I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Monday, 16 September 2013

daring cooks, september

Summer on the farm is wonderful but also tends to take me waaaaay off track of other things I do. I don't want to heat up our little kitchen any more than is necessary, and cooking is often a quick grab of things from the garden. While this is a blessing that we are so grateful for, it unfortunately meant I missed a couple of challenges, but I was able to get back on track this month and make something I've wanted to make for a while: gnocchi.
Todd, who is The Daring Kitchen’s AWESOME webmaster and an amazing cook, is our September Daring Cooks’ host! Todd challenged us to make light and fluffy potato Gnocchi and encouraged us to flavor the lil pillows of goodness and go wild with a sauce to top them with!
We planted potatoes for the first time this year, and had harvested over a hundred pounds of Russet baking potatoes that were sitting in the cellar. I brought up a few, scrubbed and baked them, and then left them to cool. Perhaps for too long, because when I tried to put them through the ricer I'd bought for the purpose (though, granted, it'd been on my want list for the kitchen for a while), the handle bent while feeding a very few potatoes through the little holes. Time to improvise.

I didn't want to use a masher, preferring to try to keep them a nice light texture, but with my poor ricer looking all askew and sad, the only other option was:  a pastry blender. I hoped that the thinner blades would mean the potatoes didn't clump up as much. And, as it turned out, it wasn't ideal but the dough came together very nicely - just the potatoes, egg, flour, and salt and pepper.

Rolling out the dough reminded me of the kids making snakes with clay when they were younger. The snakes were rolled out, then cut in sections and squished a bit with a fork to make dents to grab the sauce. Into boiling water they went, and they sat on the bottom for a bit before floating to the top, where I scooped them out after a minute. 

And - we liked it! Served with a simple tomato sauce using some fresh basil from the garden, they had a nice texture and flavour. Pesto next time, maybe? Frost is coming and I need to harvest the basil. With a recipe this easy, I'll be making gnocchi again. 

After I get a new ricer.


Joanne T Ferguson said...

G'day! Congrats on completing the challenge too!
YUM! WISH I could taste some of your gnocchi now, true!
Cheers! Joanne
Viewed as Part of The Daring Kitchen Cooks Challenge Sept 2013

Olga said...

I have great respect for people growing their own food - good luck on your gardening/farming!
Me too - right after making gnocchi I decided to do them again, soon :)