Sunday, September 13, 2009

Playdate Special: Hands on Gnocchi

There's always something that stirs my soul and as a whispering force says: "When sunken in chaos, let creativity flow ". After few weeks with family and friends over and adapting my kitchen to all different tastes and home to diverse lifestyles, I needed something else as a challenge. And that, translated to a dish, is... Gnocchi. Something I ate many times but never dared to cook.

I searched for a reasonable recipe in all my favorite and hated chef's websites. But none satisfied me. I was looking for something lighter, and not potato-rocks - as usually the pre-made gnocchi are.

Excited by the possibility of having kids participating on the challenge, rolling dough and cutting the gnocchi, I started to work. For my surprise, the process was very engaging for all - including mamas. It included one batch of gooey gnocchi - a mistake for a too rolling boiling water. One of my boys ate it all. Three kids were not pleased with the gnocchi texture. But all of us grown ups ate a lot and found it just perfect.

Dessert brought a little more comfort to little ones. A big round slice of sweet watermelon and few shapes of cookie cutters made them very happy. Again with hands-on and having great moments shaping their fruit they left the house with high levels of fructose and mostly no other food. The same could not be said about the gourmet audience. We all rolled and ate those yummy gnocchi, and Darienne left home with one small ball to share with Calvin, our first cook of the kid's group.

Gnocchi della Casa

As recommended by many of my favorite authors, I left all ingredients to at room temperature at the time of preparation.

12 medium (equivalent to 2 pounds) russet potatoes
1 1/2 cups non bleached all purpose white flour
2 eggs whites, beat to soft peaks
2 tablespoons mascarpone
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Bake potatoes in oven or microwave. Let them cool, peel them and mash with a potato masher, or ricer to reach a creamy texture. Add salt to taste. Beat two eggs whites and add gradually to potatoes. In the meantime bring a large stockpot with water to a boil. Add plenty of salt and reduce heat to a medium- high, to keep the water very hot but not on a rolling boil. Close lid and let it on the stove. Now, back to the dough: fold in nutmeg, and mascarpone to incorporate all ingredients. Begin to powder flour gradually with the help of a strainer, and start to knead with the other hand while pouring flour. The dough should feel light to the touch, not so sticky but solid enough to be rolled into a cylinder. Flour surface and cut in 1 to 1/2 inches pieces, using the fork to stamp the top surface of each piece of gnocchi. Drop into the very hot water and take them out of the pan one minute after they emerge. Serve with your favorite sauce or just with good shredded cheese.

1 comment:

Bruna Batista said...

Gnocchi feito em casa e' bom demais :) Vou tentar sua receita um dia que eu acordar inspirada pra cozinhar!


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