Cabbage Flower Dumplings

2014.Sep.17 Wednesday · 1 comment

in Casa SaltShaker, Food & Recipes

In the scheme of things in the dumpling world, potato gnocchi are a relatively recent entry. If you stop to think about it, the potato is a new world crop, brought back to Europe by explorers sometime during the 16th century, and they didn’t catch on right away. Gnocchi, traditionally, were made from flour, eggs, water, and cheese – probably the most classic being the Roman style semolina gnocchi, made from thickened, cooked semolina that’s then mixed with cheese and egg yolk, spread out to cool, cut into rounds, and then baked, most classically in little beehive stacks:

Gnocchi di semolino

Here at Casa S we’ve experimented with all sorts of different types of gnocchi over the years. Most recently, back in June, I was playing around with making gnocchi di cavolfiore, or cauliflower gnocchi. We loved them in a reworked version of our roasted carrot soup, and I promised to bring them back. I wanted them to be the star of the dish this time around, and for the last two weeks, they were. In fact, overall, they seemed to be the favorite dish of the menus from both weeks.

Cauliflower gnocchi

The gnocchi were quickly sauteed in brown butter and teamed up with a trio of accompaniments. Underneath, a “carrot fondue” – finely diced carrots cooked down in cream with honey, salt, garam masala, and a few dashes of bitters; less finely diced eggplant roasted in olive oil until almost cooked through, then tossed with soy sauce and liquid smoke as a sort of nod to “eggplant bacon”; and a spicy spinach salsa verde (blanched and shocked spinach, green olives, capers, garlic, peperoncino, salt, pepper, olive oil).

Cilantro Chicken

I also played around with a version of one of our online challenge night dishes. Reworking it a bit, I sous vide cooked the chicken thighs with butter, salt, pepper, and cilantro. I dropped the dehydrated celery leaves, going with scattered fresh cilantro leaves, and, given the quantity of food in the dinners, dropped the duchess potato as well. The dish still isn’t quite where I want it – I love the way the chicken turns out cooking it this way, and the cilantro sauce and crisp chicken skin work. I think, maybe, the braised celery just isn’t quite the right accompaniment. For the second week, I dropped this dish from the menu and went to our tried and true spicy green olive chicken, which was a hit as always – this time served up with caramelized brussels sprouts and papas rusticas – mashed potatoes flavored with tomato, onion, garlic, and smoked lamb.

By the way, more coming up in the next post, but we have another of our online cooking challenges coming up for next week – we’ll (and perhaps you’ll) be “reinventing” sole veronique, a classic French dish.

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