Thursday, April 15, 2010

A tale of two taste buds

My husband was raised in Wisconsin where macaroni and cheese, pizza, and casseroles are the favorite local fare. He likes simple, down home food. Nothing wrong with that...except when you combine that with a wife who is quite the opposite. I, on the other hand, love all kinds of food especially fresh veggies and gourmet "froo froo" stuff. I have an obsession with the Food Network and cooking. I'll spend hours in the kitchen making roasted tomato soup from scratch. Why not just buy roasted tomato soup in a can? Because it's rubbish, I say! When I eat out at a restaurant I'm secretly analyzing the food in my head like some snobby judge on Iron Chef. You get the picture...

This giant culinary chasm was originally a huge frustration for me, but I've decided to turn it into a quest! Whenever I notice the hubs liking a new food, I write it down in the little imaginary notepad in my head. If you could see that notepad, you'd find Gnocchi written right at the top of page 1. If you're not familiar with Gnocchi, they are little pillows of silky potato dumpling that you can throw any sauce on. The first time Ryan had Gnocchi was at that culinary mecca (*insert sarcasm here*), Olive Garden. They have this creamy soup with chicken, spinach, and Gnocchi and he ate it up - even got refills! On our honeymoon in NYC we ventured into Little Italy where we found a fabulous little restaurant on Mullbery Street called Pellegrino's. In it he ordered some Gnocchi with a tomato sauce - it was YUMTASTIC! I know this because I encroached into his territory a few times to sneak a few bites! This is when it all clicked and I wrote Gnocchi down on the first page of my mental note pad.

We returned home from the honeymoon and I decided to try making some homemade gnocchi one night. Found a well-reviewed recipe from the Food Network courtesy of hunky chef Tyler Florence. Out of laziness and concern that this blog is going to be two pages long, I'm just gonna throw the link at you.

The end result was a fabulously soft and pillowy plate of potato dumpling goodness! I simply topped the gnocchi with warmed tomato sauce and grated parmesan. Here are some pics of the whole process and the final product. It's quite a simple dish, but will elicit "You made homemade gnocchi?!?!" responses from anyone you serve it to. Behold...

The baked potatoes, ready to be skinned and mashed

After the mashing. Had to use a fork because I don't yet own a potato ricer...YET. Muh ha ha ha!

Here's the finished dough, all ready to be Gnocchified

Rollin, rollin, rollin...

You know when they're done when they float to the top. It's quite entertaining, actually.

Voila! The finished product. You know you want some.

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