Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Hotel Room Potato Gnocchi by Mrs S

 Dear fellow carbohydrate and starch lovers,

In an earlier post, I made a reference to a mysterious Mrs S.  "Who," you asked, "is Mrs S?"  She is another Navy Wife - she lives in an apartment near the hotel where I am staying, only about ten minutes away.  She and I met in a morning kickboxing class at the gym, and she came over to our hotel room after class for an oatmeal-and-dried-fruit breakfast.

Somehow, we realized that we both share a passion for good food.

She is a vegetarian, a voracious reader, and a vigorous believer in organic produce.  Ah!  An oasis of cold, non-GMO water in a desert of Midwestern McDonalds and Walmart towns.  She is a reviewer for the Sacramento and San Francisco book reviews, and has already shared with me a stack of delicious books and recipes.

When I found out she had her own oven, I immediately suggested she invite me over to bake bread - I'd give her a cut, of course; as a serf, it was only fair that I pay my taxes!  She saw the wisdom of my generous offer (ha!) and said sagely, "There's something to be said for sharing an oven!"

The next day, I was at her house with pans of bread dough ready to bake.  Since then, she and I have had several festive baking affairs; most recently, we made some pies on a stormy morning.

Mrs S made a lattice-top cherry pie, I made a cast-iron skillet Dutch apple pie,
and she made two pans of rustic hoe-cake!  
After baking pies in the morning at her apartment, we made a dinner that evening in the hotel.  Potato gnocchi in a homemade marinara sauce!  Four couples sitting on various beds, chairs, and the floor, eating from shared plates!

Fortunately, I have yet to meet any strangers here in Illinois.

Cooking and now baking happily,

Mrs H

Hotel Room Potato Gnocchi
Dress this up as much as you like by adding chopped cooked vegetables, meats, and herbs.  

2 to 2-1/2 lbs potatoes
1 - 2 cups flour
1 egg
Sauce (alfredo, marinara, four-cheese, etc)

Peel (if desired), quarter, and boil the potatoes.  Mash or rice them until they are perfectly smooth.  Mix in one egg, and then begin pouring in flour and kneading with a spoon and then by hand, until it takes on the consistency of a very thick dough.  (I used a mixture of white, whole wheat, and cornmeal - you could use any flour.)  Try not to knead the dough to death, or it will be a bit tough.

I kept mixing, while Mrs S kept pouring flour over the mound!

Roll pieces into slender logs and chop into short, 1/2 inch stubs.

Drop the pieces into a pot of boiling water; as they float to the top, skim them out and drain in a colander.  Place in a mixing bowl and add sauce a little at a time to keep from sticking together.  (You could rinse them in cold water, too, but we did not do this.)

Mrs S set them carefully in the hot water so she would not be splattered!

Serve piping hot!  I dashed some Louisiana Hot Sauce on mine ;)

This rich dinner of gnocchi, hoe-cake, and pie was so filling, we were all feeling
lazy and happy afterwards!  



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