Tag: Gnocchi

Legendary Dishes | Bryndzové Halušky (potato dumplings with cheese)

SLOVAKIA

To egg or not is the question good cooks ignore when making perfect potato dumplings (gnocchi in Italy). The addition of eggs is associated with Alsace and Piedmont where the technique aids the kneading process, but produces harder gnocchi. The Alsace version calls for larger pieces, shaped between two spoons. A ratio of 2:1 raw grated potatoes to cooked puréed potatoes is mixed with two eggs and sufficient flour to make a smooth paste. These gnocchi are seasoned with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. In Veneto expert gnocchi makers select potatoes that will not absorb too much flour and hold their shape while cooking. A 4:1 ratio of boiling potatoes to white flour should produce the light fluffy effect demanded by gnocchi aficionados but beware, there are some difficulties. Marcella Hazan gives one of the best descriptions for shaping Veneta gnocchi using the prongs of a fork. She recommends small gnocchi, 2.5 x 2 cm pieces, which are pressed against the inside prongs and flipped toward the handle of the fork.

‘When gnocchi are shaped in this manner,  the middle section is thinner and becomes more tender in cooking, while the ridges become grooves for the sauce to cling to.

In Slovakia, where they marry old potatoes to a tangy sheep‘s cheese called bryndza, the debate is also a matter of preference. The traditional method for making bryndzové halušky is without eggs and a high potato to flour ratio of 5 to 1. Then try eating bryndzové halušky with a 3 to 1 ratio made with egg, coated with grated cheese and sour cream, and served with more cream! A recipe for gnocchi is in the potato section.

500 g Agata / Agria / Bintje potatoes, cubed small, blended to a purée
300 g bryndza cheese, grated
250 g Oravská údená slanina / smoked bacon, cubed 
200 ml smetana / sour cream 
100 g white wheat flour, t550
1 egg
Salt, large pinch

In a large bowl work puréed potatoes, egg, flour and salt into a paste. Ideally you need an halušky pan, but anything with with round holes about 1 cm in diameter will do the job. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, push the paste through the holes, cook until the small dumplings rise to the surface, about eight minutes. Drain, retaining cooking liquid. Spoon 100 ml of the liquid into a bowl with the cheese, fork and whisk into a thin sauce. If desired mix half of the sour cream into the sauce. Fry the bacon until the fat runs, drain the fat and crisp bacon for three minutes, turning constantly. Arrange the halušky in a separate bowl, cover with cheese sauce, top with the bacon. Serve with cream.

INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS = Agata Potato | Agria Potato  | Bintje PotatoBryndza Cheese | Smoked Bacon | Soft Wheat

LEGENDARY DISHES


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Legendary Dishes | Gnocchi (potato dumplings)

Italian potato specialists Antonio Ruggiero recommend agata, arrow, frisia and marabel for gnocchi.


To egg or not is the question good cooks ignore when making perfect potato dumplings, known as gnocchi in Italy.

The addition of eggs is associated with Alsace and Piedmont where the technique aids the kneading process, but produces harder gnocchi.

The Alsace version calls for larger pieces, shaped between two spoons. A ratio of 2:1 raw grated potatoes to cooked puréed potatoes is mixed with two eggs and sufficient flour to make a smooth paste.

These gnocchi are seasoned with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

In Veneto expert gnocchi makers select potatoes that will not absorb too much flour and hold their shape while cooking. A 4:1 ratio of boiling potatoes to white flour should produce the light fluffy effect demanded by gnocchi aficionados but beware, there are some difficulties.

Marcella Hazan gives one of the best descriptions for shaping Veneta gnocchi using the prongs of a fork.

She recommends small gnocchi, 2.5 x 2 cm pieces, which are pressed against the inside prongs and flipped toward the handle of the fork.

‘When gnocchi are shaped in this manner, the middle section is thinner and becomes more tender in cooking, while the ridges become grooves for the sauce to cling to.’

In Slovakia, where they marry old potatoes to a tangy sheep’s cheese called bryndza, the debate is also a matter of preference.

The traditional method for making bryndzové halušky is without eggs and a high potato to flour ratio of 5 to 1.

Then try eating bryndzové halušky with a 3 to 1 ratio made with egg, coated with grated cheese and sour cream, and served with more cream!


