I’m happy to report that rehab is going well. Actually, it’s safe to say, “Rehab rocks!!!”
If you read the last post for Pumpkin Pie Granola Bars, you know I’m on a self created and monitored seasonal rehab program to wean myself off of my addiction to summer. I’ve thrown myself into autumn: the crisp days, the fashion and more importantly, the hearty produce.
How am I doing? As far as the crisp days, I’m enjoying my morning runs even more. Fashion wise? Last weekend, I picked up an awesome winter white jacket and a pair of winter suede loafers (‘winter suede?’ yes, I fell for this ridiculous marketing gimmick. What can I say? They were on sale).
And in terms of food, I’ve been cheffing up a variety of seasonal recipes that have really given me inspiration.
The other night I was going through my TIVO programs to see what had been recorded.
Along with an alarming number of reality shows, there were tons of recorded episodes of the Martha Stewart Show (don’t laugh). I randomly picked one and hit play. I struck gold.
There was this chef, Ron Suhanosky, who was demonstrating his recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi.
I’ve made Gnocchi before, but I was intrigued by the process of this recipe. Plus, it seemed so easy. I decided that I would give this recipe a try.
Suhanosky’s recipe called for pairing the gnocchi with ‘drunken prunes.’ This was too many layers of sweetness for me so I omitted it. I wanted to go for balance.
I wanted to counter the sweetness of the gnocchi. So, I added a cream sauce and lardons of smoked bacon.
I really like these gnocchi and the balance of flavors in the dish. Slightly sweet gnocchi, creamy sauce, hearty smoked bacon and the sweet-saltiness of the parmesan cheese really worked well together. I mean, what could be better?
NOTE: The original recipe called for using rice flour to complement the all-purpose flour. You know how lazy I can be…I axed the specialty rice flour and only used all-purpose. It could be for this reason that I need more than the 2 cups of flour that the original recipe called for. I ended up using more like 2½ cups. Be careful not to add too much flour (or you’ll end up with tough, poached hockey pucks) but feel free to add a little more flour until the dough isn’t sticky. Depending on your conditions (i.e. humidity, wetness of the sweet potatoes) you may need a more or a little less flour.
SWEET POTATO GNOCCHI WITH BACON & CREAM SAUCE
Adapted from by Pasta Sfoglia by Ron & Colleen Suhanosky
1½ pounds sweet potatoes (1lb 11oz)
1½ pounds russet potatoes
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg
¼ cup pure maple syrup
1 TSP coarse salt
For Cream Sauce:
1½ TBL unsalted butter
1½ TBL flour
2 cups milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1½ cup bacon, cut into lardons
1 cup of chives, diced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap sweet potatoes in parchment paper-lined aluminum foil. Bake until easily pierced in the center with a fork, about 1 hour. Let cool.
Place russet potatoes in a large pot; add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until easily pierced in the center with a fork. Drain, and let potatoes cool to the touch.
Wrap both sweet and white potatoes in a clean kitchen towel and rub to remove skins. Pass potatoes through a ricer, into a large mixing bowl.
Spread all-purpose flour on a clean, dry work surface. Place potatoes on top of flour. Add egg, maple syrup, and salt. Using your hands, mix together ingredients on work surface until well combined to form a dough. Gently knead dough into a 10-by-8-inch rectangle. Let rest for 2 minutes.
Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with rice flour. Cut the rectangle into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 1-inch-thick rope. Cut each rope into 1/2 inch gnocchi.
Store gnocchi on a rice flour-covered baking sheet until ready to use. Dust with rice flour. Gnocchi can also be frozen up to 2 weeks. To freeze, place them, dusted with rice flour, in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze. Once frozen, place them one on top of the other in an airtight container. To thaw for cooking, place gnocchi in a single layer on a baking sheet in the refrigerator for not more than 1 hour before cooking.
To cook, bring a large sauté pan of salted water to a boil. Boil the gnocchi in batched (about 4) in they begin to float, about 3 minutes. Remove with a strainer and set aside. Continue cooking the remaining gnocchi.
In a medium sauce pan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisped and cook through, about 5-8 minutes. Remove and drain bacon on a paper towel. Discard rendered bacon fat from saucepan – do not clean bacon bit out of the saucepan.
Melt butter in sauce pan and whisk in flour. Cook over medium-low heat until flour is cooked, about 3 minutes. Pour in milk and whish until liquid slightly reduces to a gravy-like consistency, about 4 minutes.
Add gnocchi into cream sauce and stir to heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour gnocchi and sauce into a serving platter. Garnish with bacon and herbs. Serve immediately.
Makes about 2 1/2 lbs of gnocchi.