Monday, April 26, 2010

Recipe Review

Saturday night we had two of our closest friends over for dinner... during which time I choose to debut the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sauteed Pork Chops and Apple.

And it was de-lish-ious.

A few things to note:

1) Making gnocchi takes forever. Reading the recipe makes you think this is something that could easily be done after work one night in time for dinner. Not the case, my friends. I remember as a child begging my mom to make her homemade gnocchi (which she only did on very special and rare occasions) - and she would always say it's just a pain because of how long it takes. So true. It was a labor of love.

2) I fudged the portions a bit. I used two large sweet potatoes - but needed more than 2 cups of flour. I used at least 3. Start with 2 cups though, and keep adding in enough to keep the dough from sticking to your hands when you knead it. If it is too doughy, it's impossible to roll out. So don't be scared if you're putting a lot more flour in than the recipe called for. Sweet potatoes can vary so much in size, that you just have to play around with your potato-to-flour ratio. Needless to say, I had a TON of dough.

3) Speaking of which - leftover dough. After I made a whole cookie sheet full, I couldn't bare to throw the rest of the dough away. So I made another full tray - froze the gnocchis on a cookie sheet until they were cold and hard, and then transferred them to a ziploc bag for later. Then whenever I feel like it, I can just boil the leftovers and enjoy for a quick dinner. I might actually do this more often - make a large quantity during the weekend, freeze individual portions, and heat-up as needed. I'm all about a quick (and healthy and delicious) weeknight meal.

4) I tweaked the recipe a bit too. In the gnocchi dough, in addition to flour, egg and potato - I also added salt, nutmeg and a little bit of cinnamon. I was going to use those flavors later in the sauce, but I like to have the additional flavor in the little dumplings themselves.

5) Instead of just tossing the cookie gnocchis into the oil/spice mixture - I also melted a large pad of butter and let it brown a bit. A little brown butter gives it a bit of nuttiness - and another layer of flavor. Same with the sauteed apples. Remember: butter makes it better.

6) As delish as this meal was, it needed a green veggie. It isn't the most colorful plate without it. Luckily my friend made and brought some wonderful asparagus... which worked perfect with the rest of the dinner.

Tonight: avocado soup is on the agenda. I'll let you know how it goes!

And as long as we're talking food - two of my favorite shows are merging together for one night of amazingness. The cast of "Modern Family" will be on this week's "Top Chef Masters."

pic @via
recipe @via - visit Broke and Healthy!

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