Delayed Demand-A-Dish

This week’s Demand-A-Dish will be delayed ’til Monday/Tuesday on account of I will be useless until then. I would really like to do something new and fun, but need some ideas.  What do YOU think would be fun to make? Comment away and give me some ideas…

Mmmm...souffles.

Mmmm...souffles.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi Recipe

Here is my recipe for Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage, adapted the original, which you can find on Epicurious.com.

 

These dumplings have a light texture, thanks to the addition of fresh ricotta cheese. Drain the ricotta in a sieve for two hours before starting the recipe.

Yield: Makes 10 to 12 servings

 

2 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork

1 12-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve 2 hours 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)

2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar

2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

2 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour

1/2 cup unsalted butter

About 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish

 

 

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.

 

Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet.  I froze half for later enjoyment; which still left enough to feed at least four hungry people.

 

Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)

 

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.

 

Add chopped sage (mixture will bubble up). Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper.  Add gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes. 

 

Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves.

 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage, October 2009

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage, October 2009

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

 

Yeah, I tried to come up with a title that punned on the word gnocchi, but really couldn’t come up with anything that great.  Anyhoodle, last week’s winning Demand-A-Dish was Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage, from the Gourmet recipe archives. I have never made gnocchi before, so I was a little apprehensive. But one of the things I find so wonderful about Gourmet/Epicurious – and one of the reasons I am so sad to see it fold – is that the recipes are very easy to follows AND it gives you as much information as you need to make a dish you have never made before – even if it is pretty complicated (coq au vin, anyone?).  

And people?  I have to say the gnocchi was a rousing success.  First, make the sweet potatoes…

 

Nice Yams!

Nice Yams!

Then add the ricotta, parm, flour, etc…

 

Making gnocchi

Making gnocchi

My mis:

 

Gnocchi mis

Gnocchi mis

Then make the brown butter sauce:

 

Brown Butter and Sage

Brown Butter and Sage

Then sit down and tuck in!

 

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage

Demand-A-Dish – Special Gourmet Recipe Edition

So, I am still recovering from the news that only the best food magazine in the history of EVER is folding.  So, in honor of Gourmet and all that it has given me over the years, this week’s Demand-A-Dish consists of recipes from Gourmet that I have never gotten around to trying.  Vote early and often!

ObAmaretto Tiramisu

The polls are CLOSED and the official winner is:  AMARETTO TIRAMISU!  Or, as I am calling it, ObAmaretto Tiramisu.  I think I have figured out a recipe, and will be making the tasty treat tonight, so that it has sufficient time to get all good and soaky before dinner tomorrow night.  No stores around here (that I know of, comment if you know of one) sell ladyfingers anymore.  And I didn’t have sufficient time to make my own, so I will be trying this with a combination of ladyfingers and almond biscotti.  We will see…

 

tiramisu!

tiramisu!

Demand-a-Dish: Special Dinner Guest Edition!

Hola amigos!  So, some very kind and culinarily-skilled friends have invited the entirety of Clan SFL over for dinner this weekend.  I offered to bring dessert with the condition that precisely WHAT dessert I bring shall be the subject of this week’s Demand-A-Dish.  So, with some modified input from my friends, I present this week’s poll – vote away, mateys, and determine the gustatory fate of my gracious hosts…

Leave the Gun, Take the Cake

Okay, so I committed some totally gross negligence the other day and forgot to post my carrot cake recipe.  And yes, it is one of mine.  Normally  I wouldn’t post a beta recipe, but this one was really good and I don’t think I will be tweaking it.  You may tweak it however the hell you want, but in doing so you will lose some of its perfect essences.  Some random tips and comments to start – I let the butter and cream cheese get all the way to room temp before I do anything with them.  Also, I made this as a cake with 2 layers.  You could probably stretch and get three if you feel compelled to do so.  I would recalc the measurements and increase the batter calls by 1/2.   Except I would use 5 rather than 6 eggs.  But that is just me.  You may feel daring enough to make a 6 egg cake and then try to layer it.  Rock on.  Also, I don’t use cake bands.  Mainly because I have a life that is already riddled with crazy – I don’t need anymore.  So, recipe…

