Friday, March 8, 2019

Foodie Friday ~ Homemade Gnocchi

Welcome to Friday's segment!

We've been a little sparse with our posts this past week. As much as my writing means to me, my health and children mean even moreso. There are times when our focus and priorities have to be re-positioned in order to deal with more pressing issues and that's what this past week had in store for me. So, I thank you for your patience and so appreciate your support.

With that said, let's get down to the subject of our segment today...FOOD!

With my job, I've had opportunities to meet some fantastic human beings. Some have been everyday folks doing amazing things for others in their communities. Others I've met through interviews I've been asked to put together. And I've met a celebrity or two. One interview I loved was my chat with the late Anthony Sedlak.

The late, great, Chef Anthony Sedlak
He was a brilliant, young chef with an intense love for food. The meals he came up with have been some of our little crew's favorites. He even gave me several suggestions on how to make the sensory overload of food, cooking and eating a bit more palatable for a couple of my sensory sensitive kids. And he was extremely dead set on offering dishes that may take a bit more time to prepare, but they were healthy, hearty and uber tasty. And today's recipe is one of the ones he'd suggested I try as an alternative to regular pasta (that my kids were stuck on at that stage).

Now, I'm not going to lie to you here. Gnocchi is a rather time-consuming and messy and a bit on the pickier side of how I usually cook. But if you have the time on a Sunday afternoon to give an all-out, from scratch type of meal a stab, this is a great one to try.

I have a few tips that may help. First, I learned the hard way that over handling the dough can tend to dry it out resulting in crumbly gnocchi. Believe me, there is nothing worse than lumpy, gummy balls of potatoey mess. And it's hard to clean the pot afterward. Just follow the recipe to a T and it should all work out okay. He suggested a rich, creamy gorgonzola cheese, but that may be too much for younger kids. This is great with a regular cream sauce of your choice or a tangy basil-rich tomato sauce and lots of parmesan or another favorite sprinkle of cheese. I even loved them plain with a bit of butter or margarine and a sprinkle of flavored salt or parm.

No matter which sauce or topping you choose, the gnocchi base is top-notch and delicious.

Thank you to Anthony for sharing this with me. (The recipe was also put up on the Food Network.)

Happy eating!

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Homemade Potato Gnocchi

~ 1 1/2 pounds of baking potatoes (3 or 4 large potatoes)
~ 1 egg
~ 1/4 cup ricotta
~ 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
~ 1 1/2 cups flour plus a couple of tablespoons for dusting
~ pinch nutmeg
~ salt and pepper to taste

1. Put potatoes, whole, in a pot filled with enough cold water to cover the potatoes. Season the water with salt and bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook until fork tender, but not overcooked (usually about 10 -15 minutes).

2. Drain and let the potatoes dry out. While they're still warm, peel the skin off and cut into quarters.

3. Push the potatoes through a ricer or food mill (if you don't have either of these, mashing them will work too). To the potatoes add the rest of the ingredients but don't overmix.

4. Use your reserved flour to dust the surface of a cutting board or counter space and divide the dough into six pieces. Roll each section into a 3/4 inch thick log, then cut each log into 1/2 inch pieces. If you're feeling fancy, you can roll each piece along the back of a fork to create the signature gnocchi ridges.

5. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil and drop the gnocchi, small batches at a time, once ready. They are done when they float to the surface. Remove with a strainer-like spoon and allow to cool on a lightly greased tray until all are cooked.

Serve with your favorite sauce and some garlic bread.

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