So medical school got a little busy and while I was still cooking a lot and taking pictures of said cooking, I didn’t have time to write posts to share with you all. But, I’m back and ready to provide you with some more delicious recipes. I’m sure you’ve noticed that The King’s Kitchen Blog has a whole new look, and I hope that you enjoy it. I’ve always felt that pictures are so important when it comes to recipes, so this new design brings those pictures to center stage to highlight the food, grab your attention, and allow you to click on the recipes that you find most visually appealing. Now, back to business!
The first time I attempted to make gnocchi was a few months before my move from San Diego to Orlando. I had David and two of our friends over for dinner. It tasted fine, but the gnocchi kept falling apart and, well, it just looked like crap. I would consider it an epic fail, but I learned a lot from that mistake. So, when I tackled the recipe again during my first year of medical school, I was much more successful. Albeit I did use a slightly different recipe, I believe that there were some changes to the technique I used that also played a vital role. The first thing I would suggest to create those little pillows is to not be too shy why kneading. Yes, you don’t want to overwork the dough, as this will result in gnocchi that are anything but light and airy, but it still requires some kneading so don’t be timid. The first time I made them, I was so worried about overworking the dough, that I didn’t knead it enough, resulting in gnocchi that didn’t have enough body to survive the cooking process. This meant that they ended up falling apart either during the cooking process from the agitation of the boiling water or when I was transferring them from the water to the sauce. Secondly, use a potato ricer. I don’t think I ever came across a recipe that said it would do to just break up the potatoes with a masher, so I didn’t even try it, as they all swore that it would lead to overly tough gnocchi. They’re not that expensive and you can find them at pretty much any kitchen or home goods store. Thirdly, there are some recipes out there that do not include an egg and are simply potato and flour, but I think one of the major changes that I made (aside from not being overly gentle with the kneading) was the addition of some beaten egg. It acts as a binder and there is so much potato compared to the egg that it does not alter the flavor. Finally, you will need to dust your work station often. When kneading the dough, I used the same flour that goes into making the gnocchi, but when it came time to roll the gnocchi out, cut them and create those distinctive markings that come from the back of a fork, I used rice flour. It was lighter and easier to control how much I was dusting. Although, I have made these without the rice flour and just continued to dust the work surface with all purpose flour, I think that I still preferred to use the rice flour.
Now I just have one side note about making the grooves in the gnocchi. It may seem tedious to the roll each little pillow down the backside of the prongs of a fork, but I think that this gives the gnocchi some texture to hold onto sauces, so I would not recommend skipping this step. You may spend a good deal of time doing this, but in the end you’re going to have a ton of gnocchi that you can freeze and add to the arsenal in your freezer to be ready during the week. I just turned on a movie; after a while it becomes much easier and you barely have to focus on what you’re doing.
This recipe will make a large batch of gnocchi. They can be served immediately after boiling in salted water, or they can be frozen for use later. To freeze the gnocchi, place them on a lightly dusted baking sheet and place in the freezer until they have frozen solid, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag. If cooking frozen gnocchi, simply add gnocchi directly from the freezer to a pot of salted water that is boiling; the gnocchi will pop to the surface when they are done.
- 5 pounds russet potatoes
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Salt, to taste
- Rice flour, optional for dusting
If you already have some gnocchi in the freezer or if you are using some from the grocery store, this is a quick meal to throw together during the week. It also makes for great leftovers. This goes well served over a piece of grilled chicken.
- 5 roasted red peppers
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 pounds potato gnocchi
- Fresh basil leaves, garnish
Process the roasted red peppers in a food processor or blender until they are creamy and smooth. Set aside. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat oil and then add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the blended red peppers and cook until the mixture has warmed through. Add the heavy cream and reduce heat to medium. Let mixture simmer until thickened. While simmering, cook the gnocchi. When they are finished cooking, transfer gnocchi to the sauce and stir. Serve over grilled chicken and garnish with fresh basil.