Thursday, June 26, 2008
There are some days that I want something decadent and delicious. After a few days of leftovers and lighter food, the time finally came to splurge. The problem was that even though I was looking for something on the opulent side, I didn't want anything that was all too heavy and would weigh me down. I'd recently been discussing the delicious homemade gnocchi at Max here in NYC with a friend and couldn't get the little buggers out of my head. So after days of ignoring my craving and avoiding the sense memory of the excellent Gorgonzola gnocchi special I last ate at Max, I finally caved and decided to make an easy, yet impressive gnocchi dish for myself.
I recently decided to splurge on some lovely mushrooms that I don't normally use, like woodears and oyster mushrooms, adding a few fresh shiitake's to the mix as well for a meatier texture. I wasn't quite sure what application or dish I'd be using them in, but they seemed like a perfect thing to match with some fresh sage I'd just bought. I didn't want to bother making the Gorgonzola sauce from Max's (it'd be such a let down if it wasn't as good as theirs) so I went with my own light cream sauce and threw in a few of the mushrooms I'd purchased. I'd been toiling away in my head trying to figure out how to make a combination sage butter sauce with a little more body, and traditional cream sauce. I ended up testing out a sauce that used quite a bit of butter, a splash of white wine, a little chicken stock and just a tad bit of cream.
It turned out great and came together incredibly quickly. The flavor had some complexity to it and wasn't as flat as other thicker cream sauces, plus it didn't have heaps of cream. It's even possible to make this dish with half and half or a mix of cream and milk (which is basically half and half). Even though I didn't make the actual potato gnocchi myself (I bought fresh gnocchi), it still tasted like eating little pillows of heaven. The mushrooms were also a delicious addition, especially paired with the sage.
Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Sage Cream
1 package fresh gnocchi
4 sage leaves (6 if they're really small)
8 Tbsp butter
1 cup of your favorite mushrooms, sliced (anything but button mushrooms)
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1. Heat 3 Tbsp of butter in a non-stick skillet with sage leaves and cook on medium-low heat until sage becomes fragrant. Add mushrooms (salt and pepper to taste) and sauté until cooked through. Remove mushrooms to a plate and set aside.
2. Add the remaining butter to skillet and melt. Add wine, stock and cream and cook until reduced and slightly thickened.
3. Meanwhile, cook gnocchi according to package directions in a large pot of salted, boiling water (usually about 2 minutes).
4. When sauce is ready, add gnocchi and mushrooms to skillet. Toss to coat and serve immediately. Enjoy!