Homemade Gnocchi In A Mushroom Sauce

I’ve been wanting to make Gnocchi for quite some time. Not really sure why though because I’ve only had it once or twice. I think it’s the challenge of it all… Can I really make it? One thing that was holding me back is that most recipes call for a potato ricer. Something I don’t own and was reluctant to purchase. I went to a couple of stores and couldn’t find one and truthfully didn’t want order one online. I did find a few recipes that said you could mash the potatoes but then I found some recipe reviews that said mashing the potatoes wouldn’t turn out good gnocchi. And then, I found a recipe that used a large hole grater and I was ready to go.

To make the dough I baked 3 medium Russet potatoes at 400 F for about 45 minutes. I let them cool for a few minutes, then peeled them and grated them using the large holes of a box grater into a large bowl. I added in a lightly beaten egg and salt and then added in flour, a little at a time, until the dough wasn’t sticky. I then dumped it out on a lightly floured surface and kneaded it.

Next, I divided the dough into 6 smaller balls and rolled out each ball into a rope about 3/4-inch thick.

I then cut the dough into 1-inch pieces.

Once I had rolled out all of the dough and cut it. I boiled them in a pot of well-salted water. I knew the gnocchi was ready once it floated to the surface of the water.

Next, I finished off the gnocchi in a mushroom sauce. And here’s the funny thing about this… the first day it tasted good, the 2nd day it was delicious, but, on the 3rd day not so much. I think by then the gnocchi had absorbed a lot of the sauce and it just turned an odd color and the flavor was off. So, apparently homemade gnocchi is good for 2 days and that’s it.

 

Homemade Gnocchi In A Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:

3 medium Russet potatoes (about 2 lbs.)

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Mushroom Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup shallots

1 14.5 ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

5 ounces baby spinach

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

For the Gnocchi:

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, until the potatoes are fork-tender. Flip the potatoes halfway through the baking time. Let the potatoes cool slightly.

Peel the potatoes and then grate them over the large holes of a box grated over a large bowl. Add the egg and the salt and mix well with a wooden spoon.

Add the flour to the potatoes, a little at a time, using only as much as you need so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. When the flour has been incorporated dump it and any remaining floury bits onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough. Press down and away with the heel of your hands, fold the dough over, make a quarter turn and repeat. Knead for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and then divide into 6 smaller balls. Using your fingertips roll each ball into a rope about 3/4-inch thick and cut into 1-inch pieces.

To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the gnocchi in batches. Once it rises to the surface remove from the water and set aside on a baking sheet.

For the Mushroom Sauce:

Cook the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the butter begins to brown. Add the mushrooms and shallots and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken broth and parsley; simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the gnocchi and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Add the spinach and stir until wilted.

Divide among bowls and drizzle with parmesan cheese.

Gnocchi Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Mushroom Sauce adapted from Epicurious

Slow Cooker Sunday: Spicy Mexican Chicken Stew

So, I personally think that one of the best things to make in a slow cooker is soup / stew. I consider them to be more or less one in the same. And this week I am bringing you a Spicy Mexican Chicken Stew that is the ideal Slow Cooker Meal. The only prep is some dicing, chopping and cutting. No sautéing veggies or heating the aromatics to develop the flavors. You control the level of spice with a jar of salsa. I got this recipe in the cookbook I mentioned last week… Slow Cooker Family Favorites. I’m 2 for 2 with the recipes in this book… Yay!

I began by stirring together salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in the bowl in my slow cooker.

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I then added in diced potatoes, frozen corn, cut celery & carrots, a diced onion and minced garlic.

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I gave everything a few good stirs to make sure the vegetables were coated by the salsa mixture.

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And finally, I placed 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs on top of the vegetables and poured in a can of chicken broth.

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So, according to the directions the stew was to be cooked on high for 4 hours, or until the chicken was cooked through and the vegetable were tender. After 4 hours the chicken was cooked through, so I removed it from the slow cooker and shredded it using two forks. But, my vegetables were still a bit undercooked, so I returned the chicken to the slow cooker and cooked everything for about another 2 hours.

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Which I think was the best thing. The end result were vegetables that were perfectly tender, but, better yet, the chicken was really able to absorb the flavors of the stew. YUM!

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I packed a bowl for lunch the following day and I must say it was even better then and each subsequent day!

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Spicy Chicken Mexican Stew

Ingredients:

1 16-oz jar spicy salsa*

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes**

1 16 ounce package frozen corn***

2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs****

1 14.5-oz chicken broth (approximately 2 cups)

 

*I used Chi-Chi’s Medium Thick & Chunky Salsa

**I used 2 medium sized potatoes and 1 small one

**The package I used was 12 oz.

****About 1 3/4 pounds of chicken

 

Directions:

In the bowl of a slow cooker stir together the salsa, cumin, chili powder, salt and black pepper.

