Tuesday, February 1, 2011


We all have our favorites – mashed, baked or fried. You may have guessed I am speaking of potato dishes. What potato dish warms you like a fuzzy blanket on a snowy day? A mountain of whipped potatoes with beef gravy mounted on top or a baked potato with a pat of sweet butter. Whichever one you choose it will surely ease any daily stress. They don't call potatoes comfort food for nothing.

This past weekend I decided to venture out of my usual potato comfort zone and try my hand at gnocchi, potato dumplings. The word gnocchi may have been derived from the Italian word nocchio which mean a knot in wood or from nocca which means knuckle. Either word, I was ready to get my hands and knuckles messy for some dumplings.

Making gnocchi wasn't that difficult. One does require a “feel” for dough making. Just like pasta or bread making, the right ratio of dry and wet ingredients is key. In addition, you need to know when you have added enough flour and when you have kneaded enough. Both techniques come with time and practice. Knowing this is worth the time, I might add.

My gnocchi recipe is the following: 3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, 3 ½ cups all purpose flour and 2 eggs. Boil the potatoes until very tender. Drain and mash. Slowly add the eggs. Stir until smooth. Add one cup of flour at a time. Mixing after each cup. Knead the dough on a floured surface for a minute or two, until the dough becomes soft and pliable. Shape into logs about ½ in diameter. Cut into one inch pieces. Place the gnocchi in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with sauce, butter or pesto. Enjoy!

Ah, that feels better.

February is Potato Lover's Month

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