, and here, within this blog, I hope to equate, in rought terms atleast, how I made them, for future reference.

Ingredients:

for the gnocchi:
  • A few desiree potatoes (personal preference, use whatever potato you want, but desiree are my favourite as they mash/cream very well, and, to be specific, I used 4 medium sized ones when making this)
  • One egg
  • Plain flour
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
for the sauce:

  • Butter/margerine
  • Sage
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
And here's how you do it:

  1. Wash the potatoes and boil them for something in the region of 30-45 minutes. Skewer them frequently to ensure they are cooked all the way through. NB: for those new to cooking potatoes, this should be when the potato offers little resistance when jabbed. In order to gauge this I recommend stabbing a raw potato with a skewer, afterwards you can guage it for yourself. As an aside: the skins of desiree potatoes, as far as I know, tend to split if they are being boiled in them. Do not worry about this.
  2. Once cooked, drain the potatoes (in a colander, preferably) and rinse thoroughly with the chillest water that escheweth forth from yon cold tap of the sink. When it doesn't hurt to pick up a potato anymore, take a potato from the colander and remove the skin. Place the potatoes into a bowl and mash with fervour!
  3. Crack the egg and mash into the potatoes.
  4. Grate in nutmeg to taste. I wouldn't recommend anything more than a nutmeg. If you don't have whole nutmegs to hand then use some ready-ground stuff. Be sparing though, it's only to cover up the taste of the flower.
  5. Add salt and pepper to your liking, and mash vigorously once more.
  6. Add flour, a spoonful at a time, mashing and mixing between spoonfuls. When the mix appears to have a doughy consistency (think bread) then your gnocchi dough is ready to use!
  7. Spread flour on the surface you're working on, flour your hands, and grab a handful of dough from the bowl. Customarily this is meant to be rolled out into a long tube and then cut into little pillowy shapes, but you can do what you like really. Stick to small sizes regardless of the shape though, big ones take longer to cook and are somewhat more difficult to eat. Once you have as many little blobs of dough as you like, put on a plate, seperate from eachother to ensure they don't stick.
  8. Put a pan of salted water on to come to the boil while you prepare the sauce.
  9. Take frying pan and melt in it a spoonful (or a knob or two, it's all about how you want it to be really. If you want to be sparing with it, that's fine, but just make sure the other stuff doesn't end up getting burnt to the pan). Once melted, add roughly four roughly torn sage leaves (but hey, don't make it TOO roughly torn, you just want little bits of sage, as much for presentation as taste y'know!) and some chopped garlic. Cook until the garlic starts to brown slightly if you're going for a full flavour, or stir until golden brown to caramelise, reduce flavour and add a slightly spicey kick to it (the spicey bit comes from the fact that the garlic is slightly burnt).
  10. While keeping the sauce warmed (shouldn't actually matter too much if it gets a little cold), carefully (!) place the gnocchi into the boiling water. Have a slotted spoon ready to scoop the gnocchi out, as they float and bob along the surface of the pan when they are ready (magic, I know! Self timing food!) and, straight from the pot, place the gnocchi into the frying pan with the sauce in it, swirl it around and leave it. Continue until all the gnocchi have risen to the top, but remember to remove them as soon as they float for a sustained length of time, rather than just bobbing around. Once all the gnocchi have been covered in sauce, they're ready to serve! Enjoy immediately with a healthy topping of finely grated parmesan.
And there you have it, Joe Beaver learns to cook.

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In other news, university is going pretty well. The work gets harder and comes more thickly, and I have assessed work sometime very soon.

Oh god.

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Loving you all, peace out.

1 comment:

V. said...

I did it I did it!

And I didn't burn the kitchen down or my hair or anything; plus, it was incredibly yummy.

Ooh Joe.