Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Okay, let's not get ahead of ourselves here

It amuses me slightly that I am cooking ... not just open a box, boil water, mix - sort of cooking .. but following recipes, and starting from scratch cooking.   You know, the kind of stuff your mother, or grandmother, did ... or continues to do (as the case may be).   Yep.  That sort of cooking.

In the past I've posted a few recipes, things I've made from online recipes that just - sounded good - or my favorites (the green beans) ... this is a little different.   This recipe is from an actual Chef - whom I happen to know - personally - and nope, Not Mike! 

In downtown Boston {on Fleet Street to be precise} (Jessi - take note) there is a small restaurant that is only open for dinner.   The Chef, as I've noted, is a friend of ours - and not just any friend - a Boating Friend.  They're a special breed.

A few weeks ago, he did an online interview segment for a website called Behind The Burner - they meet with Chefs from different restaurants and have them do a short video instructional, complete with recipe, of some of their favorite meals.   Chef Anthony - made Gnocchi look simple - beyond simple actually.  And in reality, when I made it last night - it was pretty dang easy!  (not saying Chef Anthony (or any Chef) has an easy job - just saying his way, was easy for me, the uninformed "home chef")

Here's what I did - step by step:

The ingredients (minus the oil & tomatoes)
You'll need:
2 Cups of Drained Ricotta (drain your ricotta while you're measuring the rest, to save time)
2 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon of Salt

1 Quart Crushed Tomatoes
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic - Minced (this equals about a teaspoon if you're not using fresh garlic)
3 Fresh Basil Leaves (we didn't have fresh, so we used about 1 Tablespoon of dried, and it seemed to work okay)
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese

On a non-stick surface (I used my baking mat lightly floured) - make a small "well" with your flour/salt mixture - that means leave a hole in the middle (I had no idea what this meant, and would have been lost without Mike LMAO)  In the middle of this "well" place your Ricotta - then, slowly add the flour to the Ricotta, making sure not to over mix - you'll know you over mixed if your dough becomes glue-y and sticky ... you don't want any stickiness.

Cut your dough into four pieces, and roll out into 3/4 inch thick "logs"

Cut each one into 1/2 inch thick pieces, roll into a ball and gently roll over the tines of a fork to imprint ridges

Boil them in salted water for 5-7 minutes, or until they all float.  (Be careful and make sure you use the right size pot, they are dense - that may cause them to slightly stick to the bottom of the pan)

While they're boiling, start your sauce.

In a large sauté pan - heat your oil - when you see swirls, add your garlic - but pay attention, if it gets too hot your garlic WILL burn,  and you'll have to start over (hence no photos of this step - Mike was "helping" and didn't pay attention .. LOL)

Once you've added your garlic, and it's slightly browned - add your crushed tomatoes.  Simmer for 10 minutes.
(our sauté pan was dirty, so I had to use our braising pan .. it worked very well - plus, the higher sides kept splashing and sputtering to a minimum)

Once all of your gnocchi is floating, gently remove from the water with a slotted spoon - add them to your sauce, toss to coat them completely and simmer for a few minutes.

Remove them from the sauce, and place on a platter (or plate if you're not serving family style), add Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino cheese to the top and serve.

This recipe makes enough for two heaping plates, and Emily's little one.  They are very filling little dumplings, and taste amazing.   I doctored the sauce a little to our own tastes - added a little sugar to combat the bitterness of the tomatoes and a few other Italian Seasonings.

There is one small serving left over - and I'm willing to bet there will be a fight over it!

** On one of my groups today - there was a silly quiz --- this is my result ... Let's not get ahead of ourselves here! **

You Are a Full-time Foodie

Food is an important part of your life, and there's no denying it.
You're probably at least a decent cook, and you have a very sophisticated palette.

You're up on food trends, and you're always looking to sample something new and different.
You figure that if you're going to eat three meals a day, you might as well make them an adventure.

1 comment:

Jessi said...

1. I need to go to Boston, NOW
2. I am going to try this when I have some time it looks delish.
3. LMAO "well" you're so cute. You'll learn the terminology soon, my sweets.