Let's just say, you'll FALL hard for the autumnal fare that will keep you satisfied well into spring....
What you'll need:
-2 lbs of peeled, cubed potatoes (organic, if possible)
-1 cup of wheat flour, with extra for rolling and adding to dough as necessary
-2/3 of canned pumpkin (the kind you might use to make pumpkin pie)
-1 extra large organic egg
-pinch of nutmeg
-pinch of white pepper
-2 tablespoons fresh finely grated (not shredded) parmaggiano reggiano cheese
-large pot to boil potatoes
-a potato ricer
-two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
Boil cubed potatoes in pot until fork-tender; drain completely, spraying with cool water to reduce heat and stop cooking process. Rice potatoes and place in large mixing bowl; add canned pumpkin, egg, pepper, nutmeg, grated cheese, and 1 cup of wheat flour. Combine all ingredients, mixing it with your hands, adding flour as dough becomes sticky. Once fully incorporated, dough should be "play doh" consistency (but don't overwork the dough--it will make the gnocchi hard as rocks). Dust marble slab with flour; form dough into ball. Cut ball into quarters. Form each quarter into rounded tube-like "ropes" about 2 inches in diameter. Cut "ropes" of dough into 1.5-inch gnocchi, placing pieces on cookie sheets; cover cookie sheets completely with plastic wrap and freeze. This makes a double batch. Use half the batch or about 16 ounces of gnocchi with the sauce recipe below for a delightful way to spend a chilly fall night!
To cook gnocchi: Place 1/2 a batch or 16 ounces of gnocchi from freeser on your counter for about twenty minutes; put gnocchi in boiling salter water for about 3-5 minutes. Test with your fork. Should be tender but firm; gnocchi should not fall apart. If it does, it's overcooked. Drain gnocchi and dress with sauce recipe below.
PS: If you don't want to make gnocchi from scratch, just go to your local Wegmans and buy a package of their potato gnocchi with pumpkin. ;)
Sage-Bourbon-Cider-Maple-Brown Butter Sauce
Place 2-3 (hearty) tablespoons of organic, salted butter from fridge into the same pot you just cooked the gnocchi in; turn medium heat to high to get things started. Quickly add a tablespoon+ of good bourbon, a tablespoon of apple cider, 1.5 tablespoons real(!) maple syrup, 3-5 grinds freshly ground black pepper, and 1 whole sage leaf. Add half a teaspoon of poultry seasoning. Fully incorporate ingredients and let bubble at medium-high until color begins to turn golden brown--just a few minutes. Butter can burn quickly--when it does, it looks dark brown and grainy. This isn't what you want. Some brown-butter recipes call for skimming off the solids but that's an unnecessary extra step. Immediately remove from heat and add cooked gnocchi, folding gnocchi gently with sauce. Remove gnocchi and sauce from pan into serving bowl. Take a palmful of finely SHREDDED (as opposed to the grated we used in the gnocchi) fresh parmaggiano reggiano and fold with sauced-gnocchi. Remove sage leaf. Makes 2.5-3 hearty servings. Dust individual servings of gnocchi with shredded parmaggiano reggiano when plated. Garnish with fresh sage leaves or sprigs of thyme. And, enjoy!
What to drink with this splendid dish? Funny you should ask....
Take one-ounce of Maker's Mark bourbon and combine with 1/2 ounce of Stirrings ginger liqueur in six-ounce shaker. Add half a pinch of ground ancho chile powder and a pinch of ground Saigon cinnamon. Add 3-4 ounces of cider, depending on how strong you like your drink. Add one ice cube to shaker. Shake VIGOROUSLY for 2-3 minutes by hand. Garnish with a piece of candied ginger, sliced thin; put one thin slice in bottom of glass. Strain mixture into glass. Put another thin slice of candied ginger on the side of the glass. Serve. Et salut!
Want to make it virgin? Add an ounce of San Pellegrino sparkling water and teaspoon of ginger syrup to 4 ounces of cider, shaking vigorously with the same amount of ancho and cinammon, and, a cube of ice. Serve in a martini glass and garnish as above.
Thanks for joining me for the last segment of POP CULTURE COOKING! I'll be back with two more segments to help you digest all those Christmas episodes...and relatives.
Until then, stay thirsty...and don't forget to EAT!