Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Indigo Challenge : Gnocchi in Leek Cream

What's the deal : I am cooking my way through the dinner menu of Indigo restaurant. These are not Indigo recipes; I haven't eaten or even seen any of these dishes. This is my interpretation based only on the name of the dish.

Indigo menu says: Chive Gnocchi Leek Saffron Cream



Gnocchi, a name that terrifies most Italian cooks. Easy recipe that's extremely hard to get right, gnocchi has been the undoing of several good Italian restaurants for me. Traditionally made with potatoes, gnocchi should be light and flavorful. You wish! The ones I've had so far have been heavy and not worth it. But then, a few months back, the daring cooks did a ricotta gnocchi. Even first time gnocchi makers were all praises, so that's the one I decided to do.

If life was so easy...I've been unable to buy chives anywhere this past month. So, instead of going on looking, I decided to replace it with sage. Oh! and there's no saffron. Nor is there likely to be any saffron in any other dish calling for it. Call it blasphemy, but I just can't stand the smell of saffron.

I'm glad we got all these changes sorted so I can now tell you about one of the best dishes I've ever cooked.

First the gnocchi. You buy or make 110 grams of ricotta. I bought paneer and then wrapped it in cheesecloth overnight to drain away any excess moisture. A day later, I mashed this cheese until it was very smooth. Lightly beat a cold egg and add half of it to the cheese (that's the peril of doing 1/4th of a recipe; it invariably calls for half eggs!). Mix well. In a small saucepan, melt a tsp of butter. Finely chop 4-5 sage leaves, add to melted butter, then add the whole thing to the ricotta egg mixture. Now add 2 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese and a pinch of salt. Beat until everything's mixed together into a nice fluffy batter.

Make a bed of flour in a shallow bowl. Using a spoon, scoop out roughly 2 tsp of batter and drop it into the flour. Coat the gnocchi with flour, then gently roll it to make an oval. My batter gave me 10 gnocchi which went into the fridge for half an hour.

Right around this time, start making your leek cream sauce. First, wash and clean a leek. Chop the white and the light green parts finely. Heat a tbsp of butter, add the leeks and let them soften for a minute or two. Remove a tsp of these leeks for garnish and let others cook a little bit more. Add 1/4 cup wine and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then let the leeks simmer until the wine and water are almost all absorbed.

At this stage, boil a pot of water and salt it. Once it is simmering, drop in the gnocchi. They will sink, then pop back up. From this point, you cook them for 4-5 minutes until they are just firm. They will also get to about double the size from where they started. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon.

Back to the sauce. Add 2 tbsp cream to the leeks. Once it is heated through and about to come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Add salt, pepper and herbs de provence. Mix well and pour your sauce in your serving dish. Arrange the gnocchi and garnish with the reserved leeks.

5 comments:

poonam,,, said...

Gnocchi is one of my favs,,your dish looks so good!!

notyet100 said...

looks so yum,..:-)

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

ANd you were scared about doing this. You did fabulous!!

Curry Leaf said...

Looks great and delish.

Ann said...

Wow, hats off to you ma'am, creating dishes off a menu just like that. Your dish looks perfect. I'm too chicken to try gnocchi, DB or not, but that pasta cream you whipped up looks mighty decadent.