Monthly Archives: May 2016

Gnocchi

If prepared correctly, gnocchi can be transcendent. Pillow-y soft, potato-y, and the perfect vehicle for whatever sauce you decide to dress them in. If not prepared correctly, they’ll sink to the bottom of your gut like a lead sinker. I’ve made both, and it was several attempts before I finally came up with a consistent recipe. I believe the King Arthur pasta flour blend (you could try 00 flour, too, but then you’d have to finagle with the measurements) that I use is the key to a tender gnocchi. It’s softer and finer than all-purpose flour.

The most memorable gnocchi dish I have ever had the pleasure of tucking into was many years ago at The French Laundry in Napa Valley. They were fried crisp on the outside and exquisitely tender on the inside. Sort of like a well-made Belgian fry. The gnocchi were sharing their plate with summer squash, globe artichokes, crispy squash blossoms, and Greek basil. I’m sure the reason I recall the dish so vividly was not just because it was so darn delicious, but because of where we were, and who we were dining with on that magical night. Sigh.
Here’s what you’ll need –
Preheat oven to 425-degrees
3 russet potatoes
1 egg
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
2.5 oz. King Arthur pasta flour blend
Poke a few holes in the potatoes and roast for 1 hour, or until a knife pierces easily.

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Cut the potatoes in half and let some of the steam out for 5-10 minutes.

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Scoop the flesh out of the potatoes and put through a ricer into a big bowl.Add the salt, pepper, flour, and mix well.
Make a well in the center of the potato mixture.
Crack the egg into the middle of the empty well and scramble with a fork.
Integrate the egg with the flour mixture until you form a dough.
Make a log with the dough and sprinkle some flour on a cutting board.

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Place the log on the board and begin cutting off segments and rolling them into smaller logs.

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Using a knife, cut 1-inch segments off the smaller log and roll them across your gnocchi board, or off the ends of fork tines.
Boil in salted water (salty like the ocean) until they float to the top. Remove and add to whatever sauce you’re using. Heat the gnocchi up in the sauce so they soak up all that goodness like a sponge.

I dressed the gnocchi with a very simple tomato sauce and garnished it with a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese and a chiffonade of basil. Yummo!
Eat well!
April
“A recipe has no soul. You, as the cook, must bring soul to the recipe.” – Thomas Keller

Prosciutto and Cheddar Scones

We have new neighbors, and I wanted to welcome them to our neighborhood with something to snack on while they’re unpacking their mountain of boxes. Something that’s portable, filling, and could be eaten for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Scones hit all of those sweet spots, in my humble opinion.

 These are not your average scones. You know the kind that I’m talking about, scones that are as dry as Southern California (what El Nino) and requires a big cuppa coffee, or tea, to choke them down. These are super moist and delicious.

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8 ½ ounces (2 cups) of unbleached all-purpose flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

3 oz. (1/3 cup) grated cheddar cheese (I used Cotswald Cheddar and Chive)

3 oz. (1/3 cup) chopped prosciutto

¼ tsp. kosher salt

2 oz. (1/4 cup) cold butter, cut into pieces

2 large eggs (separate the yolk and white of one egg, reserve both)

7 oz. (3/4 cup + 2 tbsp.) heavy cream

1 tbsp. water

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly grease. Preheat the oven to 425-degrees.

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Cut the butter into the flour with your fingers. Work quickly so it stays somewhat cold.

Beat the egg and one yolk together until well integrated (the white will be reserved to brush the tops before baking).

Add the cheese and prosciutto to the flour bowl and mix.

Pour the cream and egg into the flour mixture.

Using a fork, combine all of the ingredients.

Put a dusting of flour on your right hand and finish mixing with your hand.

The dough will be quite sticky.

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Place the dough ball on a floured surface and push down with the palm of your hand (lightly floured) until you have a rectangle about ½ thick.

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Cut the rectangle into squares and then cut each square in half diagonally, so you have triangles.

Whisk the reserved egg white with a tbsp. of water.

Brush the tops of the scones with the egg white and water mixture.

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Bake for approx. 15 minutes until they’re golden brown. (time depends on your oven, so refer to photo). Enjoy!

Eat well!

April

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Burgers

 

There are so many veggies in this recipe that you could call it a veggie burger instead of a turkey burger. I developed this recipe when my youngest son was still repelled by all things that sprout from the earth. I would peel the zucchini and grate it into the turkey so there would be no offending green specks (the bell pepper, basil, and scallions came on the scene later). When you have a child who subsists strictly on white or beige food, you have to get clever with your chef-y tactics. Call it veggie tradecraft.

You could also skip the burgers and make a meatloaf. Just top with quality tomato sauce and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Bake in a 400-degree oven until the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

The zucchini and other veggies make the burgers nutritious and keep the lean turkey from drying out.  

1 small zucchini, grated fine

1 pound of ground turkey

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced small

3 scallions, green part only, sliced very thinly

½ cup panko crumbs

½ tsp. salt

ground pepper

1 egg, whisked well

¼ cup fresh basil, minced

Add zucchini, garlic, red pepper, panko, egg, basil, and turkey to a large bowl.

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Mix all of the ingredients together by hand and form patties (I was able to get 5 decent patties out of my meat mixture).

Push your thumb into the middle to create a well in each of the patties to stop them from bulking up in the middle. 

When cooking on a grill, it’s preferable to use a plancha (cast-iron griddle) or some other grill-safe flat surface. The burgers will be very loose and fall apart easily.

They’re done when the internal temperature reaches 160-degrees.

Eat well!

April

“I won’t be impressed with technology until I can download food.” – Author Unkown