I’ve been reading Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman which to summarize teaches you how the fundamental ingredients in the kitchen work, such as flour, butter, eggs, milk, cream, water and how the ratios between the ingredients are the base of countless variations in doughs, batters, sauces, etc. Understanding those ratios can set you free from using recipes. Well, I will still use recipes but it has helped me to understand how ingredients work and why they have to be combined in a certain order, especially in baking. I primarily bought this book so I could learn how ingredients work so this will allow me to concoct my own recipes. I’ll let you know how that works out…
I discovered parisienne gnocchi in this book, and immediately tried them out. Parisienne gnocchi vary from the Italian version which uses potato, and are actually easier to make. They are essentially a cheesy puff pastry dough which is boiled and then baked, which results in tiny little bite sized airy but crusty pieces.
I wanted to try the basic recipe, but you can add herbs to the dough such as chopped chevril, parsley, basil, or oregano.
Recipe from Food & Wine
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or 1/4 cup gruyere or 1/4 cup asiago cheese
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese or 2 tablespoons gruyere or 2 tablespoons asiago cheese
- In small saucepan, combine water, salt and nutmeg with 2 tablespoons butter. Bring to boil over high heat.
- Add flour all at once and beat dough with wooden spoon until thick and comes away from sides of pan. Lower the heat. Cook, stirring to dry out dough, about 30 seconds. Transfer dough to medium bowl. Cool 5 minutes.
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Set bowl of ice water near stove.
- Beat 1 egg into dough until incorporated. Beat in 1/4 cup cheese and another egg until blended. Beat in last egg until dough is smooth and shiny. With spatula, transfer dough to large resealable plastic bag, pressing it into one corner. Cut tip off bag to create opening 1/2-inch long.
- Reduce boiling water to gentle simmer. Hold bag over water with one hand and squeeze out dough, using small sharp knife or scissors to cut it into 1-1/2-inch lengths; let drop into water.
- Simmer gnocchi 3 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to ice water. Transfer to paper towels and pat dry. (you can prepare them up to this point, and chill them for up to a day before baking them)
- Grease 13- by 9-inch baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Scatter gnocchi in dish; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake in preheated 350F oven until puffed, about 25 minutes. Preheat broiler. Broil gnocchi 6 inches from heat until browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Serving suggestion: (From Ratio)
- Smash 2 cloves of garlic with the flat side of a knife and chop them to a paste. Briefly sautee the garlic and the cooked gnocchi in a mixture of olive oil. Add a cup of diced tomatoes and 1/4 cup chopped basil. Heat through, season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil chiffonade.