Thursday, January 13, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie - gnocchi a la parisienne

This week we made a delicious, comfort food dish from Dorie's Around my French Table for our French Fridays with Dorie cooking club.  This is not a weekday evening, quick dinner.  I made this on Sunday and was glad I had given myself plenty of time to cook.

You start by making the gnocchi.  These are not traditional gnocchi, as they do not contain potato.  Rather, you make a pate a choux dough, which is a dough that you cook.  You then form the gnocchi and cook them.  I chose to form the gnocchi and then freeze them, rather than just drop teaspoons of the dough into boiling water.  I was hopeful this would ensure that my gnocchi were beautiful.  Little did I know that with the thick bechamel sauce, it didn't really matter what my gnocchi looked like.  I definitely want to make this gnocchi recipe again and serve it with a lovely, light marinara sauce.  I used two teaspoons and "shaped" the dough much like you would a quenelle (if you were so inclined).  It took about 20 seconds per gnocchi and I ended up with two full trays (about 60), so it took a bit of time.




After I froze my gnocchi, I boiled them and made my bechamel sauce (a white sauce made with flour, butter and milk).  The recipe called for a lot of flour (much more than I ever use when I make my regular bechamel sauce).  Sure enough, the sauce was very thick...much too thick to enjoy, so I added an additional cup of milk (and could have added a little pasta water too).  You put a little parmesan cheese on the bottom of a deep pie plate, add a little sauce and then add the gnocchi.  You add the rest of the sauce over the top of the gnocchi and then cover with emmenthal cheese, dotted with butter.  I think the butter was overkill and I'll leave it off the next time I make this.

The gnocchi puff up when you boil them and mine continued to puff when I baked them with the sauce.  I ended up with an incredibly rich dinner that the boys and I really enjoyed.  We had quite a bit left over and even though Dorie says you have to eat all of this at once because it doesn't hold well, I've been eating a bowl of it a day since Sunday and it's been delicious (but, I love leftover macaroni and cheese and this reminds a bit of that).

Straight from the oven, golden delicious!

To see how everyone else's dish turned out this week, take a look here.  If you'd like to cook along with us, it's easy to join!

25 comments:

Monica said...

Ohhh your look so yummy! I 1/2 my recipe since there is only two of us... it yield 3 ramskin, we ate one a piece and the other is in the refrigerator with Tomorrow LUNCH writen on it!

Tammy said...

I enjoyed this recipe as well and agree about the leftovers! They are just fine with me.

DessertByCandy said...

Such meticulous effort with the shaping. Glad to know that the leftover were still good...this may finally persuade me to make this dish!

yummychunklet said...

Your dish turned out so beautiful! That's a great tip about serving with marinara next time.

Beth said...

Steph Your dish turned out beautifully. I'm glad the family enjoyed it. Happy New Year. B:)

Lizzy said...

Love your beautiful cheese topping! I served it to my daughter with some spaghetti sauce...she loved it!

Elaine said...

You formed your gnocchi perfectly. I actually preferred this leftover and thought the extra time in the refrigerator gave everything a chance to meld.

Cher said...

Very nice shaping on your gnocchi! You much be a patient soul. Glad it worked out well for you.

Anne-Marie said...

Thanks for the tips and the photos, Steph. I have put off making this dish due to the time required. When I was reading the recipe I thought it really needed some photos so THANK YOU!! It looks rich and delicious.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Wasn't this fab? I love how Dorie's recipes always seem so complex yet they turn out to be so easy!!! Well done!

Sweet and Savory said...

You did a beautiful job. The shape of the gnocchi was amazing. Your dish looks delicious.

If I get to make it, I will remember either less flour or more milk. Thanks for the tip.

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

Gorgeous! I have to remember the milk trick for the bechamel next time - it was incredibly thick! :)

Steph said...

Great job! I fell in love immediately with all the melty cheese. Thank you for the bechamel tip!

Trix said...

I'm with you - I thought the leftovers were good as well! I think I'd like to just pan fry them in some butter next time so they get crispy, mmm ...

Candy Girl said...

Great idea to try this with marinara!

susan said...

i too, added milk to my bechamel(which I made the day before baking it). I did love this dish, but want to try it again using a potato gnocchi - wouldn't that be rich!

KarenP said...

I'm impressed by how uniform your gnocchi look! I was too impatient for that. It was delicious nonetheless.

Lana said...

I cannot believe that you took time to make the gnocchi "quenelles":) But they look beautiful! I love your photos of the finished dish.
I did not make this recipe, but it only means that it will happen some time later:)
I think that I could eat the cheesy dish like this every day, just like you.

Frolicking Night Owl said...

Beautiful photos! I think you win the prize for prettiest gnocchi!!!

M said...

I agree, the bechamel was way too thick. I love that you took the time to make your gnocchi look so nice. I was pressed for time so "hid" mine that were misformed under the sauce and cheese!

Kathy said...

Your gnocchi look wonderful, mine did not come out so pretty but were very good. I also had trouble with béchamel. I thought it was way too thick and also thinned it with milk.

Betsy said...

Looks so good! I didn't have a chance to make it last weekend, and as you confirmed, it didn't look like a weeknight meal. Also, I'm glad to know leftovers keep. I didn't want to waste and was alone this week for eating. Certainly I couldn't eat the whole thing for something so rich. Now that I know leftovers are A-OK, I'll try this soon.

lifeisfull said...

Love your last shot of the gnocchi poking out of the cheese! This is a rich dish but it didn't taste rich to me, I could eat half the pie plate by myself!

Ana said...

I didn't make this one even though it looks and sounds delicious, because we are watching our calories for the time being. But....

Come on over to my blog. There is a nice prize waiting for you. Come and take it!

onewetfoot said...

I'm impressed that you took the time to shape the gnocchi so beautifully. Mine were misshapen blobs, but since they were hidden in béchamel and cheese, I wasn't worried. I froze about 2/3 of the batch and might try something different with those. The marinara sauce sounds like it would be lovely.