I like to do hard things. I love challenges. And I hate people telling me I can't do something. Gnocchi...has been one of those things that I have wanted to conquer but have never been brave enough because Slim Jim told me they are really hard. He pretty much summed it up as the only people that he ever saw do it successfully is the older ladies in Argentina with Italian decent.
In the last year I have found
two authentic Gnocchi recipes that made me think that I might just be
able to do it. And I really wanted to because one of my recent cravings
has been the chicken gnocchi soup from the Olive Garden. So I peeled and
boiled my potatoes away followed the recipes, but I realized something
on my last potato as I shredded it into the bowl.....it didn't get
boiled long enough. It wasn't soft enough. Thinking I was probably
freaking out about nothing I continued on my merry way.....I added my
flour. I rolled it. I cut it. I boiled it. Only to have the yucky
starchy little alien creatures arise out of the boiling water...dinner
time was quickly approaching and I was beginning to feel the walls
closing in because I had been working on this for 1 1/2 hours and didn't
have anything else planned. Just then I remembered that I had once come
across a not so authentic but would help me save dinner recipe for
gnocchi's that called for instant potatoes.
I then found a recipe
for gnocchi's made from instant potatoes on allrecipes.com (this is
where I go when I need a recipe and all of my favorite cookbooks/blogs
don't have it). The recipe I found had 280 reviews and a rating of 4 1/2
stars, I read some of the review and kept in mind the things that were
mentioned. I went with a new sense of hope and purpose... to make
Gnocchi's even if they weren't 100% authentic but 100% delicious. It
went so much better my dough came together great, and in a few minutes I
had all of my little Gnocchi pillows ready to plop into my cream soup.
Quick Gnocchi Recipe
1 cup dry potato flakes
1 cup boiling water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
Place potato flakes in a medium-size bowl. Pour in boiling water; stir until blended. Let cool.
in egg, salt, and pepper. Blend in enough flour to make a fairly
stiff dough, just add a little at a time then your dough will come
together a lot easier (you might not even need the full cup). Turn dough
out on a well floured board. Knead lightly.
Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a long thin roll, the
thickness of your thumb (unless you have tiny thumbs then do it the size
of your husband thumbs). With a knife dipped in flour, cut into
pieces the width of your thumbnail (they will expand in size in the
boiling water). Place a
ten gnocchi in boiling water. As the gnocchi rise to the top of the pot
(probably about 3 minutes), remove them with a slotted spoon. Repeat
until all are cooked.
Placed cooked gnocchi's in a bowl and set aside as you work on the soup.
Chicken Cream Soup Base
1/2 stick of butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of cream
2 cups of milk
1 teaspoon of Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon of ground oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts (cubed and cut)
1 batch of gnocchi's
3 carrots pealed and diced
2 cups of water
Melt butter in a stockpot on low heat. Then add garlic. Once garlic is flavorful add flour. Make a rogue. Then
add cream and milk. Add seasonings, precooked chicken breast, gnocchi's.
Fill a small sauce pan with warm water and carrots. Boil carrots until
they are soft and then put the carrots and the carrot water in with the
rest of the soup. And right then it is ready to serve.
I cooked my chicken the day before while working with some other
chicken so after the gnocchi dilemma it went really fast. And I am
thinking in the fall when Slim Jim goes back to school this might be one
of those go to meals that I can whip up in 30 minutes.