Sunday, October 26, 2014

Gnocchi Made in a Skillet!

Yes, it's true! You don't even have to boil it ahead of time.

I found this recipe in my travels on Pinterest and pinned this to make when I had time. Really, it's a super simple recipe and came from the Food Network here as "Cheesey Gnocchi Casserole".  What makes this so interesting, at least to me, was that I didn't have to boil the gnocchi in water. Every time I add the pasta to the boiling water in the pot it's an adventure as I try to avoid scalding myself with the droplets of water that bounce back at me! This recipe has them simmering gently in a skillet with chicken broth.

I did find that the original recipe called for water in the narrative but was not listed in the ingredients. I followed the recipe besides that to a "t" except for reducing the amount of onion. Truth be told, the family would like to see even less onion next time. They are not big onion fans and seem to detect it even in minuscule amounts. I suppose I should also mention that I did not have fresh Thyme and used some dried herbs

I started by melting the butter in a heavy duty skillet I have that is oven proof. I bought this pan years ago on clearance at Williams Sonoma and it has served us well. To the butter I added the chopped onion and let it cook for a good five minutes or so to really soften it.

Once the  onions were softened (next time there will be less of them), I added a slice of deli ham that I diced into even little cubes, along with the Thyme. I let this cook until it was a little bit golden. Boy did it smell good. The chicken stock was added (courtesy of a box from Trader Joe's) along with the water mentioned in the recipe but not in the ingredient list.

Once all these ingredients were added and combined, I raised the heat a bit and then added the gnocchi. If you are a Trader Joe's fan, you know that they have some great gnocchi that is both tasty and cheap. I highly recommend it. I typically make it with a cream sauce and some pancetta but like I said before, the idea of putting it in a simmering skillet instead of boiling it was very intriguing. I may do this from now on with my own sauce.

I was really unsure if this would work but once I put the lid on the simmering pan the gnocchi really did cook quickly without getting overdone. I would say they were fork tender in about five minutes or so. Once that was done, I added the cream (it called for a 1/4 cup but I probably added closer to a half cup) and the peas. I probably should not say I followed the recipe to a "T", huh?

I used shredded cheese from Trader Joe's for the top (a combination of Swiss and Gruyere that they sell prepackaged). I really don't have stock in the company. I promise. I placed the skillet in the oven with the cheese and broiled it on low for about five minutes, until the top was golden brown.

Final verdict? Yes, I'm making this again with the following revisions: 1. Less onion, way less onion, 2. Bacon instead of deli ham, 3. A little less cheese, maybe switching to Parmesan.

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