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

 

Cake Batter-

 

2 cups AP flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom 

1 cup unsalted butter 

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 canola oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 large eggs

3 cups peeled and grated carrots

1 1/3 cups chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

grated nutmeg (I don’t know how much, just grate some in there)

 

Frosting

 

16 oz cream cheese (use the real stuff; there is no such thing as ‘fat free’ cream cheese)

1/2 cup unsalted butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup REAL maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 350°.  Butter and flour 2 9 inch round pans.  You can line it with parchment if it makes you feel fancy.  In one bowl, mix flour, soda, salt, and dry spices ‘til thoroughly combined.  In mixing bowl, beat butter, then cream in sugars ‘til light and fluffy.  Add oil, then vanilla.  Still beating, add eggs one at a time.  Keep beating ‘til light and fluffy again.  Add ALL the dry mix and slowly stir until it is all incorporated.  Add grated ginger and nutmeg and beat for a minute or so.  Add carrots and nuts and beat ‘til combined.  Divide batter into the two pans and bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until pick stabbed in center comes out clean.  I know this is hard for people with poor impulse control, but LET THE CAKES COOL COMPLETELY before you turn them out of the pans.  Wait at LEAST an hour before frosting.

 

Make your frosting – beat cream cheese and butter until – yeah, you guessed it – light and fluffy.  Add powdered sugar and beat ‘til combined.  Add syrup and beat on medium until frosting is creamy.  Stick bowl in fridge and let it cool for a while – it is much easier to frost the cake when the frosting isn’t runny.

 

Cut a huge wedge and eat the hell out of it.  Don’t even bother with a fork.  Just use your hands.  

 

Yummmmmm...

Yummmmmm...

Carrot Cake is Good

So, I FINALLY got around to making my own birthday cake – this week’s Demand-A-Dish winner, the Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting.

Behold the batter:

 

Carrot Cake Batter

Carrot Cake Batter

 The cakes a’ coolin:

 

carrot cakes

carrot cakes

The pristine finished product:

 

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

 Cake as enjoyed by me:

 

Mmmmmm....carrot cake

Mmmmmm....carrot cake

Coq of the Walk

Okay, okay, so I know this post is seriously delayed, but let me tell you folks – making coq au vin is a many-day adventure.   So, I went with the traditional (read: pain in the ass) method, save that I opted to use a ‘poule’ rather than a ‘coq.’  That is all they had at the Earth Fairer.  A quick aside, if you are going to have poultry, I heartily recommend spending a few extra dollars and going to EF or similar fancy rich hippie store.  We aren’t rich hippies; we also don’t eat meat every meal.  I would rather be flexi and frugal and go for the good stuff when we go carni.  EF’s chicken is totally worth the extra $ or two; it is local and normal and tastes like freaking chicken.  NB, though, that it will suck up marinade because, unlike supermarket chicken, it is not pumped full of shit, and may actually be Chickie Nobs.  

Anyhoodle, I used an old Bon Appetit recipe as my guide.  Saturday I made my prep and grocery lists and hit the market.  

Early Sunday morning, I set the mis and started the prep work.  Yes, I used a Cali Pinot because, as noted above I am not a rich hippie and this bottle, although unfortunately named, did the trick nicely:

 

mis - coq au vin

mis - coq au vin

 

The mirepoix:

 

mirepoix

mirepoix

 

Next, marinade:

 

Coq au Vin, somewhere in the middle...

Coq au Vin, somewhere in the middle...

 

 

Then, several days and about a million steps later, the end result:

 

Voila le Coq au Vin!

Voila le Coq au Vin!

Special thanks to my wonderful family members who were lovely guinea pigs.  The coq (yeah, poule, I know) was very tasty.  You could almost taste each of the painstaking 5,684 steps in every bite.  Every last bit of chicken was eaten and we still had room for my S-I-L’s delicious raspberry and plum strudel.  All in all, I would rank this as a Demand-A-Dish success.

And the Winner is…

…COQ AU VIN!  

Yo, Coq au vin – I’m real happy for you, and I’m going to let you finish, BUT [insert your comment here]

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