Culinary Disasters: Gnocchi
As proof that I still encounter my fair share of disasters in the kitchen, let’s talk about gnocchi. Specifically, my attempt this past weekend to make some. I’ll just say up front, I did not eat gnocchi this weekend. This was an epic kitchen fail. In fact, it failed so hard that even my pictures didn’t turn out that great (I’m still trying to adjust to the new lighting situation in our apartment, six months in. I think it might be time to break down and buy some proper photographer’s lights). So what went wrong here?
I’m not entirely sure, to be honest, so if any of you have gnocchi-making experience that you could offer, I’d be happy to hear it. Here’s what I think went wrong:
First, I boiled the potatoes for a bit too long. They were a little water logged, but I did try to dry them out in the pan for a few minutes, as well as allowing them to cool and dry on a baking sheet after I ran them through the food mill.
Second, while running them through the mill, I think I may have let them get too smushed together in the bowl. I didn’t give them much space. I’m not really sure how important this is, but during the milling process, I kept thinking, “ooh, these probably shouldn’t be so smushed together.”
Third, I tried to make the gnocchi dough ahead of time. I was having my aunt Maggie over for dinner, and I knew I wouldn’t have time after work on Friday to do the whole thing, so I made the dough Thursday night, intending to roll them out and shape them Friday evening. As soon as I took the dough out of the refrigerator Friday evening, I knew bad things were ahead. It was extremely wet. And had an odd sweet taste. I thought I’d give it a try, anyway, though, and proceeded to empty the dough out onto our countertop and “knead” it into some kind of something edible. But kneading was not going to happen, because this stuff was extra gloppy. I added more than double the amount of flour required the recipe I used, all the while knowing there was no way this was going to turn out well.
I am eager to try this again. I bought a gnocchi board and everything. Clearly, I will try to mitigate the mistakes I’ve already identified. And if any of my faithful readers (or those of you who’ve never seen this site before) have some helpful hints, I’d love to hear them. I promise I’ll be back later this week with something that actually did turn out right.