Showing posts with label gnocchi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gnocchi. Show all posts

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

Our mango tree that was so incredibly prolific last year, hasn’t been as fruitful this year. There are probably less than a quarter of them than last year, and we lost quite a few of those before they got anywhere near size. So when 4 green but still fairly mature mangoes fell, I decided to use them. I want my mango fix! I haven’t had a great deal of green mango dishes. Here and there there’s been green mango salads accompanying spicy Asian dishes but that’s about it. These salads are usually wonderfully tart and salty. The green mango very sour in comparison to the crazy sweetness of a ripe mango. And the salt tames the sour and brings out more of the fruit flavour.

With that idea in mind, I created this pasta. I was in the mood for gnocchi, not sure why, but I was. And I had half a roast chicken leftover from the night before’s dinner. Summer corn is plentiful and cheap at the moment, so that was going to be added. I thought I’d then round it out with a combination of ginger and coriander as a tip of the hat to the Asian green mango dishes and dark rum as a tip of the hat to the tropical feel of mango. And it worked so well! Salty chicken, sour green mango, sweet corn all working together with the rum to coat the soft pillows of gnocchi.

I only used two of our green mangoes, but I think I’ll use the other two to just repeat this dish!

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

(serves 3-4)
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 brown onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, mince
Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
2 green mangoes, flesh cubed
50mL dark rum
100mL water
1 tsp salt
Kernels from 3 corn cobs
½ cooked chicken, meat shredded
½ red capsicum, sliced
1 packet pre-cooked gnocchi
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
Green chilli, sliced into rings

Heat the coconut oil to medium heat in a frypan. Add the onion slices and half the salt. Leave to cook, stirring here and there so they don’t stick for around 10 minutes, or until lightly browned and caramelly. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the garlic is translucent, around 2 minutes. Add the rum and simmer until reduced by about half and slightly sticky. Add the mango and corn and stir well to coat everything. Simmer until the corn is tender and the rum has reduced to the point where the corn is sticking to the pan in parts.

Add the water and remaining salt and stir to pick up any brown bits stuck to the pan and create a more cohesive sauce. Add in the chicken, capsicum and gnocchi, stirring well to coat in the sticky sauce and veges. Cook 5 minutes until the chicken and gnocchi are warmed through. Just before serving, stir through the coriander leaves and garnish with chilli slices.

Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce
Chicken and Corn Gnocchi with Rum and Green Mango Sauce

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beetroot and Coconut Gnocchi with Green Tea Butter Bean Sauce

For me, the easiest way to make sure I eat well and healthfully is to be prepared. And because I can be seriously lazy, or time-poor (or both), I like to do prep work lazily too. One of the easiest tricks is to just cook too much and you have immediate leftovers. Whenever Lance and I cook a roast (because usually the prep work is a team effort on roasts), I always roast more vegetables than we’ll eat, which I then will use for lunches to take to work. Given that I don’t peel any vegetables, only scrub them before roasting, it really is no extra effort at all. So when Sunday came around and we popped a roast on, I also roasted 2 large beetroot and set them aside to make this dish.
You may remember my sweet potato and coconut gnocchi that was inspired by a dish I never ate at Solomon’s? Well, what we did eat was beetroot and coconut gnocchi, and that was amazing too. So I wanted to give that a go, as well, giving the flavours a Skamp twist. To be honest, these gnocchi were slightly too dry for my liking. I imagine they need either some egg, or perhaps just some oil added into the mixture to bind it better. The sweet potato texture didn’t require anything extra to hold their shape and the mouth feel was perfect. These were a touch dry, so next attempt I will add maybe 2 tbsp coconut oil to the beetroot mixture. Eating it with sauce took away the dryness, but it needed the sauce.
Seeing as the beetroot are really earthy, and I was going to add some leftover rosemary roasted lamb to the sauce, I decided to add caraway and rosemary to the gnocchi to enhance this rich earthiness and the flavour was unbelievable. For the sauce, I made a ‘creamy’ sauce out of butter beans and green tea, to add grassiness to the earthiness, with some fresh lemon and parsley to brighten the flavours up. Then added some peppery watercress and sweet bee pollen to garnish and round out the flavours even more. So. Good. To keep this vegan, you can omit the roast lamb (and bee pollen if that’s your deal). I tasted the sauce and some crumbs without the lamb and it didn’t need the meat.

