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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Potato, Ricotta,and Cream Cheese Gnocchi with Garlic Thyme sauce






Keeping up with the theme of cooking new things my family and I have never tasted, here is my latest.
Gnocchi, the name is funny and maybe hard for some people to pronounce. I was curious the first time I read about them on Wikipedia. There are many recipes for making these yummy little things.
This version has potato, ricotta and cream cheese. I loved the garlic thyme sauce I made for the Ratatouille so much, I just had to use it for drizzling over the gnocchi.

Potato Ricotta Cream Cheese Gnocchi

2 Roset Potatoes
1/8 cup of Whipped Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Ricotta
1 egg beaten
Flour (can't remember how much I used but used enough to make a dough :) I'll come back an edit, but start with about a third of a cup, add more little by little if you want the gnocchi to be more pasta like.

Garlic Thyme sauce
2 Tblsp
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Pierce the potatoes with a fork and wrap them with a paper towel and microwave until tender. Spoon out the potatos, make sure to get rid of the skins. Put the potatoes in a bowl and with a fork mash the potatoes and make sure there are no lumps, the mixture should'nt be runny, it should be a dry potato mixture. Set aside and let it cool.
Add the ricotta and with a spatula blend it in, then add the cream cheese, blend well. Then add the beaten egg, blend it in, yes is a bit messy.
Once all the ingredients are well combined you will then add the flour, sprinkle it in little by little. Until the mixture starts turning into a dough, knead until dough forms a ball.Shape small portions of the dough into long "snakes". On a floured surface, cut snakes into half-inch pieces. With a fork run the fork accross it to form lines (this is done either for decorating purposes or for the gnocchi to the sauces better.)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop in gnocchi and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until gnocchi have risen to the top; drain and serve.


To make the Garlic Thyme sauce, combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Pour on top of gnocchi.

Enjoy!!

This was a hit with my family, and I'm proud of myself because I made pasta!

The flavor and texture and flavor of these Gnocchi remind me of Guanimos(Guaniomes), a Puetorican/Dominican dish I used to eat when I was a little girl. They are made almost the same way.

Ratatouille












My kids and I love the movie Ratatouille, weve been watching it a lot lately and the kids asked me if I could make the dish. I know they are not fond of vegetables because I tried to make an omelet once with yellow squash and zuchinni and they didnt like it, I didnt like it either.
I read the ingredients that go on the dish, so far I like the recipe, it has garlic(my personal fav), onions, bay leaves, parsley, tomatoes and thyme(I love those preety little leaves packed with so much flavor!), very tasty and aromatic herbs. Eggplant, well I tried to make something a few years ago and it didnt come out right so I was a little apprehensive to cook with it again. I had a tough time finding eggplant in this town but I found some yey!bought zuchinni and also the yellow squash. I was ready to make the dish!
I did my research on the internet and viewed some videos on YouTube on how to make it. Came accros a video I really liked, its actually from the movie Rattatouille, a video called "Cooking with Mickey".

I followed the recipe except for the part of roasting the peppers before adding them. Ill do that next time.

My sister gave me a few tips and ideas for the next time I make it(its her favorite vegetable dish) I am definetely going to try her tips. Take some big bread rolls and turn them into bowls, toast in the oven with some olive oil after toasting pour the rattatouille in it, yum!!

Since this was my fist time making the Ratatouille, I knew it wasn't going to be perfect, even though I followed the recipe, something always goes wrong in my kitchen. I overcooked the veggies! the recipe needed to be baked for 2 hours?! and so it was a bit soupy, veggies soft, falling apart soft. I baked it covered it with a lid( needed to use parchment paper) and I didn't reduce the sauce that I made for it. Its ok, I didn't fret, the dish was delicious and my husband and kids except for one, loved the dish!
My daughters also loved the vinnaigrette, so much flavor! It had balsamic vinegar(used pomegranate balsamic vinegar) freshly chopped oregano, sage and the olive oil mixed with the sauce I set aside that was used for the bottom of the dish. My kids they cleaned their plates with bread, soaking up every last drop of the Ratatouille. It was a delicious dish and Im making it again this weekend :)

Ratatouille

1 Eggplant (I used half of a medium sized)
2 medium Yellow Squash
1 medium Zuchinni
3 medium Tomatoes
1 can chopped or diced tomatoes

For the Ratatouille sauce
2 cups chopped roasted Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers
1/2 cup Onion
Fresh Thyme on the stem
Bay leaf


