Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Potato Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter

My husband claims that this recipe isn't for actual gnocchi, even though he found it tasty. I suspect that is because he is used to his mother's gnocchi which uses leftover mashed potatoes and a northern Italian marinara sauce, which is very distinctive (it contains cloves X0). However, every recipe I've stumbled upon consists of the ingredients such as I used--baked potato, eggs, flour, and some seasoning, so I'm calling it gnocchi. Specially, I followed this Michael Chiarello recipe. Since I had some sage that was on its way, I whipped up a quick sage browned butter sauce as an accompaniment.


For Gnocchi
1 lb russet potatoes, baked
3-4 large egg yolks (I used 1 whole egg and a couple yolks)
1/2 c parmesan
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 c all purpose flour

Scoop insides of potatoes and mash with a fork. Alternatively, pass through a grater or ricer. You should have about 2 cups.

Mix flour, eggs, cheese, and salt and pepper as you would make pasta treating the potatoes like flour. Make a well in the middle of the potatoes for all ingredients except flour and press together with hands. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture in parts, pressing it into the potatoes as you go and until the dough holds its shape. If it is too dry, you can add a little liquid (water or egg) or flour if too wet.

On a well-floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a rope about 1/2-inch in diameter. Cut into 1/2-inch-long pieces. Lightly flour the gnocchi as you cut them. You can cook these as is or form them into the classic gnocchi shape with a gnocchi board, ridged butter paddle, or the tines of a large fork turned upside down. (For more instructions on how to shape the gnocchi, see the original recipe.) Allow to dry for 15 minutes before cooking.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt, as desired. Drop in the gnocchi and cook for about 90 seconds from the time they rise to the surface.

For Sage Browned Butter Sauce
1/2 c butter
large handful of sage leaves
salt and pepper

Melt butter on medium low until it begins to brown, which is just past the melting stage. For a nice tutorial on how to brown butter go here. After the butter has melted, add the sage. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4


Monday, August 20, 2012

Peach Muffins

Wow, it's been more than a month since I've posted. The whole having a baby thing kept me a little busy--not too busy to cook, but too busy (or exhausted) to blog about it. If you'd like to meet my little one, hop over to my Project Blueberry to meet him.

Here's a quick recipe for muffins that I whipped up yesterday by modifying this recipe for blueberry muffins. I was inspired to bake my own peach muffins after having a fantastic peaches and cream muffin at Starbucks on Friday. (Note: The "cream" part was simply icing piped into the middle, which you could easily add to this recipe.) In modifying my blueberry oat muffins recipe, I omitted the oats. However, I think either oats or nuts would be a yummy addition.


2.5 c all purpose flour (I used 1 c white whole wheat and 1.5 c all purpose)
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c butter, melted
1/2 c brown sugar
3/4 c granulated sugar (I used slightly less)

2 eggs (or 1 egg + 2 whites)
3/4 c milk (I used 1/4 c skim milk and 1/2 c half and half)

2 c peaches, diced (frozen or fresh)
1/2 c oatmeal (quick cooking) or nuts, if desired.

Preheat oven to 375.

Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

In stand mixer or larger bowl, beat together sugars and butter until well-mixed and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time.

Add in half of flour mixture, then milk, then remaining flour. Scrap down bowl, as needed.

Stir in peaches and nuts/oats, if using. You may wish to mash some of the peaches.

Divide evening into muffin cups. Tap pan on counter to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

If desired, sprinkle with a couple teaspoons of sugar (larger granules, preferred) and/or cinnamon as soon as they come out of the oven.

12-18 muffins


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Homemade Chicken Stock

One of the staples in my kitchen is chicken stock or broth. I use it for soups, sauces, and even making rice. I don't really know the difference between chicken stock and broth, however commercial stock tends to be a fuller-flavored product than broth. While I usually keep a carton or two in the pantry for emergencies, I love making my own. It's so simple and it makes me feel better to know that I'm controlling the ingredients of something I cook with so much. This recipe is more of a method than an actual recipe. Honestly, it's as simple as throwing (leftover) chicken in a pot with some veggies, seasonings, and water. You then simmer the whole lot for a few hours and viola!

If you must follow a recipe, here's generally what I do:

Sorry, no pictures!

*1 whole chicken (or 2-3 lbs chicken bones, preferably with a little meat)
1 medium onion, quartered
2 carrots, cut into 1" pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1" pieces
1 bay leaf
1 TBS peppercorns
1-2 tsp salt
Handful of fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, thyme, rosemary), if desired

Place all ingredients in your largest stock pot and cover with as much water as possible.

Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 2-3 hours until the liquid is a lovely golden color.

Strain and skim the fat before portioning for the freezer. I do this process twice--once before refrigerating the stock and again before freezing in 2 cup portions.

*I prefer to use a whole chicken so I get two products out of one cooking process--at least 4 cups of cooked meat which I shred for salads, enchiladas, and casseroles plus about 14 cups of stock. After Thanksgiving, I use the entire turkey carcass to make turkey stock.