Beetroot and Coconut Gnocchi with Green Tea Butter Bean Sauce
(serves 4)
2 large roasted beetroot
Coconut flour as necessary – I used 10 tbsp
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp fresh minced rosemary
Coconut oil for frying
1 tin butter beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup strong brewed green tea
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, finely sliced into rounds
Big handful parsley, roughly chopped
1 cup shredded cooked lamb
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Bee pollen and cress leaves to serve
Preheat the oven to 150C to keep the cooked gnocchi warm. Pop the kettle on. Brew a cup of green tea, allowing to steep for a good 5 minutes at least, to develop the flavour. Set aside until ready.
Put the beetroot into your food processor and pulse to break up. Add the salt, pepper, caraway seeds and rosemary, and process until smooth. One tablespoon at a time, add coconut flour and pulse to combine until it forms a dry-ish dough, similar texture to play dough.
Scoop teaspoonfuls and roll to form gnocchi shapes, put on a plate. Heat a frypan to medium and add a knob of coconut oil and allow to melt and heat. Add a handful of gnocchi at a time, fry for 3 minutes or so until ‘golden’ and then flip and cook the other side. Set on a plate and pop in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with all of the gnocchi.
In your blender, blend the green tea and butter beans until smooth. In a pan or small pot, add the butter bean mixture and zucchini and gently simmer for 10 minutes or so until thickened slightly, warm and the zucchini is soft. Add the cooked lamb and after the meat has heated through (approximately 5 minutes) add parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
Scoop some sauce onto your serving plate, gently place the gnocchi on top and scatter cress leaves and bee pollen to serve.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Restaurant Inspired - Sweet Potato and Coconut Gnocchi with Cashew Basil Crema

I recently had a lunch date with my husband at Solomon’s CafĂ© in Highgate. It was on the to-visit list for a while and the menu item that most put it there was the famed sweet potato and coconut gnocchi. When we got there, we ordered out meals with a side of sweet potato and coconut gnocchi. And we were told…it’s actually beetroot gnocchi now. They haven’t been able to source any organic sweet potatoes for a while, so they’ve had to amend it. The whole restaurant is organic (and gluten and dairy free), so obviously this is an issue for them. And the gnocchi was soooo good. Everything was delicious, but the gnocchi was definitely the stand-out.

The next morning I was trying to work out what to make for breakfast. The idea of toast wasn’t thrilling me, so in spite of telling Lance that I was going to make some form of ratatouille with the almost-too-ripe tomatoes in the fridge…I wasn’t really in the mood. So I still made the ratatouille (which we had for lunch), and I thought I’d give the sweet potato gnocchi a go.

This isn’t gnocchi in the traditional boiled pasta route, I just fried the pieces until crispy. And I already had some cashews soaking, so I made a kale, basil and cashew crema to go with it. To make it more breakfast-y, I served it with an egg and a few zucchini chips as more of a garnish. To keep the dish quick, I microwaved the sweet potato instead of roasting it.

All in all, not a bad breakfast – and it all came together before 8:30am! Unfortunately, it was too early for me to bother with many photos, so there’s only a couple of the finished product.

Sweet Potato and Coconut Gnocchi with Cashew Basil Crema.
(serves 2)
1 medium sweet potato
3 tbsp coconut flour (depending on how big your sweet potato is)
Pinch sea salt
Pinch black pepper
pinch cinnamon
¼ tsp sweet paprika
Coconut oil for frying.

2 handfuls cashews, soaked overnight
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 kale leaves, stripped off the rib
Big handful basil
Big handful parsley
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
Water for thinning

Prick the sweet potato a few times, put in a glass bowl, cover with a piece of paper towel and microwave for around 6 minutes until soft. Set aside to cool.

