Monday, January 25, 2010

Mom, this dinner is SO good, we forgot to pray!

Lalalala! Music to a mama's ears.
Lately I've been trying out appetizers, and using them as entrees, since there simply aren't enough parties in a year I would ever need them for. I absolutely adore appetizers and I would like to learn to prepare an abundance of these... Sunday lunch consisted of Tomato Bruscetta (I finally found my go-to recipe) and Spinach Artichoke Dip with crackers. Today I made Gnudi. I had planned these for a dinner with friends, which unfortunately ended up being canceled, but my pantry was now prepared to make a stunning starter! Instead of attempting it the first time for visitors, I made them for a family dinner. Which I am really, really happy about. The salad I had planned for my visitors I made a few days prior to tonight, and am now ever so grateful we decided to postpone, as the salad was a total flop. I am finally fully convinced we should only prepare what we know for our guests. Forget the guinea pig thing, I have made a decision to leave that job title to my family. I have no intention to ever make that salad again, but these Gnudi were, in the end, quite stunning in texture and flavor, although I didn't figure out the proper technique until the very end. But, now I KNOW and am ready for some entertaining. I served the Gnudi with one of my favorite new-to-us meats - pork tenderloin - with caramelized red onions plus a quick Caesar salad.

Try these, I am sure you will love them, too. Shape the Gnudi by using two soup spoons: scoop a dollop of batter from spoon to spoon until you have an even looking dumpling, about 3 or 4 times.

Ricotta Gnudi with Brown Butter

Serves 6

3 eggs
(1) 425g tub Ricotta cheese
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp butter

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until frothy. Add ricotta, then flour, Parmesan and salt. Combine thoroughly. Chill batter in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Using two soup spoons, form about a scallop size amount of dough into a rough ball. Drop into the simmering water. Form about 8 Gnudi, and allow to simmer for about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove them from the water and place on a large plate. Drop another 8 Gnudi into the pot. Repeat until all the batter has been used up.
Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes or until butter has browned.
Add Gnudi. Cook for 5 minutes, tossing or gently flipping them in the pan until heated through.
Plate and garnish with additional Parmesan and black pepper, if desired.

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