Easy Potato Gnocchi

I had always watched fancy cooking shows where recipes like this were made, but when I realized how easy it was to make them, how much the kids liked them, how versatile they were to use – well, I had to.

I made a batch of dough and prepared them two ways.

Caramelized Portabella and Sweet Onion and Basil Pesto – so very good.

Gnocchi

//Ingredients//

5 large potatoes, gold are my favorite

1 egg,  lightly beaten

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup of flour (more for dusting your work surface)

1 tsp fresh nutmeg

//Optional//

1 medium onionplus 2 cloves of garlic and 8 baby bella mushrooms

pesto (fresh or store bought, Sam’s Club brand is great)

//Method//

Peel all of the potatoes. Fill a large pot with cold water. Salt the water, then cut potatoes in half and place them in the pot. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender throughout, this takes about 30 minutes.

Remove the potatoes from the water one at a time with a slotted spoon and place into a large bowl.  Work quickly with the potatoes, so that you can mash them when they are still hot. Process the potatoes through a ricer, pulse them in a food processor or mash them with the tines of a fork – no need to make things more complicated eh? The end result is that you have an even consistency and no big lumps.

Let the potato mash cool in the bowl – about ten minutes. When you are ready, drizzle the potatoes with the beaten egg and sprinkle 3/4 cup of the flour across the top. Incorporate the flour and eggs into the potatoes with the egg incorporated throughout – use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to make quick work of it. Scrape the bottom of the bowl and fold the ingredients together, until the mixture is a light crumble. Then knead the dough with your hands, very gently.

Here, you can add more flour (a sprinkle at a time) if the dough is too sticky. The dough should be still be moist, but it should be fairly easy to handle; not tacky. Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Now gently roll each 1/8th of dough into a snake-shaped log, roughly the thickness of your thumb. Use a knife to cut pieces every 3/4-inch. Dust with a bit more flour.

To shape the gnocchi hold a fork in one hand and place a gnocchi pillow against the tines of the fork, cut ends out.

Gnocchi Fork

Lightly, use your thumb and press in and down the length of the fork. The gnocchi should curl into a slight “C” shape, the back will have ridge marks from the tines of the fork. Set each gnocchi aside, dust with a bit more flour if needed, until you are ready to boil them. This step takes some practice, don’t get frustrated – sometimes I just cut them and don’t bother with the tines and ridges; they’re just as good in the shapes of little square plain pillows.

Bring a fresh pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the gnocchi about ten at a time. They will float to the top of the pot when they are ready. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon, and place them on a waiting platter.

Combine with your sauce or accompanying ingredients of choice – fresh sauteed garlic spinach, pesto, caramelized mushrooms and onions, fresh grated parmesan and a splash of cream with fresh cracked black pepper — the options are endless!

Serves ~ 8

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Spinach Red Pepper Quiche…Brunch-tastic, Yes – I love the weekend!


Let me preface this post by saying this is a Vegetarian and NOT Vegan recipe. I have a Vegan version, and will post that soon…

This was brunch today – received well by the kids, with a few ‘kid-friendly’ recommendations that I will incorporate next time I make this. I served a slice of this with a Spinach and Kumkquat Salad, topped with sliced almonds. Mmmm, mmmm. Enjoy!

CRUST:
2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 cups all purpose flour
8 ounces chilled cream cheese, cut into large pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried Dill
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
In a large bowl combine flour and butter
Using a fork or pastry knife cut the butter into the flour until you have a crumbly mixture
Cut in the cream cheese and add the salt, pepper and other spices
once the butter and cream cheese are cut in, using your hands bring the dough together until it forms a ball
Set the dough on a flat surface dusted with flour
Use a floured rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness
Measure the diameter of the tart tin, cut the dough around the tin 1 1/2 inches larger in diameter than the actual size of the tin
Lay the dough round on top of the tart tin, making sure the dough hangs evenly over each bowl
Press the dough down into the tin, making sure to use the over hang – press the over hanging dough into the sides
Trim whatever dough remains
Using a fork prick holes throughout the dough in order to prevent rising while baking
Place the pastry and tin in the freezer for 5 minutes or until firm (this will prevent shrinkage while baking)
Bake the pies for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown
Set on a cooling rack and allow the pastry to cool for about 10 minutes
FILLING:
5 eggs
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream (with 1 teaspoon flour mixed into it)
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped portabella mushrooms
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1/4 cup chopped spinach
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used shredded Parmesan)
DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Place one egg and flour in a bowl and mix until well blended
Add remaining 4 eggs, one at a time until everything is thoroughly combined
Add the sour cream/flour mixture to the egg mixture
Whisk until smooth and the two mixtures are combined
Add the milk
Whisk until smooth and combined
Whisk in the Salt, Pepper and other spices
Place the zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper, green onions, spinach and cheese into the fully baked tart shell
Pour the egg mixture over the veggies into the tart shell
Place the tart in the oven and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes
Raise temperature to 425 and bake until the filling has set in the middle, about another 20 minutes

The center of the quiche should feel slightly firm
Let the quiche cool for at least 20 minutes to allow the custard to set
You can serve this warm or at room temperature, tastes better the next day
(Chilled and paired with a fruit salad makes an awesome breakfast!)
Serves 6 – 8