It amazes me that gnocchi can be part of the “Quick Fire” round, not only because it takes awhile to make, but because of the tedious process of rolling out the dough and cutting it. Perhaps that is the difference between a pro chef and K and I … gnocchi for us is a slow, but delicious experience. Homemade gnocchi is worth it though and that’s why we decided to make Ed’s herb roasted garlic gnocchi with spring vegetables and mushroom fricassee.
I baked the russet potatoes ahead of time so they’d be ready to peel and smoosh when I got to K’s place. The recipe calls for the potatoes to go through a ricer/food mill, which we do not have. Admittedly, the potatoes would be slightly fluffier (and maybe a little less starchy) if we used a ricer, but I contend it is a giant cooking implement that we don’t have a place to store for the four times a year we’d use it. But I think K might have put a ricer on his “wish list” along with the sous vide machine.
While K was potato squishing with a potato masher, I blanched the asparagus tips and peas. K made the potato dough and then started cleaning the melange of mushrooms he purchased while I started rolling out and cutting little gnocchi pillows. More rolling and more cutting ensued. Gnocchi hint: If you’re putting your finished gnocchi on a big plate or in a bowl before cooking them, it’s a good idea to pop the entire platter/bowl into the refrigerator for a few minutes before putting them in boiling water. I did not do this and the gnocchi got warm and stuck together.
After picking them apart and tossing them in the boiling water (in batches), K would fish out the floating gnocchi and put them into the hot saute pan with butter and chicken stock. We had a lot of gnocchi and we should have used two saute pans to keep things moving, but we managed to have heaping plates full of garlicky gnocchi. A quick saute to warm up the veggies and mushrooms that we made a bit too soon and we were good to go.
The gnocchi was hot, garlic-laden, potato-y wonderful. The vegetables were crisp and added a nice, clean finish to the heavy potato dumplings and the mushrooms contributed a nice, hearty meatiness to the dish. As soon as I figure out how to make gnocchi more quickly, we’ll probably make it more often. Maybe that just means we’ll make this dish more often. You know, for practice.