Saturday, December 8, 2007

Potatoe Gnocchi, GF and otherwise

Here's a recipe that turned out great. Gnocchi are Italian dumplings. I will give the original recipe, then a good guess for a Gluten Free conversion, and finally I will tell you what I really did. Since I cook for 8-10 people every meal, I can't be fussy. I rarely follow a recipe as written. Especially since I now must cook GF, I never know how anything will turn out until it is done.

Original recipe from The Joy of Pasta by Joe Famularo and Louise Imperiale
Potato Gnocchi makes enough for 3-4 servings
5 Idaho Potatoes
2 egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 c grated parmesan
1 1/2 c all purpose flour

Bake the potatoes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Peel and put them through a food mill or mash them.

In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks, salt, nutmeg, and grated cheese; mix well. Add the mashed potatoes, then add flour until a dough forms and holds together. The dough should be soft but firm enough to roll.

On a floured board, roll small amounts of dough into small cylinders about 1 1/2 inches in diameter; cut each into 1/2 inch pieces. Take each piece and press it (and roll it) against a cheese grater. This gives the gnocchi a nice design and texture.

Drop the gnocchi into 4 quarts of boiling salted water, and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, and top the gnocchi with the desired sauce.

Approx. GF conversions
Start with a cup of favorite GF mix. Add 1 tsp xanthan gum with the flour. Add extra flour mix until the dough holds together and can be shaped. If they tend to fall apart after cooking, try adding 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum next time.

May have to cook longer. Try them after 5 minutes and then add minutes accordingly.

With Fontina
After draining gnocchi place in oven proof dish.

Pre-heat the broiler. In a skillet or small saucepan, heat 6 tbsp butter until slightly brown and pour over gnocchis. Sprinkle 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan, romano, or locatelli cheese over. Add 1/4 lb fontina cheese sliced thin, arranging slices over everything.

Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the fontina is melted and begins to brown. Serve with tomato sauce on the side.

What I did
I had about 6 c of left over mashed potatoes in the fridge; Joe had made these, so they were already fancied up. Besides milk and butter, they probably had cream and grated cheddar cheese and various seasonings. So I omitted the salt and nutmeg. But to the potatoes I added 4 egg yolks and about 4 cups of GF mix. Enough flour until the dough held together.

I generously sprinkled white rice flour on my work surface, placed the lump of dough on the floured surface, generously sprinkled the dough and then gently patted it down to about an inch thick. Then I rolled it until it was 1/2 inch thick. After that I took a pizza roller and cut a grid about 1/2 inch by 1 inch. I was able to scoop these squares up with a pancake turner.

I had to boil my gnocchis about 15 minutes. I don't know if it was the GF variant or using pre-mashed potatoes or what, but they took much longer than the original recipe.

We found they kind of clumped together in the colander, so we scooped them out of the water with a slotted spoon and then laid them separately on a cookie sheet until mostly cool. Then we transfered them to a baking dish.

After they were all boiled, I poured about 1 1/2 c cream and 1/2 c half and half over them (I would have used all cream if I had enough; you want to be able see the cream creeping up around the edges of the gnocchis). I sprinkled them with salt, basil and minced dried garlic. Then I put under the broiler until golden, tossed them gently, and repeated this two more times until the cream was starting to thicken.

They turned out very good. It made enough to fill a 9x13 cake pan about 3/4 full.

Now I don't claim to be a Gnocchi expert. I made them a few times in the past, but not often and only from following a recipe. I don't know how they are supposed to taste, so don't know how this GF version compares. I have no Italian grandma from whom to solicit advice. But if you really want to know, I found a video of the process you can consult.

No comments: