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Old 08-02-2015, 08:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
Try Walmart, Kmart, Bed Bath and Beyond. I think we got our latest one at Sur la Table and it wasn't that much. I'd suggest watching the 'family' episode of Master Chef where the pressure test was gnochii in sage browned butter sauce. I've been making gnocchi for many years and got tips from an Italian nonna. She used cake flour, mostly egg whites with just a bit of yolk mixed in. I had never made them the way they did on MC the other night but did when i made them last night, browned in the butter, and they came out really good. Crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.
Medtran, if it's not too much trouble, I'd love a recipe and detailed instructions for your ultimate Gnocchi. You've inspired me with those words!
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:21 AM   #22
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Medtran, if it's not too much trouble, I'd love a recipe and detailed instructions for your ultimate Gnocchi. You've inspired me with those words!
I don't really have a recipe (and neither did she). She just described the general gist of it and then I practiced and also took in tips from other sources over the years but here goes.

DO NOT boil or steam the potatoes, not even in their jackets. Boiling/steaming adds water, which makes you need to add more flour, which leads to lead sinkers. Microwave or bake the potatoes until done. Use a starchy potato. The last batch was made with 1 very large baking potato since it was an experiment, besides the fact that I didn't want to make a lot anyway. It was a perfect amount for a good sized appy portion for 2.

Peel and rice the potato(es) while still nice and warm but not so hot you can't handle. Don't let them cool to room temp or put in fridge. They will get gummy. Add salt generously. White or black pepper too if you want. Toss (use hands) with the riced potatoes.

Most recipes call for whole eggs at this point. What I've discovered is that using mostly egg white, with just a little yolk mixed in seems to make them lighter. So, with just the 1 large egg for the 1 potato the other night, I broke egg into a small bowl, whipped the egg white w/o breaking the yolk until the white was well broken up, then barely broke the yolk and mixed about half of it in. Poured egg (minus the rest of the yolk) in with the riced potatoes and gently mixed.

I will admit I used regular flour cause it was a spur of the moment decision to make the gnocchi and I didn't have any cake flour but I did lighten the flour so that it wasn't packed down. Cake flour won't form gluten (which leads to toughness) like regular flour will. Started with about 1/3 cup and gently mixed (adding a bit of flour as needed) until I got a fairly soft, very slightly sticky, smooth dough, then kneaded a couple of times on a lightly floured board. DO NOT overwork the mix, handle it as gently as possible.

Pinch off a good amount (I did about thirds with the large baker) and roll on a lightly floured board into a log about an inch thick. Cut off about inch long pieces. Here's where I differed from the MasterChef episode. They just left them as is. I rolled the pieces off the back of a fork to make a little indention on the opposite side and fork tine marks on the other. I'm going to try leaving them as is the next time I make this particular preparation. Rolling them off the fork (or using a gnocchi board) gives more surface area to cook faster plus more area for sauce to cling too but that's not really needed for this prep.

Place the gnocchi into medium boiling, heavily salted water. As soon as they float, take them out and drain in a colander. I had always let them cook a couple of minutes after floating but was going with what the MC episode said to do and that's what I'm going to do from now on. Float, OUT.

While you are making the dough prep, place about 3/4 stick unsalted butter in a sauté pan with some sage leaves, torn in large pieces or left whole if small leaves, and let gently simmer on low for a couple of minutes, then pull off heat to infuse the butter. Add S and P.

When you are ready to finish the dish, remove the sage pieces from the butter (they'll get burned and nasty if you don't) and turn heat to just over medium. You will be putting the gnocchi in to get them to just a light golden brown on each side. When you turn them over make a little spot and throw in some sage leaves that have been chiffonaded. When both sides are brown, remove gnocchi to serving dishes and drizzle some of the browned butter (be careful and watch so it doesn't burn and become blackened butter) and some of the freshly sautéed sage leaves.

We tried them with and w/o parm. They were good w/o, but parm added a whole nother taste level so go with your tastes.

It took me several tries when I first started making these before I managed not to make lead sinkers or close to them. You'll want to add more flour. DON'T. You need to get a feel for the dough so that you don't have gnocchi that come apart when boiled or lead sinkers. Start small and get a feel for the dough. 1 potato and some flour won't break the bank in money or your time if it flops. You can always pinch a piece off, shape it and cook it to see if it will fall apart as you are adding in flour while you are learning.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:05 AM   #23
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I thank you very much for taking the time for such a great post, it's most appreciated.

I've printed it out and must give it a try very soon.

I hope you also place your post in the Pasta forum where it won't get lost. It's too good to loose.
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Old 08-03-2015, 11:18 AM   #24
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Does everyone know that fresh gnocci (bought in packets) doesn't have to be boiled but can be baked, e.g alongside pancetta/chopped sausage (something that oozes some fat), tomatoes etc. On a fairly high heat, giving it a stir round at halfway time. I love this method since it's not soggy and takes on the flavour of the meat (soaks up the juices more readily).
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Old 08-03-2015, 12:59 PM   #25
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I thank you very much for taking the time for such a great post, it's most appreciated.