Gnocchi

Every Italian will tell you quietly that the secret to gnocchi is hidden in the choice of potato.

These would be the varieties grown in Viterbo, between Umbria and Tuscany. The moderate Lake Bolsena climate and potassium-rich volcanic soils produce potatoes with a pasty consistency, ideal for preparing gnocchi.

That secret is out.

Since 1977 an annual Gnocchi Festival has been held in St. Lorenzo Nuovo.

  • 900 g Patata dell’Alto Viterbese potatoes, boiled whole in skins, cooled
  • 250 g flour
  • 10 g salt
  • Water, for boiling
  • parmigiano / pecorino, grated fine, for dressing

Pass potatoes through a fine colander or potato masher.

Add half the salt salt.

On a clean surface combine potatoes with flour into a pasty dough.

Roll into a sausage 5cm thick, cut into 2cm slices.

Press each piece with the handle of a knife, to form a cup shape.

Bring a large saucepan with water and remaining salt to a rolling boil.

Add gnocchi in batches.

When they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve with a dressing of cheese.


Gnocchi di Castagne al Pesto (with chestnuts and basil paste)

Sweet and rich.

  • 700 g potatoes, baked, mashed
  • 100 g strong white flour
  • 100 g chestnut flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt, pinch
  • White pepper, pinch

Pesto

  • 100 g basil leaves
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 40 g Parmigiano
  • 40 g Toscano Pecorino
  • 30 g pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove Salt, pinch

Combine potatoes, the two flours, egg and salt in a large bowl. On a floured surface roll into a sausage 5 centimetre thick, cut into 2cm slices. Bring a large saucepan with salt and water to a rolling boil. Add gnocchi in batches. When they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl. Toss in the pesto.


Maneghi (sweet potatoes)

A whole different potato dumpling.

  • 300 g American (sweet) potatoes
  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 30 g hard cheese, grated
  • 30 g icing sugar
  • 10 g cinnamon, ground

Bake potatoes in 160°C oven for 45 minutes, peel and mash. Leave to cool. In a large bowl mix potatoes with the egg and flour. Shape into gnocchi. Bring to the boil in a pot of hot water. Reduce heat. When gnocchi rise to the surface they are ready. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, fry the cinnamon for ten seconds, add sugar and grana. Toss maneghi in the spicy-sweet butter.

LEGENDARY DISHES


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Culinary Connections | Potato Dumplings

FRANCE ITALY LITHUANIA SLOVAKIA

To egg or not is the question good cooks ignore when making perfect potato dumplings or gnocchi as they are known in Italy and throughout the Mediterranean basin.

The addition of eggs is associated with Alsace and Piedmont where the technique aids the kneading process, but produces harder gnocchi.

The Alsace version calls for larger pieces, shaped between two spoons. A ratio of 2:1 raw grated potatoes to cooked puréed potatoes is mixed with two eggs and sufficient flour to make a smooth paste. These gnocchi are seasoned with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

In Veneto expert gnocchi makers select potatoes that will not absorb too much flour and hold their shape while cooking. A 4:1 ratio of boiling potatoes to white flour should produce the light fluffy effect demanded by gnocchi aficionados but beware, there are some difficulties.

Marcella Hazan gives one of the best descriptions for shaping Veneto gnocchi using the prongs of a fork. She recommends small gnocchi, 2.5 x 2 cm pieces, which are pressed against the inside prongs and flipped toward the handle of the fork. ‘When gnocchi are shaped in this manner, the middle section is thinner and becomes more tender in cooking, while the ridges become grooves for the sauce to cling to.’ In Slovakia, where they marry old potatoes to a tangy sheep’s cheese called bryndza, the debate is also a matter of preference. The traditional method for making bryndzové halušky is without eggs and a high potato to flour ratio of 5 to 1. Then try eating bryndzové halušky with a 3 to 1 ratio made with egg, coated with grated cheese and sour cream, and served with more cream!

