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Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ricotta Gnocchi - Daring Cooks' Challenge



The Daring Kitchen is now home to the Daring Cooks as well as the Daring Bakers and today is reveal date for the first of what I hope will be many Daring Cooks' challenges. For its maiden voyage the group was asked to prepare ricotta gnocchi using the recipe from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. Full instructions and the recipe can be found at The Daring Kitchen website. I followed the recipe as it was written but because there are just two people at our table I made half a batch of the gnocchi. The recipe is really simple, but there are time constraints that you should be aware of. The ricotta must be drained and that can take up to 24 hours. Assembly will be easier if you use fresh ricotta, but that, too, needs some time to drip. The gnocchi will disintegrate as they poach if there's too much moisture in the cheese. I kept the dumplings chilled before poaching and I didn't fiddle with them as they cooked so I had no problems. I chose to brown the suggested butter sauce. I also added 2 tablespoons of chopped chives. It was a mistake that made the sauce too rich for the simplicity of the dumplings. It didn't spoil them but these would have been so much better with a light lemon sauce and less butter. The gnocchi are good, but this is treadmill food and in the great scheme of things calories trump taste if you are trying to eat in a more healthy fashion. I won't be making them again. We all approach food from different perspectives so I'm sure my choices differ from yours. If you are looking for a challenge that will produce a really lovely meal I urge you to try these. It's a nice recipe. Just not for me.

Special thanks to Ivonne at Cream Puffs in Venice and to Lis at La Mia Cucina for making this event possible.

24 comments :

Selba said...

It looks so delish :)

Natashya said...

They do look really good! I was going to brown the butter but it was taking too long and I ended up just throwing the gnocchi in the sauce.
Chives are a perfect choice, I love spring chives.

Hootin' Anni said...

They look very good....but if it's too much of a challenge for YOU, then I think I'll pass. But anything with cheese....oh boy, I salivate. I guess you could call me cheesy. You are what you eat afterall. LOL

Donna-FFW said...

Mary.. they look perfect. I have gnocchi envy to you ladies.. I can not make them worth a damn. I try and try and never get them right. They look so delicious! Nicely done!

Chow and Chatter said...

love your frankness they look great

Mariana said...

My husband always says, 'you'll never know, if you never have a go". I admire your attempt (really, it looks delicious), but I admire your honesty even more. Thanks Mary.

Arundathi said...

you're right - i felt so guilty eating these that i was wondering if it was worth it. i'll definitely make it again - for a pot luck or for dinner for friends and family, but not sure i can get myself to eat more than one piece next time.

Cathy said...

Its fun to try something new even if we don't make it again. I think that's what keeps cooking interesting. I'm getting more and more away from rich, heavy foods also.

Allie said...

Looks like I joined Daring Cooks too late, I love Gnocchi.

Katy ~ said...

I like the idea of gnocchi, but I'm scarrit to try it LOL Yours look very good.

Netts Nook said...

You brave woman. It looks delish but I understand what you mean after you work that hard at something you don't care anymore. Good job. You deserve a nap.

Pam said...

The light lemon sauce would be tasty with them, although I love a rich butter sauce too. I really need to try making gnocchi.

the ungourmet said...

This dish looks great! Too much work for me I think!

I have tried to make packaged Gnocchi in the past and I thought it was terrible. I am sure it is much better made from scratch.

Katherine Aucoin said...

This is a new one on me with the ricotta cheese. Your gnocchi goes look beautiful.

I think you're right about the simple lemon sauce, that and some chives would be beautiful and then off to the gym for a crack at the treadmill.

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never had gnocchi--but this looks fabulous!

Maria said...

Looks good to me! I love gnocchi!

Smilingsal said...

My husband loves gnocchi.

Veronica said...

Beautiful pictures! I think a lemon sauce with the dumplings sounds lovely.

Lauren said...

Mmm, your gnocchi look wonderful, I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy them.

Mary said...

Lauren, thank you for stopping by. I hope we'll see you more often.

Mary said...

Sal, you came back:) I do hope you'll become a regular visitor.

noble pif said...

I know these look so good Mary! I love the idea of ricotta too.

Elle said...

These truly are dairy rich and not for everyday eating, but your browned butter sauce sounds lovely...and lemon would have been great too.

A & W said...

Mary-this looks SO good! I absolutely love Ricotta Gnocchi and yours looks amazing. Springy and fresh! Yum!

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