10 November 2006

Mastering pumpkin gnocchi

A very short posting from Chefette tonight, before she and the husband depart for a brief weekend getaway to Paris tomorrow.

Just this minute got home from a medium-busy Thursday night service at the restaurant. We didn't do too many covers (maybe around 2o, compared with a maximum of 45-50). But neither did we did have P, the incredibly hard-working (and hunky!) Polish kitchen porter. So whereas I usually never have to touch a mop or a dirty pan, tonight C (the head chef) and I had to do all the dishwashing and cleanup between us. Fortunately, C did almost all of the washing up. I got the easy end of the deal, putting things away, cleaning down the food prep surfaces and sweeping /mopping up the floor. Ah, the glamour of life as a chef ...

One good thing to come out of tonight's service was the realisation that I've now got a handle on the art of making pumpkin gnocchi. To the point where my gnocchi are noticeably superior to those made by our head chef. Tonight when I came in, she had me cook off the mixture she'd made yesterday, which was too full of flour, and consequently a bit too heavy and rubbery. Nor did it have much intensity of pumpkin flavour. She herself said that it turned out 'weird'.

So even though I'm away tomorrow and Saturday in Paris, when I offered to make her a batch for tomorrow, she positively jumped at the offer. It felt pretty cool to be able to simultaneously whip up a delicious, well-textured gnocchi mixture while simultaneously cleaning down.

So for any of you who are interested, I'll share my top 3 pumpkin gnocchi tips.
  • After whizzing the roast pumpkin into a puree in the food processor, be sure to cook all of the excess moisture out of the pumpkin puree before seasoning the mixture.
  • Season and add the flour to the puree while it is still piping hot. Nutmeg makes a good addition, as well as salt and pepper.
  • Add as little flour as possible to the seasoned puree. If in doubt, shape a little dumpling and test it in boiling water to see if it's too soft. Only add more flour if the gnocchi starts to disintegrate in the water. If it holds its shape, it's good to go.

Au revoir mes chers amis.


Unknown said...

I need your biscotti recipe, Margaret!!!
Am going to a US-style holiday cookie exchange party and need to impress. I remember you posted it here a while ago, but can't find it now. Would you do the honours?


Anonymous said...

No prob. I have emailed it to you. You can also find it on the blog by searching on the word 'biscotti' in the search blog box at top.

Let me know how they turn out.