Bryndzové Halušky (potato dumplings with sauce)

  • 500 g gria / Bintje / Desirée potatoes, peeled, grated to a purée
  • 300 g Bryndza / sheep’s cheese, grated
  • 250 g smoked bacon, cubed
  • 200 ml smetana / sour cream (optional)
  • 100 g flour
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • Salt, large pinch
  • Water, for boiling

In a large bowl work potatoes, flour and salt (and if using the egg) into a light dough until it comes away from the edges of the bowl. Rub or cut into small dumplings.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the dumplings, cook until they rise to the surface, about ten minutes.

Drain, retaining the cooking liquid.

Spoon 100 ml of the liquid into a bowl with the cheese, fork and whisk into a thin sauce.

If desired mix half of the sour cream into the cheese sauce.

Fry the bacon until the fat runs, drain the fat and crisp for three minutes, turning constantly.

Arrange the halušky in a bowl, cover with the bryndza sauce, top with the bacon.

Serve with remaining sour cream.


Maneghi (sweet potatoes)

  • 300 g sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled, mashed
  • 200 g flour
  • 100 g butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 30 g Grana Padano, grated
  • 10 g cinnamon, ground
  • Water, for boiling

Combine the potatoes with the egg and flour, form into large gnocchi.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the dumplings, cook until they rise to the surface, about 20 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, fry the cinnamon for ten seconds, add sugar and grana.

Toss maneghi in the spicy-sweet butter.


Gnocchi (loose)

Gnocchi are not always dumplings, sometimes they are made like polenta.

  • 600 ml milk 
  • 120 g flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Butter, for greasing and spreading
  • Hard cheese, for sprinkling

Boil milk, add salt and flour in small amounts. Cook for ten minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add the egg, stirring constantly to prevent it cooking.

Pour the mixture onto a clean surface and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cut into squares 4 cm x 4 cm.

Grease a small baking tray, arrange a layer of squares, dotted with pieces of butter and sprinkled with cheese.

Repeat until the squares are used up, finish with butter and cheese.

Bake until a brown crust forms.


Gnocchi (sweet)

This is the sweet version.

  • 250 ml milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30 g sugar
  • 30 g vanilla sugar
  • 15 g potato starch
  • Butter, for spreading

Combine ingredients in a heavy based saucepan, and bring the hear up slowly, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

Pour the mixture onto a clean surface and allow to cool. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut into squares 4 cm x 4 cm.

Grease a small baking tray, arrange a layer of squares, dotted with pieces of butter.

Repeat until the squares are used up, finish with butter.

Bake until a brown crust forms.


Gnocchi (with specialist potatoes0

Every Italian will tell you quietly that the secret to gnocchi is hidden in the choice of potato.

These would be the varieties of Agate, Agria, Amber, Arizona, Chopin, Finka, Marabel, Monalisa, Universa and Vivaldi grown in Viterbo, between Umbria and Tuscany.

The moderate Lake Bolsena climate and potassium-rich volcanic soils produce potatoes with a pasty consistency, ideal for preparing gnocchi.

That secret is out.

Since 1977 an annual Gnocchi Festival has been held in St. Lorenzo Nuovo.

  • 900 g Patata dell’Alto Viterbese potatoes, boiled whole in skins, cooled
  • 250 g flour
  • 10 g salt
  • Water, for boiling
  • Parmigiano / pecorino, grated fine, for dressing

Pass potatoes through a fine colander or potato masher.

Add half the salt salt.

On a clean surface combine potatoes with flour into a pasty dough.

Roll into a sausage 5 cm thick, cut into 2 cm slices.

Press each piece with the handle of a knife, to form a cup shape.

Bring a large saucepan with water and remaining salt to a rolling boil.

Add gnocchi in batches.

When they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve with a dressing of cheese.


Gnocchi di Castagne al Pesto (with potatoes and basil paste)

Also sweet but rich.

  • 700 g potatoes, baked, mashed
  • 100 g strong white flour
  • 100 g chestnut flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt, pinch
  • White pepper, pinch

Pesto

  • 100 g basil leaves
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 40 g Parmigiano
  • 40 g pecorino
  • 30 g pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt, pinch

Combine potatoes, the two flours, egg and salt in a large bowl.

On a floured surface roll into a sausage 5 cm thick, cut into 2 cm slices.

Bring a large saucepan with salt and water to a rolling boil.

Add gnocchi in batches.

When they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl.

Toss in the pesto.


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