Thursday, June 4, 2009

Late May food success: Grated potato Gnocchi

(This post is dedicated to the Koo, who reads the Guardian, hates low carb living, likes my cooking, and has a big milestone tomorrow. Love you, J!)

I recently read how in England, young people don't seem to like the humble potato. The UK potato council, according to the Guardian, is worried that the older market is driving fresh potato consumption and fears this will have a negative economic impact. Potato consumption was about 120kg/person annually during the war, but now under 100kgs.
Poor humble but versatile and nutritious potato. I blame Atkins nonsense. But potatoes are really very good for you, and great during economic downturns. Delicious and cheap as chips. And not hard to make into delicious gnocchi, my favorite kind of pasta. Deb over at the Smitten Kitchen raved about the use of a standard kitchen grater for those of us lacking a potato ricer, so I gave it try. Worked beautifully.

2 lbs of potatoes, baked (about 45 minutes at 400 degrees, washed but not peeled, be sure to stab with fork a few times prior to baking. A fork should pass easily through when they're done)
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 egg
1 teas of salt
I don't have a kitchen scale but I guestimated the weight of 2lbs of potatoes using a 2 lbs. bag of rice.

Let your potatos cool a bit and peel (I didn't because I was impatient and hungry). Grate your potatoes in a large bowl.
mound o' potatoes

After kneading

Next, divide the dough into 6 balls of equal size. Roll out each ball into a long snake, about 3/4" thick. Snakes

Here's the tricky part (not really). Next, use a sharp clean knife to cut the snakes into little bites. You may need to wipe down the knife after a few cutes (like with cutting sushi rolls). To make traditional gnocchi, use a fork to press in each little dumpling to create ridges. This helps keep the sauce in place and makes it look nice. You need to hold the dumpling and press the opposite end into the fork. It may stick, so have some flour ready to ease the "ridging" process.Ridges, up close. I did not ridge them all.

This is the moment of truth. Set a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Then drop one gnocchi into the water. If it sinks and then minutes later rises back up, you've done it successfull. If it disintegrates, start again. Basically, you don't have enough flour. (likely if you used too much potato). You want to avoid too much flour though. It because a pasty mess. Luckily, gnocchi dough is unfussy enough that mixing up all the dumplings again and adding flour doesn't mess up the texture, but this step is best done at the begining, not the end, of the gnocchi making process.

Serve with your favorite sauce. I like the puttanesca myself. With wine. This was later served with a big side of arugula and tomato salad.


ikke ikke said...

Aw! For me! I AM HUMBLED!

And slightly tardy. I retroactively blame the dissertation.

Love you too!

ikke ikke said...

p.s. I forgot to mention my most important point: THE FOOD LOOKS AMAZING!

damn you sk, its 1am and i'm hungry!

p.s. the word verification for this comment was "faterd"