My first introduction to food blogging events was supposed to be the HHDD that featured sorbet, but I just didn't get my act together. I've managed a few others, but I'm very pleased to present my very first attempt at gnocchi for this month's event hosted by cafelynnylu.
When I read the announcement, I tried to think of some flavor combinations that would be appropriate for Isolationville. I've never made gnocchi before and didn't want to mess with the basic recipe too much, so I decided to stick with savory so I didn't have to worry about swapping out the parmesan. Given that we're still up to our hips in salmon, I decided to work with that. I had a very small piece of traditionally smoked/dried salmon left.
The texture and flavor of this particular smoked beauty (and yes, that's a little scale in the corner of the picture) lie somewhere in the realm where shoe leather, bacon, salmon, and smoke all come together. It's not for the faint of heart and a little goes a long way.
I shredded it finely for the gnocchi, knowing that the oils would seep through the dough nicely and spread the wealth of smoky goodness. I ended up with about a half a cup. I had some troubles with the dough. It was so wet as to be unworkable, no matter how much flour I put on the board. So I dumped it back into the bowl and added another 1/3 cup of flour. It was still wet, but barely workable, so I rolled out my worms of dough.
They weren't the prettiest of creatures, but they got the job done. I had made a cream sauce, very simple, by reducing to half the original volume 3/4 cup of wine with the zest of about half a lemon (it's what I had; Isolationville's store didn't have any for sale). I added a cup of heated heavy cream and reduced that a little before seasoning it with salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Once half the gnocchi were boiled, I puddled a little sauce into each of two soup plates, spooned in the gnocchi straight from the pot, topped them with more sauce and buttered, toasted bread crumbs, and popped them into the oven for about fifteen minutes, to let everything get hot and bubbly.
It was delicious. Husband's comment after his first bite was, "I could eat a lot of these!"
This was my first bite. Creamy, dense, and crunchy; a true stick-to-your-ribs dinner. Although we ate quite early, and the portions weren't enormous, neither of us got hungry later. A bonus of this whole exercise is that half the gnocchi are still left! I had practice from the first half, and so managed to make the second set a little more presentable. I think they will be our lunch, reheated through a quick saute with red onion slivers and capers, a sort of deconstructed smoked salmon bagel.
Ok, so they're still not the fat, grooved cocoons that are store-bought gnocchi, but they're cute. They remind me of undercooked peanut butter cookies, only smaller. And with smoked salmon bits. I had a lot of fun with this event and got two good meals out of it, so I'm happy all around.