Little cute pillows of potato GNOCCHI!
2 large potatoes
2 cups of flour
salt, to taste
Peel and dice the potatoes into bite sized pieces, add to a medium pot and fill with water until potatoes are just covered. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are tender. Drain into a fine strainer for 5 minutes, or until potatoes have lost their moisture and are cool to the touch. Set strainer over a large bowl and mash cooked potatoes into the strainer, until your potatoes are "riced" into the awaiting bowl. It should look something like this:
Combine your "riced" potatoes with two cups of flour and one egg and combine using the paddle attachment of your mixer until the dough just comes together, about 1-2 minutes. Do not overwork the dough, as the gnocchi will then become tough.
Collect a handful of dough and roll into a long log, about 1/2 inch in diameter on a slightly floured surface. Cut into 1 inch pieces, then using the tines of a fork, flick each dough piece off, creating the shape and texture of the gnocchi. Place pre-cooked gnocchi in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and repeat until all the dough is used.
Don't worry if your gnocchi don't look uniform...homemade cooking should be rustic!
To cook: place handful of gnocchi in salted, boiling water until it floats to the top. Serve immediately in your favorite gnocchi application! (You can also store your homemade gnocchi for several days in an air tight container, or freeze them for later use.)
Like I said before, I like to beef up my soups with gnocchi, and since I recently dined on soup, salad and bread sticks from a chain that shall not be mentioned - I was inspired to whip up my own version of creamy chicken and gnocchi soup.
Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi Soup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 large celery stalks (leafy tops included), diced
1 large onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups pre-cooked chicken - your choice of diced or shredded white and/or dark meat
2 quarts of chicken stock
16 oz. of prepared gnocchi
1 cup of heavy cream
1 tsp each: dried parsley, oregano and thyme
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
Melt oil and butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Add parsley, oregano and thyme - then add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Drop chicken and simmer for 1/2 hour until the liquid reduces slightly. (You can add more stock if your soup reduced too much.)
Right before service, add gnocchi. When the gnocchi floats, turn off the heat and add the cream, salt and pepper and grated nutmeg. Spoon into shallow dishes and serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
The texture of this soup is to die for...between the tender chicken and the fluffy, pillow'y gnocchi...I was in heaven! I also baked up some homemade bread to go along with this, so I could dunk the bread into the broth, which was so flavorful.
Truth be told, not only was this dinner - but also breakfast the next morning.