Friday, March 11, 2011

Gnocchi Parisienne

Bryan is on his surgery rotation now, which means he has a crazy schedule. He started working at 5:30am this morning and will get home sometime around mid-morning tomorrow. So what does that mean for me? I wanted some "me" time and originally, I was hoping to get in a nice long workout followed by a movie and a light dinner accompanied with a glass of wine. But, since I haven't been feeling that great this week, my night has turned into a more lazy version of that. When I came home late from work tonight, I was excited to put my pj's on and play with Dimitri. He was a cuddle machine! Who couldn't get enough of this cute little guy?!

This photo was actually taken last summer, but he's still just as cute - and a LOT fluffier!!

Does anyone remember that scene from Despicable Me?

Anyway now, it's time to lay down and relax and work on my blog reflecting on a wonderful night last night with the Food Network on in the background. That sounds about as good as I could imagine :)

With the combination of being really busy this week, not feeling that great most of the days, and my Girl Scout Cookies arriving, I've been pretty lazy and unhealthy the past 5 days. Yep, that means zero work outs (ugh!) and eating probably too many cookies. Oh well. Sometimes, you just have to indulge, right?!

All week, I was looking forward to Thursday night's dinner. Why, you ask? My best friend LUCY was coming over for dinner (and to get her belated birthday presents)! Lucy and I grew up together in Rapid City, SD. We were involved in the same extra curricular activities like music, soccer, and track. After being away from each other for 4 years during college, we wound up living together in Chicago for a year! Lucy is currently getting her Master's in Violin Performance at Northwestern University. I'm incredibly lucky to have such a great friend nearby. She's super busy, so when Lucy comes over for dinner, I try to make the best food I can think of!

And that's when these gnocchi's came into my life - and they will never leave.

This dish was absolutely incredible! I have to admit, either the photo on the site was misleading, or I screwed up majorly because my gnocchi's did not appear large and puffy but appeared more like mini bread sticks. However, they did not taste like bread sticks. They were little pillows of cheesy, gooey goodness!

Let's get a close up on that!

MMM!!!! Can you see the ground nutmeg?? I was surprised to see that ingredient in the list, but it worked perfectly! These little babies are going to be appearing at our table again soon!

I served the gnocchi as a dish on its own, next to another dish of spicy Italian sausage sauteed with red and green bell peppers, onion and garlic in a arrabbiata red sauce. It was the perfect match for the thick and creamy gnocchi. We also enjoyed the dishes with some delicious red wine!

Gnocchi Parisienne
From Food and Wine


1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, Gruyère or Asiago cheese (I used Gruyere)

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water, salt and nutmeg with 2 tablespoons of the butter and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water boils, add the flour all at once and beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it is thick and comes away from the side of the pan. Cook, stirring to dry out the dough, about 30 seconds. Transfer the dough to a medium bowl and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
  2. Beat 1 egg into the dough until incorporated. Beat in 1/4 cup of the cheese and another egg until blended, then beat in the last egg until the dough is very smooth.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water near the stove. With a large spatula, transfer the dough to a resealable plastic bag, pressing it into one corner. Cut off the tip of the bag; the opening should be about 1/2 inch long.
  4. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Carefully hold the bag over the water and press out the dough, using a small sharp knife to cut it into 1 1/2-inch lengths before it drops into the pot (see Note). Simmer the gnocchi for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the ice water bath to stop the cooking. Transfer the gnocchi to paper towels and pat dry.
  5. Grease a 9-by-12-inch baking dish with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Arrange the gnocchi in the dish and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese. Bake until puffed, about 25 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Broil the gnocchi 6 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until browned. Serve right away. 
Note: The gnocchi can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated for a few hours or even overnight before baking and broiling.

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