Sunday, January 18, 2009
In order to focus on these projects, I will be taking a hiatus from blogging. I hope you will keep the blog bookmarked for some of the recipes I've included which are generally my favorites.
Live well and eat well!
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The recipe calls for store bought gnocchi. I'm sure that works well if you are in a hurry, but I figured I should do something productive on a Sunday afternoon besides napping. I made the gnocchi with some potatoes in my cupboard that were beginning to sprout so they had to be used. I found a totally easy recipe in Cooks' Illustrated.
|2||pounds russet potatoes (or other baking potato), washed|
|1 1/4||cups all purpose flour , plus more as needed|
|1||teaspoon salt, plus more for cooking liquid|
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake potatoes until a metal skewer slides easily through them, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size.
Hold potato with a pot holder or kitchen towel and peel it with a vegetable peeler or paring knife (see illustration 1); rice peeled potato into a large bowl. Peel and rice remaining potatoes. Cool until potatoes are no longer hot, about 15 minutes.
Sprinkle 1 1/4 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt over warm potatoes. Using your hands, work mixture into a soft, smooth dough. If dough is sticky (which is often the case), add more flour as needed, up to 1 1/2 cups total.
Roll about one-quarter of dough into a long 3/4-inch-thick rope. If rope won’t hold together, return it to bowl with remaining dough and work in more flour as needed. Repeat until all dough is rolled.
Cut rope of dough into 3/4-inch lengths (illustration 4). Holding butter paddle or fork in one hand, press each piece of cut dough against ridged surface with index finger to make an indentation in center. Roll dough down and off ridges and allow it to drop to work surface (illustrations 5, 6, and 7). (Gnocchi can be placed in a single layer on a baking sheet and
refrigerated for several hours. Or, baking sheet can be placed in freezer for about 1 hour. Partially frozen gnocchi can be transferred to plastic bag or container, sealed, and frozen for up to 1 month.)
Bring 4 quarts of water to low boil in large pot. Add 2 teaspoons salt or to taste. Add about one-third of the gnocchi and cook until they float, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (about 3 minutes for frozen gnocchi). Retrieve gnocchi with slotted spoon and transfer to warm, shallow serving bowl or platter. Repeat cooking process with remaining gnocchi; see related recipes for topping suggestions.
Friday, December 5, 2008
4 peeled and sliced potatoes
3 to 4 leeks peeled of the outer leaves and sliced (white part and tender green part)
1 T (yes, a tablespoon) salt
3 T butter
2 quarts of water (or stock or a mixture of stock and water)
A large handful of watercress
Put the water in a large pot. Add potatoes and leeks and salt. Simmer for 45 minutes. Add the cress. Simmer for 5 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor being careful not to burn yourself like I did. If you are using a blender, put a kitchen towel over the lid and hold it firmly. Pour soup back into pan. Add butter and stir until it melts. Season with black pepper and more salt if necessary.
Makes enough for a small army.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Side dishes are the best part of Thanksgiving. Someone gave me some sweet potatoes from a farm in Johnston County, but I ended up not using them until the weekend. I wanted to do something besides the usual sweet potato with marshmellow (yuck) or praline (yum) topping. One thing I remembered about visiting Australia years ago was that the Aussies seem to combine sweet potato and goat cheese fairly often. Since these are two of my favorite ingredients, I searched for a recipe and found this one from Epicurious.com which also features truffle oil. How could it possibly not taste good? It turned out very well indeed.
The tartness of the goat cheese complimented the sweetness of the potatoes and also made them very creamy. Truffle oil is truly a wonder. I put it on just about everything I can think of including frozen pizza and mashed white potatoes as well as pasta. It's outrageously expensive but it lasts a while since only a few drops are necessary for a nice truffly flavor.