Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yucky with Pesto

How does one pronounce gnocchi? I have no clue. I generally say nyucky, but I have heard it said nokee and nohkee, and most recently, yucky.

But theyr'e not really yucky.

Gnocchi are small Italian potato dumplings.

First, potatoes.

Once they are boiled, you have to skin them while they are still hot. This was made way easier by the directions "Wrap the potato in a kitchen towel." Thank you, Martha.

Then you push them through a ricer, add some egg, flour and form them into dumplings.

For some strange reason, long ago, someone decided gnocchi had to be made into a weird shape, with little channels to hold the sauce. The recipe said to roll the cut side of each dumpling against the tines of a fork with your thumb.

I didn't.
Instead I formed them in a way which I had done before, but cannot describe.

This is the only truly difficult thing about gnocchi. Forming them. And then trying to describe it.

But they are delicious with pesto, as we had them, or any other way. The pesto was not tricky, but one thing-it was supposed to be made with a mortar and pestle. Sorry, but that is mildly ridiculous. Perhaps it does make a sweeter tasting sauce, but I don't think you'll really notice with all that raw garlic.

Light and fluffy. Yum.

French Onion Soup

Beef stock (broth) looks horrible. It's water from a bunch of boiled bones. When it's chilled it turns into what resembles brown Jello. But it's the base for the most amazing soups imaginable.

So I chopped 2 1/2 pounds of onions, which made me cry, but not nearly as much as that time I made stuffed onions (never make stuffed onions, believe me, not worth it). I caramelized them and cooked them with my amazing beef broth and poured the soup into little dishes.

There is something immensely satisfying about floating small pieces of toast onto bowls of soup. I have no idea why. Very strange. I mean does anyone ever think about floating small pieces of toast onto bowls of soup? A great mystery.
Once I finished having fun with toast, I sprinkled some Swiss cheese on top and broiled the little bowls of soup so they looked beautiful.

I wonder who first decided to put the toast and cheese on top. Someone, no doubt who wanted to hide the fact that what you are eating is little more than water boiled with bones and onions.

Water boiled with bones and onions is ridiculously delicious, despite what you may have heard. There is a reason French Onion is one of my favorite soups.