Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tis the Season for Gnocchi

First and foremost, I know it's been quite a while since I've posted, and I kick myself for that, but when you have an infant, life never seems to go as planned. I keep telling myself that I will post after she goes to bed, but by the time everything is done, I just don't have the energy. Normally, I would be working out right now, but a pulled muscle and a pinched nerve are preventing that as well. So, I post when I can, and hope to get back into it as she gets into a decent sleeping schedule. So, if I have any avid readers, please bear with me as I work this out :D

Tuesday night, Cal decided to make some of the most delish chicken sandwiches I have had. It was a take on a Bahama Breeze-esque meal with a Caribbean style chicken breast (marinated in pineapple juice and spices) with a citrus mustard, smoked cheddar cheese and bacon. It was seriously melt in your mouth crazy. He paired it with Smoked Cheddar Mac n' Cheese. After the meal, he challenged me to outdo him the next night. *sigh*.. So, I hit my favorite place to find dinner ideas; Pinterest, Wednesday morning and found this wonderful idea, which I jotted down and, naturally, altered to make it my own. Luckily for me, he had Tuesday and Wednesday off this week, so he could watch Emily while I prepped dinner. My competing meal: 

Butternut Squash Gnocchi in a Sage Brown Butter with Bacon

can you say Yum!

I had tried my hand at making potato gnocchi before, so I had an idea as to what I was doing. I followed a basic recipe that I wound up having to go to the pinner's Facebook page for (so no link, sorry), making only a few, slight alterations. The original recipe reads something like this: 

2c butternut squash, pureed
1/2c Parmesan Cheese
1tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 eggs
2+c flour

Cut squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and pulp. Brush with oil and roast in a 375 degree oven until done (about 30min). Remove flesh from skin, puree. In a bowl, combine squash, cheese, salt, pepper and eggs. Gradually add flour. When dough reaches a smooth state and is no longer sticky, turn out onto floured surface. Cut into 4-6 pieces and roll out long, thin logs; about 1/2" in diameter and cut into 1" pieces. Put into a pot of boiling water, about 5 min. Gnocchi will float when done. Serve with desired sauce. 

Personally, 1tsp of salt and a little pepper wasn't cutting it for me. So, I brushed my squash with oil, added a little salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic and onion (just a touch). I then proceeded with the rest of the recipe. 

Now, before cooking your gnocchi, I suggest making your sauce. So, onward!

Brown Butter Sage Sauce ** amounts will depend on how much you want to make. This should make enough for 2.

1/4c (half stick) butter + 1T
2 T onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 fresh sage leaves OR about 1/2tsp rubbed sage OR 1/4tsp ground sage
2 strips bacon, raw, medium diced

Melt 1T butter in a pan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until garlic begins to brown. Add bacon. Cook another 5 min or so (you want the bacon to stay slightly limp in the end, so don't crisp). Add remaining butter and turn up the heat. Brown butter, stirring occasionally so the onions/garlic/bacon don't stick. Once browned, reduce heat to low, add sage. Let sit on low.
Cook gnocchi. Remove gnocchi from pot with a slotted spoon, or drain pot and put gnocchi in the sauce. Turn up heat and cook about 5 min. Top with Parmesean if desired.

Unfortunately, folks, there's no picture with this one. I was so excited to eat it, I completely forgot to snap a pic! *hangs head in shame*. So, you'll just have to take my word for it. Besides, I'm not a good plater/photographer of food anyway. I'm much better at making it taste yummy!

I have to say, I was a little skeptical about serving this to Cal, since he doesn't eat any veggies (what a strange, strange man, but hey, w/e). I tried to avoid telling him what it was, but a friend wound up coming over for dinner and asked what I was making and I had to tell him. But, to my surprise, Cal liked it! Probably more for the brown butter, but hey, I got him to eat veggies! 

So, I hope to be back on a more consistent basis, as I have been in a cooking mood lately and have a stockpile of recipes to share! Hopefully Emily will allow me to get more done in the mornings so I can blog during naptime!

Until next time... 

Enjoy!

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