I've printed it out and must give it a try very soon.

I hope you also place your post in the Pasta forum where it won't get lost. It's too good to loose.
You're welcome. We're probably going to make again soon too, probably add some sautéed pancetta. We were going to do that this time but forgot to take the pancetta out of the freezer. It's a lot easier and faster to make small batches than what I used to make (5 pounds of potatoes or so at a time) to freeze and I don't really think there's much of a time save overall and I know that gnocchi are definitely better fresh than frozen.

I'll try to remember to take some pictures next time to add in with a how-to post.
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:11 PM   #26
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Very nice detailed explanation, Medtran. Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:27 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medtran49 View Post
I don't really have a recipe (and neither did she). She just described the general gist of it and then I practiced and also took in tips from other sources over the years but here goes.

DO NOT boil or steam the potatoes, not even in their jackets. Boiling/steaming adds water, which makes you need to add more flour, which leads to lead sinkers. Microwave or bake the potatoes until done. Use a starchy potato. The last batch was made with 1 very large baking potato since it was an experiment, besides the fact that I didn't want to make a lot anyway. It was a perfect amount for a good sized appy portion for 2.

Peel and rice the potato(es) while still nice and warm but not so hot you can't handle. Don't let them cool to room temp or put in fridge. They will get gummy. Add salt generously. White or black pepper too if you want. Toss (use hands) with the riced potatoes.

Most recipes call for whole eggs at this point. What I've discovered is that using mostly egg white, with just a little yolk mixed in seems to make them lighter. So, with just the 1 large egg for the 1 potato the other night, I broke egg into a small bowl, whipped the egg white w/o breaking the yolk until the white was well broken up, then barely broke the yolk and mixed about half of it in. Poured egg (minus the rest of the yolk) in with the riced potatoes and gently mixed.

I will admit I used regular flour cause it was a spur of the moment decision to make the gnocchi and I didn't have any cake flour but I did lighten the flour so that it wasn't packed down. Cake flour won't form gluten (which leads to toughness) like regular flour will. Started with about 1/3 cup and gently mixed (adding a bit of flour as needed) until I got a fairly soft, very slightly sticky, smooth dough, then kneaded a couple of times on a lightly floured board. DO NOT overwork the mix, handle it as gently as possible.

Pinch off a good amount (I did about thirds with the large baker) and roll on a lightly floured board into a log about an inch thick. Cut off about inch long pieces. Here's where I differed from the MasterChef episode. They just left them as is. I rolled the pieces off the back of a fork to make a little indention on the opposite side and fork tine marks on the other. I'm going to try leaving them as is the next time I make this particular preparation. Rolling them off the fork (or using a gnocchi board) gives more surface area to cook faster plus more area for sauce to cling too but that's not really needed for this prep.

Place the gnocchi into medium boiling, heavily salted water. As soon as they float, take them out and drain in a colander. I had always let them cook a couple of minutes after floating but was going with what the MC episode said to do and that's what I'm going to do from now on. Float, OUT.

While you are making the dough prep, place about 3/4 stick unsalted butter in a sauté pan with some sage leaves, torn in large pieces or left whole if small leaves, and let gently simmer on low for a couple of minutes, then pull off heat to infuse the butter. Add S and P.

When you are ready to finish the dish, remove the sage pieces from the butter (they'll get burned and nasty if you don't) and turn heat to just over medium. You will be putting the gnocchi in to get them to just a light golden brown on each side. When you turn them over make a little spot and throw in some sage leaves that have been chiffonaded. When both sides are brown, remove gnocchi to serving dishes and drizzle some of the browned butter (be careful and watch so it doesn't burn and become blackened butter) and some of the freshly sautéed sage leaves.

We tried them with and w/o parm. They were good w/o, but parm added a whole nother taste level so go with your tastes.

It took me several tries when I first started making these before I managed not to make lead sinkers or close to them. You'll want to add more flour. DON'T. You need to get a feel for the dough so that you don't have gnocchi that come apart when boiled or lead sinkers. Start small and get a feel for the dough. 1 potato and some flour won't break the bank in money or your time if it flops. You can always pinch a piece off, shape it and cook it to see if it will fall apart as you are adding in flour while you are learning.
Thanks, gave me some tips to work on.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:01 PM   #28
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Mom used a potato masher. Hers were great!
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:26 AM   #29
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I made a small batch yesterday, only this time I microwaved the potatoes, riced them, then cooled the potatoes until they were cold, than added some beaten egg, flour, salt and pepper, and they turned out great.

Thanks everyone for the help suggestions, and ideas. The folks on this site are always eager to help.
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Old 08-04-2015, 10:21 AM   #30
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I made a small batch yesterday, only this time I microwaved the potatoes, riced them, then cooled the potatoes until they were cold, than added some beaten egg, flour, salt and pepper, and they turned out great.

Thanks everyone for the help suggestions, and ideas. The folks on this site are always eager to help.
This site has such a large International membership that there is always someone who has the right answer. And sometimes even more than one person.

Glad they turned out great. You now have a new skill to add to your list of accomplishments. Congratulations!
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