Saturday, March 20, 2010

Viking Potato Gnocchi with Sage Burnt Butter

Yasmeen from Healthnut is hosting this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and this week I continue on my potato odyssey by taking a closer look at Viking Potatoes.


Viking Potato© by Haalo


From the outside it does look like your average red skinned potato but when you slice into it, it suddenly becomes a lot more interesting


Viking Potato© by Haalo


It is a pink fleshed potato! I'm used to seeing the purple varieties like Sapphire and Purple Congo but this Viking was certainly something new to me.

It has a mealy texture which makes it idea for mashing and for the dish I've made today, Gnocchi! In fact with their delicate pink colouring, I think these must be the girliest gnocchi you can find.


Viking Potato Gnocchi© by Haalo



Viking Potato Gnocchi with Sage Burnt Butter

Viking Potatoes
plain flour
salt
butter
fresh sage leaves


When it comes to gnocchi I'm very strict in how they should be made and I follow the methodology passed on for generations in my family.

You don't use egg, you either boil or steam the potatoes in their skins and you use a potato ricer to mash the potato while they are still hot. You must also add salt to the potato once it's mashed otherwise you'll end up with flavourless gnocchi. As you can see the boiled and riced Viking Potatoes have a definite pink colour.


Viking Potato© by Haalo


When it comes to the quantity of flour my general rule of thumb is that 500 grams of potato will use at the very most 175 grams of flour and you should aim to use just enough flour to make a malleable dough.

To help portion out this flour, add it a spoonful at a time to your mashed potatoes, mix it in and then add another spoonful. Continue this process until the dough reaches the right consistency - if there is flour left over that is great, don't be tempted to add it to the dough or you will end up with hard unappetising gnocchi.

Divide the dough into portions and then roll out into a sausage shape about the width of your middle or index finger. Using a knife cut this sausage into thumb nail sized pieces.

This is one of my other pet peeves with gnocchi - they should be small, delicate little bites. By keeping them small this means you have a shorter cooking time and a lighter end product. If you make them too large they probably won't survive the boiling as they won't cook through to the centre. People then compensate by adding more flour to the dough which in turn results in heavy gnocchi.

Once they are cut to size, to make the traditional ridge marks, use the back of a fork, rest the tines next to one of the gnocchi and lightly press your index finger into the dough as your roll it up along the tines of the fork. You'll end up with a little indentation on one side and ridges on the other.


Viking Potato Gnocchi© by Haalo


At this stage they are ready to cook.

Make sure you have a large pot of boiling salted water - tip the gnocchi in and give them a stir. When they rise to the surface, they should be cooked, always taste to ensure that they are.

When cooked drain and tip into the pan of Sage Burnt Butter sauce. Lightly toss them through the sauce and serve immediately.

To make the Sage Burnt Butter Sauce:

You should do this while waiting for the water to boil so that it's ready by the time it comes to cook the gnocchi.

Place a generous knob of butter into a saucepan along with a handful of fresh sage leaves - put this on a low heat and allow to slowly melt. The sage leaves will infuse the butter and by the time the butter starts to brown, the leaves will have become lovely and crisp.

8 comments:

  1. Curious-looking potatoes! How do you get hold of the most unusual ingredients!!!Do you strall all farmer's markets to find them? It's amazing!Definately, a girly touch to this gnocchis :-)What a coincidence, I published a post on gnocchis just last week...but not as chic!!:-)

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  2. I totally love gnocchi. Little pillows of potato. Mmmm. These pink ones would be great for a breast cancer awareness recipe.

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  3. Delicious gnocchi,certainly appealing to those who love pink.I once made sweet potato gnocchi, did not look so perfect though ,as it was my trial with gnocchi.Thanks for letting me host this week :D

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  4. I didn't realise gnocchi was so easy to make. I made some last night, but with Toolangi Gold potatoes.

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  5. Thank you for posting this fantastic and easy recipe. I made it tonight for my wife and she loved it, although I think I put a little too much corn flour in the mix. I didn't have any sage so just spiced it up with a little bit of hot ranga chilli sauce. thanks

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  6. Pink gnocchi! I find making gnocchi so very rewarding.

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  7. These are the most adorable gnocchi I have ever seen! O how fun they must be to eat! and that color! I bet they taste light and wonderful too not like some of these doughy and heavy ones I have had to endure sometimes. Great post!

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  8. Hi Colette - it does seem like I'm a vegetable stalker but these were from the normal market (Mow's stall at Prahran Market) and have been available for maybe a month or so

    Thanks Mark - that is a brilliant idea

    Thanks Yasmeen - pleasure having you host

    Thanks Hookturns, toolangis are a good choice and make really good gnocchi

    Thanks Anon - glad you and your wife enjoyed the dish. Hope you keep making them in the future.

    Thanks Penny!

    Thanks TasteofBeirut - a stodgy gnocchi is a sad thing

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