Monday, July 6, 2009

Merging Quark & Gnocchi in Search of the Ultimate Melt-in-Your-Mouth Dumplings

Now, tell the truth. How many of us have ever had gnocchi that truly melted in our mouths? I read of gnocchi that are "cloud-like pillows" and compare that vision to my tasty little dumplings. They're good ... but "cloud-like?" Hmmph. So I've been experimenting and I'm getting closer to gnocchi that truly melt in my mouth.

The closest I have come so far to "melt in my mouth" was a batch made with a balsamic vinegar/skim milk quark. I used the microwave to make the quark and rung it out until very dry. Then I used very little flour. They look like uncooked ginger snaps but they taste wonderful and do indeed melt in your mouth!

The next experiment was with whole milk quark soured with half rice vinegar and half lemon juice. Again, I used very little flour. The result is ever so slightly rubbery but not at all heavy.

So, the next gnocchi experiment will be with skim milk and white wine vinegar. I'm just guessing that it is the fat content in the milk that is causing the rubberiness.

Each batch took 1/2 gallon milk, about 2/3 cup acid, one egg, scant 1 cup sifted flour stirred in, and flour for dropping the pieces in to roll.

Since the dough is very wet, I don't use the "roll-a-rope" method. Instead, I drop the dough by the spoonful into the bowl of flour. Then I pick up the dollop and roll it into a ball. Finally, I shape it and place it on a lined cookie sheet to freeze.

Gnocchi on Foodista

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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.