Friday, March 02, 2007

Potayto ?? Potaato ??

who cares whats its called, grab some and turn them into your favorite dish I say !!
Dear Foodies,

Gnocchi
The moment I saw Meeta's Gnocchi in Sage Garlic Butter I was itching to taste it. It looked like a dish that can't go wrong. We went to a a couple of Italian restaurants in the hope of trying it , but none had it one their menu ! Finally we went to a place that had Gnocchi on their specialty dish list and I was impressed. I did not care to look at the rest of the menu and placed an order for it. The menu described it as 'potato dumplings in marinara and cheese sauce seasoned with Italian herbs'. When the dish arrived all I saw was potato dumplings in cheese, cheese and more cheese !! It was extremely bland and had no flavor at all. Everything that they added was overpowered by the huge amount of cheese they used. I had to flood the dish with salt, pepper and chilli flakes to make it palatable :-(

After that incident I decided to try it out myself and Vaishali's event was the perfect call. I made this early last week, but I had to move to a new apartment during the weekend and in the mess I forgot to upload the pictures to my laptop and the camcorder was safely stacked in one of the boxes. Yesterday I checked the deadline for the event and rushed to get this post published.

I am not going to go into the details of the recipe as Meeta has explained it in as much detail as possible :-) So here's a summary of what I did : I boiled and grated the potatoes and used all-purpose flour, semolina and a little corn starch for binding. I did not have potato starch at hand and I think that effected the texture. I think there was also a lot of water content in the potatoes since I found it extremely difficult to shape them. The only way I could handle them was by wetting my fingers with water. You might have noticed that my Gnocchi do not have the beautiful ribbed design that Meeta made. I could not make those stick to the gnocchi :-( But the best part is neither did the one in the restaurant have them :-)) So I consoled myself that I was atleast able to shape them well. I then boiled them in some salted water. Heat the water first and when you see it steaming add the potato dumplings. Use medium flame and don't let the water get to a boil. This will overcook the potato and break them down into a gooey form (thats from experience..eeeeks :-P) Once the dumplings start to float, drain and reserve them. Make these in small batches based on the size of your pan.

Now its time to add the flavorings. The blandness of the Gnocchi at the restaurant was still haunting me and so I decided to add some heat to mine. I made a few changes to Meeta's seasoning based on what I had in my pantry or rather what I did not have...hehe.

Before I started with the dish I made some Aglio Olio and let it sit till I was ready to use it. After all the potatoes were done, I heated a wide bottomed sauce pan added some olive oil, butter and a few spoons of Aglio Olio ( I used red pepper flakes instead of chillies). I also added a tsp of finely chopped ginger and a few extra flakes of red pepper. After sauteing them for a minute I tossed in the Gnocchi and got all of them nicely coated with the seasoning. Be careful to not break any. I did not have any fresh/dried herbs but had some parsley-garlic salt and used that. I finally garnished them with some grated parmesan cheese and it was ready to devour :-)

I am sure this was nowhere close to what Meeta made but it was faaaaar better than the one at the restaurant. 'Garlic' was the flavor in the dish and the potato was perfectly cooked. I just loved them in this form. It was not similar to any other potato dish I have tasted. No extra flavorings to spoil them, no extra fat just plain simple potato richness all through. All of you must try this dish at home. Once the dumplings are made you can play around with the seasonings and make it your own dish. I assure you that you will change your perspective on cooking potatoes after you eat this. They do not need all the spices and oil to perk them up, they are gooood just as they are :-)

Now I am off to Vaishali's place, I'm a day late and just don't want to miss the event :-(


6 thoughts:

Asha said...

You are right about Meeta's Gnocchi.They are good.Your's is not bad either for a first timer!Looks yummy with the cheese melted and all gooey.

marriedtoadesi.com said...

Priya,

My sister had emailed me Meeta's post, and said she wanted to make it too! That is so cool that you attempted to. Gnocchi has seemed far to fancy for me (to make NOT eat!)..but hey that's what some people say about poricha kozhambu too! haha....Thanks for your lovely comments girl :)
ps. Gnocchi reminds me of my first date with the hubby when he had to ask the waiter how to pronounce it!!!

trupti said...

You did a great job of making the Gnocchi for the 1st time....I am not that brave...but I do love this dish, with some Princess sauce...

thanks for your comments, Priya...I do most of posts in the night time, after my two boys have gone to sleep,and yes, they're a big help!

Cheers,trupti

Linda said...

Wow Priya, THAT is impressive!! Homemade gnocchi -- way to go!! Looks fabulous :):)

Sushma said...

Gnocchi I like them but dont dare to cook them yet... possibly a good start now
-Sushma

bee (jugalbandi.info) said...

your gnocchi looks awesome. great post and recipe.

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