Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hand-made Gnocchi

Hand-made gnocchi is a complex and time-consuming effort; however, if given the opportunity to learn, I would highly recommend seizing the circumstance and absorbing the knowledge! (or maybe one day I will have the opportunity to teach you!) :) Whether store-bought or handmade, I recommend the following to serve with gnocchi: first, render applewood smoked bacon fat. What does this mean? Sincebacon is largely compromised of fat, no oil or butter are needed in order to cook the pork. Simply heat a sauté pan and fry the bacon on the stovetop. One may also put the bacon on parchment paper and allow the oven to roast the thin cut of meat… In order to keep the bacon flat, I will generally place another piece of parchment paper atop the bacon, then put a baking sheet atop the parchment paper (resembles a “baking sheet sandwich” with bacon in the middle… not too shabby. Baking the bacon in the oven will also allow you to do more in the kitchen, as it will cook slower and you do not need to “babysit it” quite as much, as compared to cooking atop the stovetop.

Regardless, toss fresh arugula with a sprinkle of crushed sea salt, juice from ½ lemon and drizzle of a nut oil (walnut/almond/hazelnut oil). Caramelize onions in a walnut/almond/hazelnut oil… then deglaze with red wine. When soft, add mushrooms (crimini, chantrelle, porcini, portabella – whatever you desire!). While cooking, season with smoked sea salt, touch of cayenne pepper, herbs de Provence, rosemary and juice of ½ lemon. Allow to cook until tender… no longer crunchy.

Once the bacon has cooked to a crispy state, there will be a large amount of rendered fat at the bottom of the pan. Place the cooked bacon on a paper towel (in order to crisp… if it were to remain swimming in its own juices, it would become soggy). However, do not discard to fat; rather, heat the fat in a sauté pan, then sauté the gnocchi in said pan. By cooking the gnocchi in the rendered applewood bacon fat, it will absorb the essence of bacon. When serving, you may choose to crumble the bacon atop, or use the bacon for another dish all together. The point is, since the gnocchi cooked in the bacon fat, the dish will permeate the bacon flavor when being consumed.

In terms of presentation, first lay the arugula salad atop a clean plate (preferably white, but as you can see, any solid color may work… pictured is blue). Spoon the caramelized onions and mushrooms on the arugula, then place the gnocchi and prosciutto in “random” places… “organized chaos,” if you will. Sprinkle the dish with toasted pine nuts, as well as micro greens and a light shower of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Your tummy will love you. Remember, even this “heavier calorie” dish can be enjoyed… just remember moderation! Balance, variety and moderation ensure for a healthy diet.

Love y’all!

No comments:

Post a Comment