Tuesday, July 6, 2010
gnocchi with pan fried radishes and turnip tops
gnocchi with radishes
So remember when Nathan and I made Jody Adam's disastrous gnocchi in cream sauce? Well, even if you don't, I've had nightmares enough for the both of us. They were soggy, leaden, doughy lumps that sat in our stomachs like cannon balls. An undisputed utter failure.
Well, believe it or not, we had uncooked gnocchi leftover which I actually froze and saved, and I was recently brave enough to defrost them and try again. Nathan told me to just throw them away and not suffer through the awfulness yet again, but I hate to waste food, and I suspected they might be slightly better if I were to pan fry them to a crisp golden brown. (This smitten kitchen posts assures us that after pan frying we will never boil again.)
The verdict? Browning made all the difference! They still weren't super amazing or great, but they were actually quite palatable, and much lighter than the cream laden ones we had cooked the first time around. I'm sure I could improve with practice, but I think the first batch went so badly wrong because we used too much cream and didn't reduce it enough, not because of any fatal flaws in the gnocchi itself. Somewhat of a comfort.
Of course, I had to go and overload the cast iron skillet by about 5 or 6 gnocchi, making it nearly impossible to flip the little dudes without smushing them together. Typical move on my part. Luckily, I still got them all to brown, and if a couple of them joined together to form conjoined twin super gnocchi, it had very little impact on the final flavor.
As for the gnocchi accompaniments, I was inspired by my surplus of radishes and starting-to-yellow turnip tops. I happened across a New York Times article and recipe that sang the praises of cooked radishes, and I was immediately all about it. You can only slice so many of those things and throw them in salads.
I quartered my (surprisingly large) radishes and set them face down in a hot oil pan and just let them brown for about three minutes. After they started to color, I added some finely chopped garlic and stirred it all around for a bit. Then I added the chopped green tops of two bunches of turnips, mixing them around until they all began to wilt. After the tops were cooked through, I added the golden brown gnocchi back into the pan and sprinkled with shredded parmesan. It was all actually pretty good. Cooked radishes are damn tasty, and when it comes to gnocchi, pan frying is definitely an appealing option.
homemade gnocchi: better pan fried