Nov 29, 2009

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage and Shaved Chestnuts from Gourmet

Gourmet magazine has folded. But we were lucky enough to come into some issues from a co-worker. Included in the stack of magazines were the last four issues EVER of the magazine - August, September, October, and November. The October issue was our inspiration for our Thanksgiving dinner.

Friend, V, and husband, G, were our guests. V does not eat meat and neither S nor I are emotionally attached enough to turkey that we felt compelled to roast the bird. We can have turkey any time we like. Besides, we prefer a nicely roasted chicken. And if I could find just turkey thighs and/or legs in a store I'd be very happy. Even at Thriftway, (the only place besides Whole Foods where I can find lamb!?) where I can buy Muscovy Duck and quail eggs if I were so inclined, doesn't sell turkey parts.

So here is the Gourmet recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Fried Sage and Shaved Chestnuts. Gnocchi are easy to make and this recipe can be adapted if you prefer butternut squash gnocchi or spinach gnocchi or, hey, for Valentine's Day roast a beet and make pink gnocchi for your sweetie.

That fried sage is the key to the whole kingdom, let me tell you. That kicks up the dish to a new level. The remaining fried sage is going into another recipe that I will post here soon.

I'll apologize now for the lack of appetizing final photo. Ironically, Thanksgiving dinner isn't the ideal setting for food photography. People want to eat all together at the same time. Crazy, I know. But you can see a professional photo of the final product at Gourmet.

Serves 6

* 1 1/4 lb russet (baking potatoes)
* 1 (3/4-lb) sweet potato
* 1 large egg
* 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
* 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
* 1 1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
* 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 cup sage leaves (from 1 bunch)
* 1/3 cup bottled roasted chestnuts, very thinly sliced with an adjustable-blade slicer or a sharp vegetable peeler
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Make gnocchi:
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in middle.

Pierce russet and sweet potatoes in several places with a fork, then bake in a 4-sided sheet pan until just tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Cool potatoes slightly, peel and mash by hand or with a potato masher or even a fork. Spread out in an even layer onto a sheet pan and cool completely.Lightly flour 2 or 3 large baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

Beat together egg, nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper in a small bowl.

Gather potatoes into a mound in sheet pan, using a pastry scraper if you have one, and form a well in center.Pour egg mixture into well, then knead into potatoes. Knead in cheese and 11/2 cups flour, then knead, adding more flour as necessary, until mixture forms a smooth but slightly sticky dough. Dust top lightly with some of flour.

Cut dough into 6 pieces. Form 1 piece of dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rope on a lightly floured surface. Cut rope into 1/2-inch pieces. At this point, if you are so inclined, you can decorate your gnocchi with a little texture. I don't have the patience to roll each gnocchi down the back of a fork. Nor do I have the time. Oh, yeah, and I don't care. We transferred our smooth, plain gnocchi to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and a dusting of flour and set them in the freezer.
Fry sage leaves and chestnuts:

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry sage leaves in 3 batches, stirring, until they turn just a shade lighter and crisp (they will continue to crisp as they cool), about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt.Fry chestnuts in 3 batches, stirring, until golden and crisp, about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt. Reserve oil in skillet.

Make sauce:
Add butter to oil in skillet with 1/2 tsp salt and cook until golden-brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Cook gnocchi:
Add half of gnocchi to a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water and stir. Cook until they float to surface, about 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to skillet with butter sauce. Cook remaining gnocchi in same manner, transferring to skillet as cooked.

Heat gnocchi in skillet over medium heat, stirring to coat.

Serve sprinkled with fried sage and chestnuts and grated cheese.


Tamil Home Recipes said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

YUM! sounds delicious!! I love how the gnocchi look all festive in orange! Great site!

vb said...

petitechef, thanks for visiting!


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