Wednesday, February 17, 2010

From Rosti to Gnocchi


Last week, I thought of making a recipe to be submitted for another website but sometimes things are beyond your control. Plan A was to make a cauliflower and sweet potato soup with roasted cauliflowers and stilton walnut toast. But my blender broke down. Plan B was sweet potato rosti, a walnut and gorgonzola quenelle with sprout salad. But after steaming and grating the sweet potatoes, they turned into a mash. Initially, I wanted to grate the sweet potatoes, squeeze the water out before frying them. But I usually steam my regular potatoes before grating and cooking them. But sweet potatoes and regular starchy potatoes are two different things with different texture. So, as I was grating the rest of the sweet potatoes, I decided to make some gnocchi (considered plan C). Making gnocchi is a therapeutic activity and the rolling of each piece of “pillows” is the fun and relaxing part. The last time I made gnocchi was more than a year ago. That long, eh?



I started with 600 grams of cooked mashed sweet potatoes, added 1 egg yolk and enough flour to form a dough. I didn’t measure the flour but just rely on the touch and feel of the dough. When the dough doesn’t stick to my hands anymore, also making sure that I don’t use a lot, I cook a piece in simmering water to check the consistency which is an important thing to do before shaping the rest of the gnocchi. You can also use some whole wheat pastry flour but note that the dough will be heavier with a chewier texture. But for this recipe, I went for all-purpose flour. It’s not also necessary to use a gnocchi board but my former chef instructor gave it to me and I just love using them.



Rouxbe Online Cooking School has a great video in making potato gnocchi. Once you’ve learned the basics of making a basic gnocchi, you won’t need to rely on gnocchi recipes anymore. The water content of the potatoes would vary from one place to another. And the older the potato, the less moisture they have, so the amount of flour needed in making gnocchi is not written in stone. I’ve learned to make a proper gnocchi in cooking school. But I never had the chance to make it in practical kitchen until I joined a competition. That’s when I started to love making gnocchi.


I tossed this gnocchi with some Chinese Broccoli and feta cheese but when I saw this Gnocchi al Gongonzola by Frank at Memoire di Angelina, I got to have a bowl of it. I think the sweet potato gnocchi and the blue cheese go well together but as Frank says, try to "use gorgonzola dolce which is young, creamy and quite mild in flavor as opposed to gorgonzola piccante, which is aged longer, resulting in a firmer texture and sharper taste". And I also love my gnocchi with a lot of sauce.


The first bite is just pure heaven with the umami-saltiness of the cheese and finished with the innocent sweetness of the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes do have a monotonous flavor so a sauce with a little bit of pungency is just perfect.



Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce

Gnocchi
600 grams sweet potatoes (about 3 medium)
2 tsp water
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg yolk
1- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Unrefined sea salt (fine)
freshly grated nutmeg

Sauce
2 tbsp butter
1 to 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (about 120 grams)
unrefined sea salt, to taste
freshly ground white pepper

To make the gnocchi, follow this text recipe and the video at Rouxbe Online Cooking School. Once you've learned how to make gnocchi, you won't need a recipe. I promise!

To cook the gnocchi, bring a pot of water to a gentle simmer and add the salt. Then, add the gnocchi and gently stir to make sure they’re not sticking to the bottom of the pot. While the gnocchi is cooking, prepare the sauce.

To prepare the sauce, remove the rind from the blue cheese and cut into cubes. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the butter. When the butter is melted add the cream and the cheese and cook until the cheese has melted and the cream has thickened slightly. Season with salt to taste.

To serve the dish, lift out the gnocchis from the water as soon as they float to the top. Allow the excess water to drain and gently add them to the sauce. Gently toss the mixture in the pan until they are coated

Spoon onto 4 individual bowls and serve immediately. Gnocchi waits for no one so dive in.



