Apr 052010

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Wow – so that’s how gnocchi is supposed to taste/feel?!  I never realised what I was missing out on – and maybe you don’t either…

Real gnocchi, the kind you make with your own two hands, should be soft yet with a distinctly toothsome texture, light yet surprisingly filling, subtle yet distinctly flavoured.  The key to this recipe, it seems, is an egg, and being very gentle with your dough – whatever you do, don’t overmix it or it will be tough and unpalatable!

Sadly, I am not responsible for this particular recipe (although I have an original creation coming up!).  Once again, this comes from the divine Maggie Beer cookbook, Maggie’s Kitchen (buy it, now!).

I know there’s a lot of butter in this recipe, and I actually think it could be reduced by up to half without losing much of the flavour.  However, remember that the butter is the sauce – don’t try to substitute margarine, I promise it will not be the same.  This dish also reinforced by recent and ongoing love affair with sage. My what a wonderful herb it is, particularly browned in a little butter.  We now have a little sage plant growing in our garden (thank you David!) that frequently finds itself rather short on leaves!

[recipe-show recipe=gnocchi]

Jan 252010

In English, it translates to casserole-roasted chicken with bacon, onions and potatoes – far less pretty!

This was my second attempt at a recipe from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  I do not normally mind time-consuming recipes, so long as the end result is worth it.  My one comment so-far on the recipes is that often they involve steps that seem fussy or unnecessary.  But maybe I’m just doing it wrong?

This recipe is a bit more time consuming – each element has to be prepared before being combine in the casserole.  However, I think it’s worth doing for the potatoes alone!  I’ve suggested a few shortcuts that I think wouldn’t compromise the end result too much.

The chicken remains succulent and tender through this method of cooking.  The potatoes are little ovals of deliciousness – they literally fall apart on your fork, but have been infused with the butter, bacon and herbs.  I ate the lion’s share of potatoes when I made this…but I do love my carbs!  The juices in the pan would be great mopped up with a thick slice of rustic bread.

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Overall, I think this recipe is worth the effort.  It’s French cooking at its best – simple ingredients, slow cooking and LOTS of butter.

[recipe-show recipe=roast-chicken]