Sunday, December 6, 2009

Jeanne Shows Us How to Make Gnocchi

Jeanne arrived Chris's for the cooking fest with three potatoes wrapped in a paper towel. She had microwaved them in advance. So, that's the first step and the first thing I learned about gnocchi. Potatoes are the key ingredient.

The second step was to find the food mill and

wrangle the potatoes through the mill (John helped)

until you get a nice big pile of riced potatoes.

Next step is to pull up Grandma V's recipe on the computer to get the proportions just right. 3 cups of riced potatoes, 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 egg and 2 T. olive oil. The ingredients are simple. It's all in the technique.

Combine the egg with the olive oil.

Add the flour to the riced potatoes.

Make a well in the center then add the egg and olive mixture and combine.

Turn dough on to a large floured surface and shape into a ball.

Start to knead using the heal of your hands and folding it towards you and pushing down and away.

Continue until it is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed.

The dough should bounce back when pushed with your finger.

This is perfect.

Next Jeanne begins to roll out long ropes

that will be cut into bite-size (about 1 inch) gnocchi.

The gnocchi are dusted with flour then rolled and pressed with fingers to create an indentation. I think this is done to create a way for the gnocchi to hold the sauce. It is sort of like rolling and pinching at the same time.

Here is the first batch of pinched gnocchi.

Then the process is repeated. Cutting off another section.

Rolling it out and then cutting into 1 inch sections, then dusting and pinching.

She spread them out on cookie sheets.

And popped them into the freezer.

When they were completely frozen (about 20 minutes) we could have bagged them in plastic bags for future use, but we cooked them for dinner.

To cook, bring a generous pot of salted water to boil. Add the frozen gnocchi and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Remove when they float to the top.

Jeanne, I hope I remembered everything you taught us. It's been a few months since we had the cooking fest. They were great with the Roasted Tomatoes!

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