derryX’s Potato Gnocchi Dinner

If you want to eat like derryX, you’re going to have to learn how to make gnocchi. Don’t worry it’s not hard at all.

Each portion starts with one fist-sized baking potato. You also need a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, one egg white, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/3 to 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour. Scale this however you must.

Start with the potatoes.

Coat the potato in olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake at 450 °F until tender. Basically, if you would split it open and add bacon, cheese, sour cream, and butter, it’s ready. Allow it to cool slightly while you gather the rest of the ingredients.

While the potato is still warm, discard the skin and mash up the potatoes with the back of two forks.

Add a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil, one egg white, 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/3 of whole wheat flour into the bowl. Work the ingredients into the potato using the two forks. It will eventually get too difficult to handle with the forks; at that point, dump the remaining flour onto the board in a pile. Use a little bit to scatter flour on your board and add your mix on top of the dusted counter. Work the dough with your hands, incorporating some of the flour from the pile if it is too wet. When it reaches a consistency not unlike Play Doh, you are done. Do not overwork the dough, as gnocchi are supposed to be nice and light; overworking will result in chewy, horrible gnocchi.

Roll your dough into a dowel, almost an inch in diameter. Cut the dowel into 3/4 inch segments (or whatever size you want, you’re the one doing it). If you don’t want to get fancy, you’re done, just don’t expect any sauce to stick to them. You can make these fancier if you just take each dumpling and roll it on a fork with your thumb.

(The above picture is about one potato worth)

[Work quickly; you’re fighting the oxidation of the iron in the potatoes. If you let the dough or gnocchi sit around a while, they will get dark because of this. They will taste fine.]

To cook these, boil a huge pot of copiously salted water and drop them in. Nicely. Stir the water so they don’t stick to the bottom. Once they all float, they’re ready.

Dress your gnocchi however you wish. Sauce will stick nicely to the grooves fashioned by the fork and the dimple from your thumb.

What did I do? I took this 100 steps forward. I actually was trying to recreate a dish that I love to eat at my favorite Albany restaurant, The Wine Bar on Lark, Grilled steak with tasso and gnocchi Hash with braised cipollini onions. That was the inspiration, at least. I knew I was in over my head.

I got some nice looking cipollini at the Troy Farmers Market. I don’t remember the vendor. The only people selling cipollini.

These spent 60 seconds in a pot of boiling water, after which the root ends were cut off and the outer layer removed from each. I then braised these in a shallow pan with 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

I cooked these about 8 minutes per side on a medium heat, paying close attention to not caramelize the onions. Then I added a splash of balsamic vinegar.

I found this delicious balsamic vinegar at The Meat House. They actually have it in a huge jug and let you bring your container back for refills.

I broiled off some flank steak from Falvo, because that’s what I had around. I like my flank steak rare. If you don’t, don’t eat rare steak; I don’t know what to tell you.

In a pan nearby, I diced up some locally produced Canadian bacon I found at The Meat House and browned that in some olive oil. [Tasso ham is tough stuff to find around here.]

I added some balsamic vinegar to this, actually a lot, maybe 1/3 cup, to deglaze, and tossed my gnocchi with this olive oil-Canadian Bacon-balsamic vinegar. When the gnocchi started sticking to the pan, I added a bit of the starchy water from the gnocchi.

When it was all finished, here’s what it looked like:

And I can’t think of anything in this dish that is bad for you.


7 thoughts on “derryX’s Potato Gnocchi Dinner

  • kriskaten

    how does it come out if you use regular white flour for the gnocchi? do you use whole wheat flour for health reasons or is it better that way? just curious. i’ve never attempted to make my own but after reading this, and seeing a recipe in a magazine a couple weeks ago, i’m seriously considering giving it a try. thx.

    • derryX

      It should work just the same, but try it, and let me know!

    • Daniel B.

      I made gnocchi with my son a couple years ago. He liked to roll it out like a playdough snake. We used regular flour and it was delicious.

      In fact, it was so good the first time I attempted it, that I lost any respect for any restaurant that couldn’t deliver light and pillowy gnocchi. That turned out to be a lot of places, so now I’ve stopped ordering it out at all.

      Give it a try. Because if I could do a passable job while supervising a small child, anyone who can give the task a modicum of attention should be able to do even better.

  • Daniel B.

    Taso isn’t hard to find if you know where to look. You probably won’t be surprised when I tell you they have it at Adventure in Food Trading.

    That place rocks.

    I just found this rare cheese I want from France. I may need to order a whole case of it. But I’m hoping that they can hook me up. If they do, I may have a few rounds of amazing French cheese to sell. Should you be interested, I’ll give you a very good price.

    • derryX

      Ahh yes, I see that AiFT does indeed have Tasso, 2 brands even. And, while I’m excited to know that, I think my call to substitute something similar (and locally produced) that I could find in lieu of that made it feel a bit more personal to me. The canadian bacon didn’t have that cured meat chew that a coursely diced tasso has, but it added a completely different texture and flavor element.

      Having said that, I have lots of ideas for what I would do with tasso ham, and probably should never visit AiFT because there I would probably make them an offer on their whole stock of merchandise.

      We’ll talk about the cheese; depending on what type it is and how much, I’d help you out.

  • mr.dave

    That is random, I just started making some home cured pseudo-tasso ham. Using butterflied shoulder butts, but I am going to let them dry cure for a week (instead of the traditional quick cure). I am going to use tasso spice, but am going to wrap and tie the meat into wee petit ham shapes. Then I am going to poach them gently and smoke them off. I think it is going to be good seasoning ham for all sorts of dishes.


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