Add the potatoes, corn, celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Toss everything to coat the vegetables.

Place the chicken on top and then pour in the chicken broth.

Set to cook on high for 4-6 hours, until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Once chicken is cooked, remove from the slow cooker and shred with two forks and return to the slow cooker. Season for taste.

Recipe from Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Twice Baked Potato… In the Microwave

I made Twice Baked Potato a month or so ago for the first time the traditional way – in an oven. Just in case you don’t know, Twice Baked Potato is exactly what it says… A potato that’s baked 2 times. First you bake the potato, slice it in half, scoop it out, mix it with some toppings, spoon it back into the potato skins, top it with cheese and bake it again. And it’s delicious! But, I was left wondering if I can bake a potato in the microwave then why can’t make Twice Baked Potato in there also, so, I decided to try it out and I am so happy I did. It came out perfect and just as delicious.

I began by scrubbing two russet potatoes and pricking them with a fork a few times. Next, I baked them in the microwave. Luckily my microwave has a potato button, but, if yours doesn’t the average time is about 8-10 minutes.

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I let them cool for a few minutes and then sliced them in half and scooped out the inside.

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I mashed the potato with butter, sour cream and bacon bits. I then added in shredded cheddar cheese, milk, salt and pepper to taste.

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I then spooned the mixture into the potato skins and topped it with some more cheddar cheese.

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And finally I placed the potato back in the microwave and heated it for about 2 minutes, until the cheese melted.

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And that’s how simple it is to make Twice Baked Potato in the microwave!

 

Twice Baked Potato... In the Microwave

Ingredients:

2 medium russet potatoes

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, sliced

1/4 cup bacon bits

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for topping

2 tablespoon milk*

salt and pepper

*I’ve used whole milk and 2% milk

Directions:

Scrub the potatoes and prick with a fork. Place the potatoes on a microwave safe plate and bake in the oven, using your microwave’s potato button, or for 8 – 10 minutes.

Let potatoes cool for a few minutes and then slice them in half. Scoop out the insides (be careful not to tear the potato skins) and place in a bowl with the butter, bacon bits and sour cream. Mash these four ingredients together and then add in the cheese, milk, salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture back into the potato skins and top with cheese and return to the microwave for another minute or two until the cheese has melted.

Recipe modified from The Pioneer Woman on The Food Network

Slow Cooker Sunday: Shepherd’s Pie

This week for Slow Cooker Sunday I am bringing you Shepherd’s Pie. Customarily Shepherd’s Pie (or as it can also be called Cottage Pie) is a meat pie with a crust of mashed potatoes. Traditionally it was made with leftover roast meat but is commonly made today with ground meat, beef or lamb. This Shepherd’s Pie is made with beef chuck that is slow-cooked with vegetables in a beef broth and served over mashed potatoes. A twist on the traditional, but, just as delicious. And can I just say that this is my favorite type of slow cooker meal… Just place all of the ingredients into the slow cooker, turn it on and let the machine do the work.

First I placed beef, carrots and an onion into the slow cooker…

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Next I added in beef broth, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. After giving the mixture a few goof stirs I then nestled two potatoes – one of the potatoes was the size of two – right on top and covered it and set it cook on low for 8 hours.

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After the 8 hours I stirred in 2 cups of frozen peas and left it on the warm setting until the peas were heated through.

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Meanwhile I removed the potatoes and mashed them with milk, butter, salt and pepper. If you are wondering why the color is a bit off, don’t forget that the potatoes absorbed some of the beef broth during the cooking, which only added to their flavor.

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To serve, I scooped some of the mash potatoes in to a bowl and topped them with the stew… It was DELICIOUS!!!

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Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 large carrots, chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 cups low-sodium beef broth

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 large russet potatoes, peeled

2 cups frozen peas

1/2 cup milk, warmed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

kosher salt

black pepper

Directions:

Place the beef, carrots and onions in the slow cooker. Add in the broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, flour 1 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and stir to mix well. Nestle the potatoes in the liquid.

Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours – until the potatoes are tender. Transfer the potatoes to a medium bowl and add the peas to the stew. Stir and cover and allow the peas to warm, 2 to 3 minutes.

Mash the potatoes with the warmed milk along with butter and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Serve the mashed potatoes topped with the stew.

*Please note I use a 5 1/2 quart slow-cooker.

Recipe slightly modified from Real Simple