Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Failed Gnocchi and Other Treasures

I think it's just as important to chronicle failures as successes. If you don't, you might an unrealistically inflated sense of yourself. On Sunday, my sister, Tea, and I made our much anticipated experiment of gnocchi. I tried some a few years ago and was not impressed by this dense pasta, but the article on 101 Cookbooks assured me that "real" gnocchi was wonderful, delightful, and fit for gods. And besides, they looked like little caterpillars but cuter.
Since Tea eschews anything lemony including basil and bergamot, we decided to go with a Martha Stewart recipe of Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables. The sauce was tasty but the gnocchi themselves were a soft, mushy mess. :(

I suspected the uneven breaking down of the potatoes and the lack of an egg yolk, which both probably signal gross character flaws (i.e. not being meticulous and being stingy). Since we halved the recipe, one egg seemed to be more than enough so I used an egg white I had left over from a slightly less catastrophic creme anglaise. In a true Eeyore fashion, I should just go back to eating thistles. Just as tasty and less messy. The dough was extremely soft and would not hold its shape and led to desperate additions of flour.
We fried them after the first batch became a sad, wet mess at the bottom of the colander. The early batches came out tasting like fried mashed potatoes (not so bad), but the later ones were disgustingly floury and recalled kindergarten memories of do-it-yourself paste.

We also visited the monthly Antiques by the Bay in Alameda where I purchased a silver pendant of an elephant with an amber tummy and spotted this charming frog! So I guess the day was not without some boons.

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