In a food processor, blend the all the ingredients except the olive oil and water. Pulse at first, scrape down the sides, then run on low, adding the oil and water to reach your desired consistency. Check for seasoning and adjust as necessary.

When the sweet potato is cool enough to handle, peel and discard the skin. Mash well with a fork. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon and sweet paprika, and mix through with the fork. Add coconut flour 1 tbsp at a time until it makes a dough. I only needed 3 tbsp for my sweet potato.

Scoop teaspoonsful of dough and roll into gnocchi shapes, flatten slightly with the tines of the fork to shape.

Heat a nob of coconut oil in a fry pan to medium high heat. Fry the gnocchi pieces for a few minutes until golden – around 3 minutes, then flip over and cook that side. Don’t crowd the pan. I did mine in 2 loads, moving the first to a plate in the microwave to keep warm.

Drizzle the sauce onto your serving plates, then top with sweet potato gnocchi.

Serve with an egg if you’d like.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Gifts of Food - Fig, Salami and Ricotta on Cauliflower Gnocchi

Being known as ‘the cook’ definitely has some advantages. And the number one advantage is that sometimes people give me ingredients. Often homegrown ingredients. Having some farm-fresh eggs or backyard tomatoes because they are in season is so awesome. And one free thing that I will never get sick of getting is fresh figs. Figs are one of those things that I love – but never actually buy. So I don’t tend to have them very frequently. So when I was given a handful of figs unexpectedly the other day, I was so stoked. They were my first of the season! Coincidentally, a picture of salted caramel fig trifle came up in my instagram feed that same day and I was drooling, but when I was given the figs my mind was already fixed firmly on what to cook for dinner that night.

I am one of those people that sometimes go for the ‘value-size’ option for something, not remembering that there are only two of us eating most nights. So when I saw that I could get twice as much ricotta for only $1 more…I went with the big tub. And after making lentil ricotta patties two nights in a row, and a zucchini and ricotta ‘risotto’ inspired by a pasta in the Wahaca cookbook I got for Christmas…I still had some left. Figs and ricotta are already a classic combination, so I figured they could make a good pasta sauce. Add some salami for salt and kick, defrost some cauliflower gnocchi and I had an amazing summer pasta ready in less than half an hour.

Perfect with a crisp, dry rose.

Fig Salami and Ricotta on Cauliflower Gnocchi
200g thinly sliced salami, roughly chopped into 1cm squares
1 medium red capsicum, thinly sliced
4 figs, roughly diced
1 cup ricotta
Enough gnocchi for two people (I used this recipe which I had pre-cooked. If you buy it packaged, you’ll need to follow the package cooking instructions first)

Pecorino, black pepper and lemon zest to serve

Heat a frypan to medium high heat and add the salami, stir to separate the bits and help it render out some of it’s oil. Add the capsicum and stir fry this with the salami for about 5 minutes until it starts to soften.

Add the gnocchi and figs and stir through to coat in the oils. Cook for another 5-10 minutes or so until the figs become a little jammy. Add the ricotta and warm through – approximately 2 minutes.

 Serve, sprinkled with some pecorino (or other sharp, aged cheese) freshly cracked pepper and a little lemon zest.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dilemma - Cauliflower Gnocchi with Burnt Butter & Orange Sauce with Hazelnuts, Lamb and Snow Peas

So after replacing our broken dishwasher a few months back, our fridge has decided to slowly stop working as well. I'm not sure why my whitegoods are all abandoning me! But the fridge has brought up a few issues that have been swirling around in my head. Firstly - do I transplant my time-machine of old invitations and post cards and take-out menus and magnets and a calendar from 2011 onto the new fridge, or start with a clean slate? The next issue relates to some frozen cauliflower.

