Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Stilton & Herb Cream

Gnocchi + Sweet Potato + Whipped Cream + Stilton Cheese = Heaven, oh don't forget a nice glass of Chianti.  

The Gnocchi 

This is an LCBO Food & Drink Recipe from Holiday 2010 and one of our favourites.  From start to finish only an hour to do (depending on how many glasses of cooking wine you have).  And kudos to Jim for chopping and tidying as we went along.  

3 Sweet Potatoes
1 Egg
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 or 2 tbsp butter
1 small sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups Whipped Cream (don't cheat and use anything but 35% cream)
2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 oz blue or white Stilton, crumbled (we used at least 1/2 cup)

Jim's job chopping

The Sauce

The Finished Product
  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  (I didn't do the foil thing)
  2. Scrub sweet potatoes and pierce all over with a fork.  Bake for about 1 hour or until tender (depends on size of potatoes).  Transfer to a bowl, cover and let cool completely.  Peel off skin and mash sweet potatoes and measure 1-1/2 cups.  Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl.  
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and dust with flour.
  4. Stir egg, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper into mashed potatoes.  Stir in 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time to make a soft dough.  Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough forms a ball and is just slightly loose ( it will still be a little sticky).
  5. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and, with floured hands, knead a few times until smooth.  Divide into 6 portions.  Keeping work surface and hands floured just enough to prevent sticking, roll each portion into a 1/2 inch thick log.  Cut into 1 inch lengths with a floured paring knive.  If desired for a traditional gnocchi shape, dip tines of a fork into flour, press down across gnocchi and drag fork toward you, letting dough curl around end of fork ( I didn't do this).  Place gnocchi on floured baking sheets making sure they don't touch each other.  Gnocchi can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 1 day or frozen for up to 3 months.  
  6. Just before serving, bring a large pot of water to a boil to cook gnocchi.  Salt the water.  Meantime melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add onion and garlic and saute for 8 minutes or until starting to turn golden.  Pour in cream and bring to a boil, stirring.  Stir in thyme and rosemary. Reduce heat and boil for 1 minute or until slightly reduced.  Remove from heat.  Working in batches, add about 15 gnocchi to boiling water and cook, stirring often to keep water moving, for about 3 minutes or until gnocchi float to the surface.  Use a slotted spoon to drain gnocchi well and add to skillet with cream sauce.  Repeat until all gnocchi are cooked.  Return skillet to medium heat and heat, stirring gently, until sauce is bubbling.  Remote from heat and fold in Stilton.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  
  7. Serve immediately with that bottle of Chianti, green beans and homemade herb garlic bread

I would hold off on the Stilton until just as you serve or else leave the chunks a good size.  We do love our blue cheese in this house.

Nothing better on a winter day than sharing a kitchen with your hubby.  Now if I could just get him to be a teatotaler.

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