Saturday, July 18, 2009

Chasing Fluffy Gnocchi

Each batch of gnocchi comes out looking a bit better and they really don't take very long to make, even making cheese from scratch. And with each batch of cheese I make, even that becomes easier.

Oh, drat. We just ate them. They disintegrated a bit in the water and then they felt grainy like an overcooked scrambled egg. Blech.

Today's variation on the hunt for the fluffiest gnocchi tries to use absolutely as little flour as possible, partly because I am going to share these with a friend who is a carb phobe and partly because I'm guessing that the less flour in them the fluffier they will be.

I use the grooved back of a ceramic tile for getting the grooves on the gnocchi. My father bought the tiles many years ago as pizza stones in the oven. Anything with grooves will do.

So, from start to finish, here 'tis.

  • 1/2 gallon skim milk (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 egg (and a 2nd egg if needed)
  • 1 oz. finely grated parmesan
  • salt, white pepper & freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup flour (most of this will be discarded at end)
  1. Pour the milk into a large microwaveable container
  2. Microwave the milk on high for about 15 minutes until it is very hot but not boiling over
  3. Pour the vinegar into the milk and let sit 30 minutes
  4. Reheat in the microwave on high for another 5 minutes
  5. Let sit another 30 minutes or until cool enough to handle -- at this point the milk should have separated into curds and whey
  6. Pour the mixture into a colander lined with muslin or a few layers of cheese cloth and let drain.
  7. Wring the cheese in the cloth until it is quite dry.
  8. Whir the homemade cheese, parmesan, egg and seasonings in the food processor. If the mixture remains in crumbs, add a second egg. The mixture should be stiff enough to leave the sides of the blender and form a lump.
  9. Sift the flour into a small bowl for rolling the gnocchi.
  10. Spoon up enough dough to make a 3/4 inch ball and drop it into the flour.
  11. Roll the dough in the palms of your hand to make a ball, shaking off the excess flour.
  12. Place the ball of dough on your grooved instrument (tile, fork, etc.) and flatten the ball a bit.
  13. The gnoccho should now be shaped somewhat like a raw cookie that has been flatted with a fork, flat side up. Pick up one edge of it and roll it on itself.
  14. Place each gnoccho on a lined cookie sheet and freeze.
  15. When the gnocchi are completely frozen, move them to a plastic bag.
To cook the gnocchi, boil them in plenty of water just until they float. Then place them in the sauce of your choice and let them finish cooking a little in the sauce.

This batch made 28 medium large gnocchi. If you use low fat or whole milk you will have more cheese and therefore more gnocchi.

I will let you know when we eat this if we've finally accomplished the ethereally light gnocchi I've read about but never really experienced, truth be told ...

In a word, NO.

Gnocchi on Foodista

1 comment:

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Imprecise & Inexpensive

Two themes predominate in my approach to cooking. 1. Daily cooking of flavorful food need not be a precise art. 2. You can be an adventurous cook on a budget. Cooking and eating should be fun for both cookers and eaters.