See, we have two fridges - one outside 'drinks fridge' and the everyday fridge that's in the kitchen where it should be. This is so common in Perth where for the majority of the year you want your drinks cold. And plentiful. The power companies tell you that the old outside fridge is just a power-drain and not a good idea - and yet we can't give them up! I know that come December, that extra fridge space isn't 'extra', it's just space. Every inch of both fridges are full of watermelon and rockmelon and every colourful vegetable you can imagine and then you can try fit in some drinks. Maybe. I was telling an overseas friend that we had two fridges and she was blown away. It just seems so unnecessary in places that don't regularly get above 35C, I guess! On the opposite end of the spectrum, I visited Germany at Christmas time as a teenager and I was so delighted to see my host family chill their wine by placing it in a planter box outside the kitchen window. So novel and different to the way we live in Perth!

So our outside fridge is an old hand-me-down fridge and it has just the one setting - COLD! So now that our kitchen fridge has one setting too - OFF, everything has been moved outside temporarily. And it's frozen the cauliflower. I had two of them, because of a sale at the Nanna Shop, both froze solid. Well, what to do with frozen cauli? I love the crunchiness of fresh cauliflower. I love make cauliflower "rice" salads. I love using them with dip. I'm not a huge fan of soggy, fully cooked cauli. But I am not going to throw out two otherwise perfect cauliflowers. So I made soup with one. And cauliflower gnocchi with the other. The soup was a standard cream of cauliflower soup. Nice and simple. The gnocchi however. Oh. My. Goodness. Nutty and delicious. It's fiddly, but give it a go! So good!

To make the gnocchi, first you have to make cauliflower mash, then the gnocchi. Like you would a traditional potato gnocchi. I've split it up into different stages to make it easier to describe. The first night, I served it with this lamb and orange butter sauce, the next night with a simple Arrabiata sauce. Both were good! And I still have enough leftover gnocchi in the freezer for two more meals.

Cauliflower Mash
1 head, chopped into smaller florets
4 garlic cloves, diced
water to cover
big pinch salt

Put all ingredients in a big pot. Bring to the boil, then simmer until the cauliflower is tender. Approximately 30 minutes. Mash mixture, then put into a fine mesh sieve to remove all of the extra water. Allow to cool completely whilst draining.

Gnocchi with Spelt and Hazelnut
Cauliflower mash (1 think I ended up with 3-4 cups)
1 egg
1 tbsp salt
4 + cups wholemeal spelt flour
1/2 cup hazelnut meal

Combine mash, salt and egg in a bowl and mix well. Add the hazelnut meal and 1/2 cup spelt flour. Mix well, then add more flour 1/2 cup and a time until it comes together into a big ball of dough. I think all up I needed about 4 1/2 cups of flour for the amount of mash I had.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth.

Put a large pot of water with a big pinch of salt on to boil.

Cut the dough into pieces and roll out into a rope, and cut into pieces. I made mine around 1cm wide, 3cm long. Roll over a fork to shape the gnocchi. Repeat for all of the dough. I recruited my husband to help with this process.

About 20 pieces at a time, carefully drop them into boiling water. When they float to the surface, scoop them out with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Whatever you aren't using that night, freeze.


Burnt Butter and Orange Sauce with Hazelnuts, Lamb and Snow Peas
100g unsalted butter
big handful of hazelnuts (approx. 2/3 cup)
zest and juice of two oranges
20 or so snow peas, cut into 2cm pieces.
2/3 cup shredded roast lamb
Enough gnocchi for 2 people
lots of fresh cracked pepper to serve

In a frypan on medium-high heat, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant and darker brown. Set aside to cool, and when you can, rub between your hand to remove the skins. Roughly chop.

Put the butter into the same frypan, allow to melt and then swirl around as it  turns brown and nutty smelling. Add the zest and juice, mix around to full incoporate into the butter and add the gnocchi. Stir to coat and keep stirring for a few minutes. Add the lamb, stir it through, allowing it to heat through. Add the snow peas and cook until they soften slightly and turn brighter green.

Just before serving, toss through the hazelnuts.