My, oh my. This girl's last post was in OCTOBER. Unacceptable.
I do have some valid excuses, friends. I swear.
A lot of change has happened. But everything is getting better and I'm still cooking! I have two jobs now and not a day off, so the cooking doesn't happen as much as I'd like. But it's happening. And there's something else brewing in the world of I Can't Believe It's Not Dead! That'll have to wait, though. :)
Potatoes are a staple in my apartment. Whether it's whipping up potato cakes, a mean baked potato, or potato and leek soup, I love these lil' buggers. This weekend, I decided to have my first try at gnocchi.
Gnocchi is basically a potato-based, airy, pasta-like dumpling. I have honestly never made them before, so I was a little worried! Folks, I'm pretty sure these were the easiest thing I've made. Seriously. You have to try them.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 3-5 minutes
2 pounds medium potatoes, washed and scrubbed clean
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Using a fork, carefully poke holes all over the potatoes. Bake them for 45 minutes to an hour. Let these guys cool completely before handling them.
2. You should be able to easily remove the skins from the potatoes. Place the potato in a large mixing bowl (I used my trusty KitchenAid. Thanks, Dei.). Add the olive oil and salt and mash really well. Add the flour by the 1/2 cup and incorporate it into the potatoes. Keep adding flour and lightly knead the dough until you get a smooth, unsticky but not dry dough. Add the spinach and mix thoroughly. (You still want an unsticky dough, so if after adding the spinach your dough is too sticky, add more flour by the handful.)
3. Dividing the dough, roll portions into a 1/2-inch thick rope. Use a pizza wheel or pastry cutter to cut the ropes into 3/4-inch long pieces. Roll each piece along the concave side of a fork. You should have your thumbprint on one side and cool looking lines on the other.
4. If you're cooking right away, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently drop gnocchi in the water, but don't over-crowd them! After 2 minutes, gnocchi should rise to the surface. Cook a minute longer than gently remove from water.
These came out pretty good! My friend, Jersey (a sassy Italian from New Jersey), told me to try a potato ricer the next time I make them. Apparently it makes the gnocchi really light and airy. Has anyone worked with a potato ricer before?
I smothered these tasty gems with a garlicky tomato sauce that I'm definitely going to have to post. Speaking of posts, my next post is going to be an AH-MAZING giveaway. Hint: Red or green?
Just a little glimpse of what's been going on...
(while still working my wonderful old job!)
(while still keeping my amazing old friends!)
Smooching on movie stars...
...and playing a LOT of Scrabble...
(How sweet is this picture???)
It's been a hard, crazy, busy, life-changing, interesting 6 months. I'm surviving and I'm picking myself up. I can't thank my family and my friends, both old and new, enough for putting up with me and helping me through the last year. I'm a pretty lucky girl after all. And I have to thank my taste-tester for the last 5 years. Without you, I wouldn't be who I am. This food wouldn't have been made and I wouldn't have the motivation to keep it up. <3
Stay tuned, folks. 2011 is going to have some delectable delights. Cheers!