For the sauce made for the Ratatouille ( garlic, onions, chopped tomatoes, peppers, parsley and thyme and bayleaf, make sure to remove the bay leaf)

Garlic Thyme sauce
1/8 tsp Thyme(if using fresh, remove the leaves toss the stem)
2 tsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp Garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

For the vinagrette

1 tsp Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar
1/8 Thyme
1/8 Basil
1/8 Oregano
1/8 Sage
1 Tblsp Olive oil
2 tblsp Ratatouille sauce

Sautee onions and garlic on olive oil until translucent, then add the chopped tomatoes(with juice) and peppers. Add parsley, bay leaf and thyme on the stem, simmer until the thyme is wilted then remove it and remove the bay leaf. Simmer and reduce the sauce( let some excess water evaporate, do not cover). Simmer for about 10 minutes. Save some extra sauce for making the vinagrette sauce later.

Slice the eggplant, zuchinni, squash and tomatoes, about 1 inch thick, set aside. Pour the sauce on a skillet, place the sliced vegetables on top of the sauce, place veggies circular pattern, tomatoes, squash, zuchini, eggplant wichever way you like.

Pour the garlic thyme sauce over the veggies, cover with parchment paper and bake at 275 degrees for two hours. ( I made the mistake of baking it covered, accidentally speeded up the cooking process so it took about an hour for my dish to cook). I think it also depends how thick you slice the veggies and what you use for covering the dish. Also the sauce needs to be reduced.

Once the veggies are tender, pour delicious vinagrette/ratatouille sauce on it.

Serve with toasted bread and add the Garlic Thyme sauce or Vinagrette on it yum!


This was my first time making this dish, if you encounter mistakes, my bad. Like I posted on my previous post, cook the recipes I blog about at your own risk lol!

Have fun cooking, enjoy food!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Saffron Rice




Ive decided to give this blogging thing a try. Trying, cooking(well not cooking, Ive benn cooking for a long time now, not new) tasting and cooking with unfamiliar ingredients have become my new...thing....lol.
Anyways I bought some saffron, and it was very expensive,it is the worlds mot expensive spice sold by weight, I did a double take on the price but said what the heck get it! I've always used saffron but not in the real form, usually in Sazon a spanish seasoning from the brand Goya or rice seasoned already with it. i wanted to make the real thing.
I wanted to make something quick and simple, I had no idea these little strings can do so much but they do, they add flavor and color. Im not too fond of the flavor honestly but the dish was delicious and my family liked it. I tend to dance around my kitchen, not literraly but when I toss my ingredients together, thats just how I cook. I really don't measure,specially if its a recipe I improvise, so bare with me if you make the rice or any of my recipes and it comes out whack lol!cook at your own risk :)

Saffron Rice

2 cups of Rice, loving Parboiled rice lately!it's just perfect. I have a love hate relationship with short grain rice.
1 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of water
1 tsp of salt
Splash of cooking white wine
1 smoked sausage cut in slices at and angle
sliced onion(here is where I didn't measure, I just cut some onion slices and sauteed them with the sausage)
a pinch or two of saffron
2 tbls of butter
1 tblsp of olive oil

Toss in the butter and sautee the onion until caramelized and the sausage. Pour in the chicken broth, bring to a simmer, add the water, the olive oil, the white wine, and the salt. Pour the rice and stir. Bring the heat to low temperature. At this time you may add the saffron and stir it in, and /or wait until the rice is cooked then sprinkle a pinch or two of the saffron for more fresh stonger flavor but I think the rice won't be as yellow, you decide. Cover for about 20 minutes, then fluff with a fork, serve and enjoy!

In the photo I posted you can barely see the sauteed onions or even the sausages, my family of carnivores got to it before I did. I topped it with some saffron (stigmas), the little strings that are harvested and dried to make saffron. I got to some information, I'm starting to be a little fascinated with it. the flower is very preety also.

For my vegan/vegetarian friends you can subsitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth and skip the sausage and butter :)

I also think by adding 2 tablespoons of cream cheese to the dish will make it extra creamy and even more delicious.<---since Im participating in the Real Women of Philadelphia contest( http://www.realwomenofphiladelphia.com/user_profile/view/12363) I thought adding cream cheese to this dish is awesome too ;p

Here is some info on Saffron

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saffron

Tried the dish?? let me know :D