Posts Tagged With: butter

Gnocchi with burnt butter and sage

Passing potatoes through the mouli for gnocchi

The volunteers occasionally freak out when I tell them they’re making gnocchi. But I say, have no fear! It’s child’s play… as long as the spuds cool down enough once they’re out of the oven & you help a bit with getting the gnocchi out of the pot, it’s a great dish to do with children as there’s a few different procedures & fun (and teamwork required) playing with the mouli to get the potatoes mashed… and who doesn’t love a bit of playdoh-style rolling out with the dough? I do anyway…

Gnocchi with burnt butter and sage

Fresh from the garden: potatoes, sage, eggs

Recipe source: Melissa, kitchen specialist at Bondi PS

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Floury potatoes work best here: nicola, desiree, pink eye, russet Burbank Idaho and toolangi delight are all great varieties. The trick is to keep your work light – do not overwork the dough – and your gnocchi will be light too.

Equipment:

  • Baking tray
  • Paper towel
  • Large saucepan with lid
  • Small saucepan
  • Large knife, spoon
  • Oven glove or tea towel
  • Ricer, mouli or sieve
  • Bowls – 1 large, 4 small bowls
  • Scales, grater
  • Baking sheet
  • Slotted spoon
  • Serving plates
Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg floury potatoes
  • 150g plain flour plus extra
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 150g parmesan
  • 125g salted butter
  • Small branch of sage

 

What to do:

For the gnocchi:

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Scrub potatoes well & wipe dry with paper towel. Prick all over with a fork and bake in their jackets in the oven for an hour until tender to squeeze.
  • Put the large pot of water on high heat to boil.
  • Cut potatoes in half. Hold half in an oven glove or folded tea towel & scoop out the flesh into a large bowl then press into the ricer, mouli or sieve to cool.
  • Grate parmesan into a small bowl. Grate nutmeg into a small bowl to make about ¼ teaspoon and wash and carefully dry the sage, picking off the leaves.
  • Make a well in the centre of potato mound and add a handful of flour, the yolks, salt, nutmeg and 50g of the parmesan.
  • Fold continuously toward centre, gradually adding more flour until it comes together without being sticky. Allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  • Roll some mixture into a sausage shape about 3cm in diameter and cut off 3cm pieces.
  • Lightly flour the baking sheet. Roll each piece on the back of a fork using thumb and forefinger & place gnocchi there until ready to use
  • Poach gnocchi in a large pot of salted boiling water until they rise to the surface, then scoop onto your serving plates.

For the burnt butter:

  • Chop the butter into small pieces and then in the small saucepan heat the butter on medium until it develops a nut-brown colour.
  • Add sage and continue cooking for 30 seconds until the leaves are crisp.
  • Sprinkle remaining parmesan onto the gnocchi and then drizzle on the sizzling crispy sage & butter.


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Marjoram! where’ve you been all my life?

I’m obsessed! Marjoram has taken over my life… I’m finding ways of getting it into all sorts of dishes these last few weeks and I’m loving it… I can’t have enough of marjoram, and thyme, and oregano and I can’t believe for the first 40 years of my life I only looked for basil and coriander in the herb section of the supermarket… with a bit of bay and a tiny bit of parsley (bleugh) and ignoring mint totally (BLEUGH).

And now I’m growing my own to keep with up with the amounts I need; it’s like a drug. A perfumed, lemony, herbaceous, aromatic and healthy drug, I’m chopping with abandon…!

Uses for marjoram leaves this week: tossed with leaves and a classic lemon vinaigrette for a crunchy almost-spring salad; chopped up with thyme, salt, a little chilli and butter and smeared under the skin of roasting chicken; sprinkled over a freshly cooked tomato, red onion & bocconcini pizza; sauced up with its aromatic herby friends – basil, coriander, thyme and oregano – garlic and butter and tossed through home-made linguine; garnishing a bowl of wintry Jerusalem artichoke soup; and my favourite: finishing off my easy-peasy & cheap one-pot chicken braise… delish. And now to the recipe!

Mel’s easy-peasy & cheap one-pot chicken braise – Serves 4 (with potential leftovers for pasta!)

 8 chicken drumsticks (free-range at least)

Olive oil

2 brown onions

4 cloves garlic

2 tins cherry tomatoes

A cup of chicken stock

Salt & pepper

Fresh herbs: handful marjoram, oregano, thyme

Dried herbs: 2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Brown off the chicken drumsticks with a good glug of olive oil in an oven-proof casserole dish* (with lid & wide enough to fit chicken in one layer if possible). Remove.

Peel then halve onions & finely slice, add to hot pot and stir. Strip thyme leaves from stalks and add to the onions. Peel and crush the garlic, add to the pot and cook, stirring, on medium heat until the onions are soft but not brown.

Add chicken back to the pot, pour in the tomatoes and enough stock to almost cover the chicken, sprinkle a good pinch of salt, grind some pepper and add the bay leaves. Turn heat up and watch until it’s almost boiling, then pop lid on and place in oven for an hour.

With 20 minutes to go, take the lid off to let the liquid reduce a little.

Remove from the oven, pick the leaves from the marjoram and oregano, chop them up and sprinkle over the finished chicken. Serve immediately.

Best eaten with buttery boiled potatoes and garlicky broccoli.

*Best by far is to cook this in cast-iron – I’ve got a big Le Creuset and a small cheapie version from Aldi and they both cook up a storm… worth investing in (or not!).

dear dear marjoram, grow quickly please

Linguine and herbs

serves 6

 500g fresh linguine

1 tablespoon cooking salt

225 g butter

8 small cloves garlic

Small bunch basil to yield 1/3 cup

Bunch coriander to yield 1/3 cup

3 or 4 sprigs thyme to yield 2 tablespoons

3 or 4 sprigs marjoram to yield 2 tablespoons

3 or 4 sprigs oregano to yield 2 tablespoons

Small bunch parsley to yield 2 tablespoons

2 tablespoons black olives

Flaked salt & black pepper

 Fill a large stockpot with water and heat on high. Meanwhile wash & carefully dry the herbs, then pick the leaves if needed, discarding the stems. Finely chop herbs. Slice the olives & finely chop the garlic.

Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Stir in the herbs.

When the water is boiling add the pasta & cooking salt, stir, put lid back on and when boiling again cook for 3 minutes until ‘al dente’. Drain the pasta and transfer to back into the stockpot. Add the butter mixture to the stockpot and toss carefully. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with black olive slices and serve into the serving bowls.

(Adapted from Alice Waters’ ‘The Art of Simple Food)

yum yum pigs bum.

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