Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts

I'm pretty sure I've been crystal clear about my feelings towards Brussels sprouts (love, Love, LOVE). And even though they're not really in season right now, I've been eating them like crazy lately.

I made this recipe for caramelized tofu, pecans, and Brussels sprouts. It was pretty good, but maybe sweeter than I would like.

Then I made more of the same sprout "hash" but topped with a poached egg instead of the tofu. Yum. THEN, I made the orange glazed tempeh again. YUM. It's been a good food week.

And today I finally made the recipe I've had on my list for MONTHS. Why it's been on my list is a mystery to me, because I've never really had gnocchi that I've enjoyed. People usually describe it as "fluffy pillows of pasta" but I have found it to be gummy or tough or tasteless or all three. But the thought of sweet potato gnocchi was intriguing...and I really liked the end result!

I'm not gonna lie, these gnocchi are a little time consuming and messy, but overall really not difficult. First you pierce your sweet potatoes with a fork or knife and bake until done. Let cool slightly and peel. Use a ricer or fork or grater to mash the potatoes and let them cool completely. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg, and then add flour until you get a nice dough consistency.

I wasn't able to get the beautiful ridges on my gnocchi like the experts do, but I used a fork to put a few dents in them. This recipe made 2 baking sheets full of gnocchi that I flash froze - they are now ready for boiling straight from the freezer for future gnocchi needs.

I boiled the gnocchi in salted water until they floated, then pan fried them in a little butter. Wow! Tasty!

I served my gnocchi with sauteed Brussels sprouts, toasted pine nuts, and freshly grated parmesan cheese. It was beyond fabulous.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi
2 large sweet potatoes, baked
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg, beaten
all purpose flour - up to 3 cups as needed

Mash the potatoes while warm, then cool completely. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg, and egg. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time until you get a dough consistency.

Add a scoop of dough to a well floured surface and roll out into a rope. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Freeze or cook immediately.

To cook: add to salted boiling water. Count to 30 after gnocchi are floating. Then remove from water and eat! OR - saute in a bit of butter and serve with Brussels sprouts, toasted pine nuts, and parmesan cheese.

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