Thursday, October 15

Gnocchi (or my latest obsession)

I always thought I hated gnocchi. Tough, chewy, tasteless lumps of potato dough masquerading as pasta. That is, until Tre. Tre Trattoria is a restaurant here in San Antonio. We first visited for two reasons - it was Josie's birthday and we needed somewhere new to take 'the group' and it looked (from the online menu) more like the places we ate at in Italy (ok make it 3 reasons, they had linguini with clams on the menu...my favorite!) That night 90% of our party ordered the wild mushroom tagliatelle and the rest went with the clams (best I've ever had outside Italy) and we were all smitten and there was much rejoicing and the people were happy. The point is, it wasn't until a later visit when a generous friend ordered an extra plate of gnocchi to share with the table that my obsession began...

This gnocchi was panfried and crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside and tasted absolutely delicious! I was in love. Not only did I want to never stop eating it, I wanted to make it, to master it, to own it! I obsessed about this gnocchi for days. I read recipes online, watched videos, I even got in touch with Jason Dady, the head chef and one of the owners of Tre for tips. The other night I had the ingredients and some time on my hands so I took the plunge. I won't post the recipe here, not until I practice a few more times, but as a starting point I used this one from Gourmet (side note - I still can't believe Gourmet is over). I'm not sure if you can get to the recipe without registering but it is from Urban Italian.

The big difference between this recipe and lots of others I read was baking the potatoes, and adding the egg/oil/seasoning mix to the sieved potato flesh while it was still hot enough to bind the egg protein somewhat. Also minimal dough manipulation to keep it fluffy. Here's my dough ready to go (black flecks are pepper, probably leave it out next time).


Then I immediately cut it into 6 pieces and gently (but quickly) rolled out dough strings and cut them into diagonal slices.


I kept the cut ones covered in cling wrap while I worked to stop them drying, although the whole process was so quick they'd probably be fine.


The trick Chef Dady told me was to poach them (about 2 mins, till they float to the surface) them (gently) plunge them into ice water. From here I let them drain on paper towel, dry out a little, and them pan fried them in butter until they browned on each side.

Bit of fresh grated Parmesan and some pepper and we have dinner!

Oh and if you're looking for updates on the Roo, make sure to check out the Traveling Bears.

10 comments:

Mothersupex said...

Sounds very different to have gnocchi fried and to think of all the screwed up noses, when I suggested a dish with gnocchi. Pleased you are experimenting and now have the taste for it. We had a type of casserole yesterday and instead of potatoes, I added gnocchi towards the end, before serving.

Mothersupex said...

P.S. What do you mean, it was Josie's birthday?

Vikki said...

Thanks. Now I want gnocchi at 9:30 in the morning. Looks and sounds amazing.

Jennifer A.K. Harris said...

Excellent! I'll have to try making it. I wasn't a big gnocchi fan until I had it at Maggiano's at The Rim. They have a gnocchi in vodka sauce that is excellent. Another good one is the sweet potato gnocchi at Green on North Flores.

Mothersupex said...

We have been cheated. No Martyroo photo's. Even BigA has not updated :-(

Jac said...

The first time we went to the restaurant was Josie's birthday. And this isn't Marty's blog, it's mine. I'm hopelessly devoted to him, but I hope I'm never entirely defined by him!

Big A said...

Independent assessment: we've tried Jac's gnocchi and we've also tried the gnocchi at Tre Trattoria (tonight, for Jeannie's birthday) and the difference isn't that great!

We are eating very well here!

Anonymous said...

Jac, that's quite a compliment from Alastair there : )
Someone made gnocchi like you did on tv the other night - i'd never heard of frying it before, coincidental timing!
Sounded super-yum.
Love Britt.

Adrienne said...

I may have licked the 'puter screen. (blush)

xA

Liz said...

Oh lord, those sound (and look!) good. I'm very intrigued by the baking of the potato - hmm. You have me thinking very hard about sauces.