Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gnocchi: It's What's For Dinner

Feeling good about your cooking skills? Maybe it's time to have your friends be the judge of that, and invite a few over for dinner. Start with 2 to 4 friends...good friends!

Keep it simple and have your 'mise en place', in other words: everything in place.
Do all the prep work ahead before you start and it will be as easy as 1-2-3.

Are you up for the challenge? Let's get started.

Menu:
Gnocchi with Parmesean
Arugula Salad with a Zesty Balsamic Dressing


Step 1- Make salad dressing

Equipment:
Protein Shaker


Ingredients:
Good Seasoning 'Zesty Italian' Salad Dressing packet
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/8 c balsamic vinegar
3 Tbls water



Shake away and set aside. Done.


Step 2 - Make Arugula Salad

Equipment:
Large mixing bowl or individual salad plate


Ingredients:
1-2 c Arugula salad per person
Red onion, diced
Pine Nuts, toasted or plain
Parmesean cheese, shaved or grated
Kosher salt & pepper

Extras or Variations:
Dried cherries, pomegranate
Feta, crumbled or goat cheese

Assemble salad starting with arugula.
Sprinkle other ingredients on top.


Let everyone add balsamic dressing to their taste.
Salad ready. Check.

Step 3 - Make gnocchi.

Equipment:
3 or 5-quart sauce pan for boiling water
Water, salted
10" or 12" skillet (depends on # guests)


Ingredients:
1-2 packages dried gnocchi
1-2 jars of your favorite Marinara, Vodka, or Cream sauce
1/3 c Parmesean, grated


Optional:
Sautéed mushrooms (see previous blog)

1. In your skillet have chosen sauce simmering on 'Low'. you want your sauce warm and waiting.


2. Place gnocchi into boiling water.  Gnocchi will initially sink. Stir water.  When gnocchi is ready, it will float to the top. Drain gnocchi.


3. Add drained gnocchi to skillet red sauce. Stir in Parmesean if desired.



4. Plate gnocchi and sprinkle with extra cheese. Dinner is served.


6. Take it up a notch?  Add those sautéed mushrooms from the previous blog.
Congratulations!  You did it!  Have a friend bring the dessert.





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