Thursday, February 18, 2010

You Wanna Gnocchi, You Got It

By request I am posting the gnocchi recipe. As I said it's four ingredients. Super simple but, make sure you have a large work surface to prepare the gnocchi on.

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of kosher salt
Peel potatoes and chop into large cubes. Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring the water up to a boil. Your potatoes will cook more evenly when placed in cold water and brought up to temperature. Boil until potatoes are cooked through, but still firm. Do not overcook. Drain potatoes and place in a bowl and mash them into a smooth consistency. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature. This allows the majority of the moisture to exit your potatoes . You do not want any excess water in your gnocchi dough. It will also allow you to work the dough with bare hands without burning your tender fingers. Once cooled, in a separate bowl, take one cup of the mashed potatoes and add your flour, egg and salt. Using your hands incorporate all the ingredients together.
On a floured surface, take the gnocchi dough ball and cut into quarters. Working with a quarter at a time, roll the dough into a ball and lay it on the floured work surface. Lightly roll the ball into a long cylindrical shape, like the shape of a snake. Make sure that you have a very even cord. Once you have a cord of dough with even thickness throughout, cut the dough into about 1 inch portions. Set aside on a floured surface. Continue to roll the remaining dough into cords, cutting the dough into the 1 inch dumplings.
After you have finished, take each dumpling and roll them over the back of a fork. This will create little wells that help to hold onto the sauce that you may dress them with after cooking. If you have a gnocchi roller, then go ahead and use it, if not the back of a fork will do. You can also skip this step all together. Often when I am lazy I don't do this last step. They taste the same, rolled or not.
Bring a pot of water to a gentle boil, I like to add a little olive oil to my water. I lightly flour my gnocchi one last time before I add them to the water. Place the gnocchi in the water and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Or until the gnocchi float to the top. Don't crowd your pot with lots of gnocchi, as they will stick together and not cook evenly. Instead work in small batches. Take your cooked gnocchi and dress with whatever your favorite sauce may be. The options are endless, from browned butter to spicy tomato basil. Eat and Enjoy.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Non e Facile Guadagnarsi Il Pane

So this post is dedicated to my husband. Lately he has been working really hard so that I can have the time to run our catering business and try to open our restaurant. For about a year, he has let me have the freedom of getting our restaurateur future together and just recently he picked a second job.
Like a Jamaican, he's gone most of the day at work and as the title of his post reads, "It ain't easy bringing home the bacon." So the other night I made a dish that we have not had since before Isaac was born. Gnocchi! I forgot how simple gnocchi is too make. It's 4 ingredients and whammo you have these beautiful little dumplings. Ian assisted me in the kitchen, which again, has been rare since the birth of our son. We used to cook every night together in our tiny apartment that we had on I St. in downtown Sacramento. The apartment was so small that we had no dining room. We used to put the food in one big serving dish and sit on the bed and eat

it out of the bowl together. At the time I felt like we were a couple of poor asses, with no extra room or furniture, but when I think of it, that was romantic dammit! It's so Lady and the Tramp. I miss subtle romance like that. Ian made the pesto for the gnocchi and he went old school too. Instead of just placing all the ingredients in the food processor, he ground everything together with a mortar and pestle. Hats off to you babe! It was really good. The flavors, as he explained, would be more intense and they were. As the dish came together and I got ready to plate the gnocchi I asked him, "Hey, do yo want to eat this old school?" He replied, "Hell ya, let's do it." I took the big bowl of gnocchi and plopped down next to Ian on the couch, and as we tried to watch TV through our son's afro, we enjoyed our dinner. (Side note: It may time to cut that boy's hair.)
With Valentine's Day on the horizon, sometimes the big flashy displays of love aren't the most genuine or satisfying. Regardless of what Zales and The Diamond Store may try to say, sometimes I just need subtle romance and sitting on the couch next to the love of my life, sharing a bowl of gnocchi and watching our son do "The Stanky Leg" dance while blocking the TV is enough for me.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I am hosting my first contest! Yeaaaa. The prize is a handmade "Happy Spring" Basket from me. (I'd call it an Easter Basket, but it's for adults) The basket will include some handmade chocolates and candies, various culinary gifts ranging from cooking tools to pantry items and a small piece of artwork from me. (Didn't know I could draw did ya?) So here is how it works: First you must register as a follower of "Mouth Full of Food" if you are not one already. Next, answer the trivia question below.

What did Smirnoff Vodka promise Americans of alleviating in 1948?

Email your answer to Remember to include your contact info so that I can send your gift basket to you. Those with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for the culinary gift basket. The winner will be announced on March 6, 2010. Good Luck to all that enter!

Contest Guidelines:
Contest begins Febuary 5, 2010 at 12:00 am PST and ends March 5, 2010 at 11:59 PST, when all entries must be recieved. One entry per person/email address. Contestants must be 21 years of age at time of entry and be legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia. No substitutions of prize except from the Sponser, in which a prize of equal or greater value will be substituted.