Weekdays can be pretty crazy with kids in school or with work schedules. This is a simple dish for those hectic nights. My kids love this dish. They say it reminds them of Mac and cheese but with gnocchi. Traditionally people make this dish with peas and bacon. But I wanted to switch it up a bit. Instead of using the peas I went ahead and chopped up some Brussel sprouts. I also used some delicious Kerrygold aged cheddar and Kerrygold blarney castle a mild Gouda. The combinations will make your head turn. Enjoy!
16oz gnocchi, frozen package
Salt & pepper, to taste
2/4 cups pancetta, diced
2 cups Brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
1 cup leeks, thinly sliced
1/2 cup kerrygold aged cheddar
1/2 cup kerrygold blarney castle Gouda
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
On medium heat in a large skillet add pancetta cook for about 3 minutes next add the leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Now add the Brussel sprouts and thyme and continue to cook for another 3 minutes. Next add the cheese cook until melted and add the heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Follow instructions on gnocchi package stir well, cover and cook until the gnocchi is slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes or they start to rise to the top of the water. Remove from the heat. Add the gnocchi cheese leek and pancetta mix. Ross everything together until well incorporated. Serve.
This time of year is great to invent some delicious soups. Today in Philadelphia it was slightly chilly, and that just sets my mood for some homemade soup. I remember growing up and having my dad make the best soups, full of veggies and heart healthy goodness. When I went to the supermarket, I picked up some different veggies and hoped that the combo would work. For a garnish i decided on frying up some sage (no you don’t bread it or anything, you just want it crispy). Here is the recipe. I hope you enjoy.
4 Cups of Butternut Squash, cubed into 1 inch squares
2 Parsnips, chopped
1 bunch of Asparagus
5 Carrots, Chopped
2 Leeks, Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt (to taste)
Peppercorn (to taste)
1 Quart of Chicken Stock (You can also use Vegetable Stock)
3 Bay Leaves
4 Sage Leaves
3 Cups of Oilve Oil for frying
Wash and clean all veggies. Chop and cube then place then in baking pan. Season with Salt, Peppercorn, Olive Oil, Bay Leaves and Sage. Roast for about 1 hour on 375 degree oven. After done roasting place the veggies in blender (you will probably need to do it in 2 parts), Add Chicken stock as needed to blend. Dump some in a bowl and repeat process.
For frying the sage. Heat some olive oil in a medium pot and fry the sage (be careful because it does splash a little). Should take about 2 to 3 minutes
January and February are supposedly National Soup months. I wanted to try something a little different. I have made a lot of soup and chili, but this by far was never tried out in my kitchen. I have mentioned before that in my house we LOVE garlic. We just can’t get enough. Okay enough of me talking let’s get down to business. This soup is one of the easiest soups I have ever made, and the potency is well balanced. Here is the recipe.
30 cloves of garlic (YES I said it, THIRTY)
3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
3 Leek cleaned and chopped (you can use a medium onion if you would like, I just prefer leeks for soup)
1 34oz. Low Sodium Chicken Stock
1 Cup of heavy cream
1 Tablespoon of Butter
3 teaspoons of flour
1/2 cup of water
Take 3 leeks clean and chop them up. Take 30 cloves of garlic and deskin them. Add olive oil and butter to a pot on medium heat. Then add chopped leeks and all of the garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes or so. Add flour and stir with the Leeks and Garlic. Then add your Stock and water and simmer for about 10 minutes. Laddle everything into a blender and blend on low then add heavy cream and blend for another minute or so. Pour into a bowl and enjoy. You can add any topping you would like or enjoy with a biscuit.
Tip: When you blend something hot in a blender BE CAREFUL. It expands because of the heat.
I have run into a lot of people that have sad they have never tried rabbit or that they don’t like it. I think rabbit is a very tender meat if done correctly. It can be a little chewy depending on the age of the rabbit. Last night I decided to use my Le Creuset Brasier to make it and I have to say, it captured the essence in the flavor of the sauce. To make the sauce I braised the meat first then added leeks, shallots, and garlic; and cooked that for a bit. Then added fresh herbs of rosemary and thyme. I had to add my favorite kind of mushrooms, shiitake. They just hold so much flavor. I also added some orange zest. For the broth I used a white wine and chicken broth.
A little tip for you: If you want a creamy sauce add about 2 tablespoons of flour with the broth. This will give it that creaminess that you want.
Tonight I was in the mood for something small but filling. I sat and thought about how I wanted some crescent rolls and something with chicken. well I put the 2 together. I have done a similar Salmon pocket before, but this time around I decided I would make it with chicken. Simple all you do is take some crescents, cook your chicken and your leeks, garlic, fresh rosemary and mushrooms. Place everything in the dough and cook in the oven. While that is baking, make a white creamy Bechamel sauce (aka White sauce) add some nutmeg in there and a little salt and pepper to taste. Place on the side dish with some dots of balsamic glaze. After the pockets are done place on dish with sauce and while eating, dip the chicken pocket in the sauce. This is a great small dish that you can have with some salad or just on its own. Enjoy!