Notes:
  • Sometimes I make my gnocchi first before measuring them by weight. I allow 150 to 200 grams of gnocchi per person depending on the other components of the meal. I find that it's easier that way instead of measuring how much ingredients you need to make a batch of gnocchi. But it's just my personal opinion. At the restaurant where I used to work in Vancouver, I have a colleague named Bruce who just gathers the potatoes and makes the gnocchi before weighing them per serving. You can do the same. :) So, for this dish, I used about 150 grams of gnocchi with 1/3 cup of heavy cream and about 25 grams of cheese.

  • If cream is to heavy and filling for you, substitute with whole milk. (no skim or non-fat, please).

  • You can also finish dish this with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

  • Gnocchi cools down quickly. You can place individual bowls in a preheated oven at the lowest setting to keep your bowls warm.
Enjoy.

Love and light,



Print Recipe


22 comments:

  1. Whah....you've brightened my day cooking my favourite dish! I wish I can have the whole bowl :D The gnocchi looks gorgeous...mmmm. I need to give a try.

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  2. Wow Divina, your gnocchi is so perfect! I hope I get it right.

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  3. that is an impressive work! And it looks delicious.

    I have tried twice to make gnocchi (once with potatoes, the other time with ricotta) and I failed both times.

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  4. Fab! Sweet potato is a nice little idea and with cheese? YUM! And you are right a bout the amt. of flour. I seldom weigh the amt of flour used. It depends on the potato and the hands.

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  5. lovely! i can tell from reading how much you seem to enjoy making it, probably a much healthier therapy then my baking therapy :) looks delicious and beautiful as always :)

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  6. these look fantastic! I'm so curious about the taste that I'll have to give them a try :)

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  7. I must look for the gnocchi board. Looks like a fun thing to make. The sweet potatoes give it such a beautiful golden color. I must try this!

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  8. that looks sooo good ..the gnochhi is a beautiful colour...truly 24 carat gold nuggets!!

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  9. I have never had this particular gnocchi dish but I can already tell that it's a perfect combination! I have only make gnocchi once (potato) but I love sweet potatoes so I will have to try this one out one day :)

    Love the color of your gnocchi too :)

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  10. Divina this is beautiful! I've never had gnocchi before but my goodness these are the most beautifully made gnocchi I've ever seen. yummy!!!

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  11. This dish is divine! Gnocchi is on my list of things-to-make-for-the-first-time so I'm going to bookmark this post as a guide and inspiration! Thanks for the link to the video tutorial but you certainly make it sound easy enough for me to do. 8-)

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  12. wow wow......You have made some most yummy gnocchi in the world! Thumbs up for you!!

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  13. I've never had gnocchi although it's one of those things I've always wished I'd ordered at a restaurant or bought at the supermarket. Bout time i tried it because this looks so goood! x

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  14. you made me miss gnocchi! i learned to make fresh pasta when I took a basic pasta class, and my faves were ravioli and gnocchi. i have to do this soon as I just bought a big orange camote (sweet potato) so great timing, now i just need to find the time...

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  15. Hi Divine!! It's been awhile, it's so nice to read your blog again..that gnocchi sure looks yummy, I want some now...I love sweet potatoes, I can't seem to find that variety-golden yellow and sweet that's the best! love the blue cheese too, looks so creamy and dreamy... I could eat alone..yum :)

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  16. Wow Divina, your gnocchi looks amazing, beautiful pictures.

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  17. I love gnocchi. I've never thought of making them with sweet potatoes. What a wonderful idea! And with gorgonzola--perfect.

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  18. The gorgonzola sauce sounds so fabulous with the gnocchi, definitely a must try!

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  19. Great job, Divina! The homemade gnocchi looks perfectly done and inviting.

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  20. Your gnocchi sounds so yummy! I've never tried it before but it's on my list! I love that little contraption you have that puts the ridges on the gnocchi. I need to find one of those!

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  21. I have never made gnocchi but it is on my to do list! Yours are beautiful!

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  22. I am SO behind in my blog reading, it's pathetic! Well I'm glad I caught up enough to see this, your gnocchi are things of beauty.

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Your comments, suggestions, feedback are all welcome.