Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Gnocchi Experience

Last week, my friend Kimberly gave me a container of pumpkin. Having never cooked with pumpkin before, I took a trip over to the Food Network website to look for some pumpkin recipes and found an awesome sounding recipe for pumpkin gnocchi and a butter sage sauce. Emeril said it took about 25 total minutes... and it ended up taking me 2 hours to get dinner on the table start to finish.

First of all, using Emeril's method of making the potatos took a while because peeling after they've cooked takes longer than peeling before you cook. That was 15 minutes alone once I got all 3 potatos peeled and in to get pureed (which incidentally took no time at all). Mixing all of the ingredients except for the flour also took no time at all. I was just about ready to put the flour into the mix when our guests arrived (Kimberly and her hubby Dan came over for dinner last night) at 7:10ish. I added the 2 full cups of flour that are mentioned in the recipe and kneeded it in waiting for it to become "slightly sticky".

Nope... runny as heck. Kimberly quickly jumped in and became my "flour girl" as I tried to get it to "slightly sticky" consitency. I stopped counting at cup 3 and checked for a box of spaghetti in the event of gnocchi disaster (I was trying to make pumpkin gnocchi, not white bread). The dough FINALLY became "slightly sticky" and I did a test run. It didn't taste bad, so I made enough for dinner and because of all the flour had yielded A LOT more dough than I needed for just the 4 of us I tossed the rest away (I probably could have frozen it and used it next week... now I'm kicking myself). By the time I was done mixing and cutting up everything I was COVERED in gnocchi dough. I gave up on the trick to give it the ridges due to time constraints and by the time I got it in the water and cooked you couldn't even see the lines anyways.

I cooked up the gnocchi, made the butter sauce and tossed it all together. Served it up family style with some green beans and chicken & apples and hoped that no one would die. Time at dinner table: 8:15 PM. An hour after Dan & Kimberly arrived, and an hour later than I wanted to eat dinner.

The reviews for the gnocchi were positive, but I don't know if I'll be making it again any time soon. SOOOOO long to prepare. Though, my friend Mags is going to get me over some gnocchi tips at some point; apparently baked potatoes instead of boiled yields less runny dough so you don't have to use so much flour. That makes sense because you're not cooking them in water. Maybe I'll try it again... it's just a matter of how soon. It was such an ordeal that it might end up in the cavern of tedious recipes that were awesome but I'm in no rush to try again... not unlike the chocolate covered cheesecake bites that I haven't made in 5 years. I'll have to think about it... and see how much pumpkin I have left after my pumpkin bread.


Kimberly Pye said...

I was kinda wondering why you were throwing away the rest of the dough, but I just let the cook do her thing! I should have stopped you! (I know Steve would have wanted you to cook it ALL right then!)

And yes, FABULOUS dinner! It was so autumn-y and delicious!

Danielle A. said...

Yeah, I didn't even think about saving it until this morning. Steve could have had it for lunch instead of a salad. Oh well, now I know better for next time. :)

Mags said...

I have LOTS of recipes that even as a chef I this worth it?

But then you see people who LOVE the meal (mostly b/c they don't know how much it took to make it) and you forget how long it takes...well, maybe.