Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

I came upon this recipe while trying to find a way to use up some leftover potatoes. Often I chop them up a little and throw them into a saucepan as hash browns to have with breakfast. Or I use them to make Bubble and Squeak. I found this recipe, calling for baked potatoes strained thru a ricer, mixed with egg and flour to make a dough, and was intrigued. But with no idea how to actually say the name of the thing I was making.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

If you had been a fly on my wall listening to my pitiful attempts to pronounce “gnocchi”, you’d have been horribly embarrassed for me. I pronounced the “g” sound, and instead of saying “key” for the cchi, I said “chee” like the start of cheese. It was really sad. My husband laughed right in my face and asked what on earth I was saying. If you are interested, here’s how it is supposed to sound. And, how my kids responded when I taught them how to say it. Talk about blind leading the blind.

 

Gnocchi comes in many varieties and have been around since the days of the Romans, when soldiers would mix a semolina porridge-like dough with eggs.  Since I’m fairly certain the Roman legions didn’t go around with ricers in their tunics, I thought I could probably figure out a way to make these without one too. Even if it is a potato variety. Romans didn’t own Cuisinarts either…but I do! I tossed my leftover potatoes in there and started whirling away.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Pulse until no lumps remain. Then with your clean hands, combine the potato mash with  two egg yolks, some salt and flour.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Until you have a firm, but still a little sticky dough.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Cut into four even pieces and roll each into a long rope.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Using a pastry cutter (or knife) and a fork. Cut into small pieces and then press with the fork to make ridges.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Repeat until you’ve used all the dough. These can be boiled and served immediately, or frozen on a cookie sheet then transferred to a plastic bag in the freezer for up to a month. At this point, they reminded me of butter mints.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

You need two burners going to cook these babies up. One for the water so you can boil your little potato pasta gnocchis. And one for everything good in the world to get down in. Butter, garlic and Italian parsley hanging out. You know that’s gonna be good. Let the butter melt, then toss in the garlic and parsley just as the gnocchi dumplings start floating.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Dunk your gnocchi into the pot of boiling water. They’ll bob up to the surface as they cook. Let them go another minute or two (no longer!) and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

And transfer them to your butter/parsley/garlic pan. Swish the pan around to get them all coated nicely (this should take under a minute).

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Slap those gorgeous babies into a bowl, sprinkle some fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and go to town. Every little nugget is perfectly soft and wrapped in flavor. Like a cheesy, fragrant pillow of buttery goodness.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

The original recipe said this makes 4 servings. They must be serving dainty little princess eaters. I ate half the recipe single-handedly. If you are serving this as a first course, you could probably get away with a smaller portion. But as a main dish, you’d need to double the recipe to get 4 servings, unless you’re friends with really tiny people. Or, keep it simple and just eat all of these yourself. I won’t judge.

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese

Potato Gnocchi With Butter and Cheese
adapted from Food and Wine

2 pounds leftover potatoes (about 4 – enough to yield about 2 cups flesh)
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Garlic, minced finely
Italian parsley, chopped

Scoop the flesh into a ricer and rice the potatoes (or in your food processor). Transfer 2 slightly packed cups of riced potatoes to a bowl. Stir in the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the 1/2 cup of flour; stir until a stiff dough forms. Knead the dough gently until smooth but slightly sticky.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. On a floured surface, cut the dough into 4 pieces, rolling each into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Cut the ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Roll each piece against the tines of a fork to make ridges; transfer to the baking sheet.
In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer for 2 minutes longer. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter. Toss garlic and chopped parsley into the butter just before adding the gnocchi. Using a slotted spoon, add the gnocchi to the butter. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat for 1 minute. Sprinkle with the cheese and serve.

Make Ahead The uncooked gnocchi pieces can be frozen on the prepared baking sheet, then transferred to a resealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Boil without defrosting.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Here’s the chicken noodle soup I made with my homemade egg noodles. It is full of celery, carrots, onion and chicken. Perfectly homey and delicious. It was incredible.

Chicken Noodle Soup - Bakerlady

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Homemade Egg Noodles

Sometimes recipes happen as a byproduct of life. You have plans for your day that include relaxing in the sunshine, maybe reading a book and then BOOM…you are making noodles from scratch like you are Caroline Ingalls or something. There you stand in your kitchen, covered in flour asking yourself “what just happened?”.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

Such are the circumstances of my first foray into making noodles from scratch. I was reading Mr. Putter and Tabby Catch the Cold and when the title character got chicken soup from his neighbor, my kids exclaimed how much they love chicken soup! I decided to make some for lunch before checking the pantry for noodles. Clearly I needed to go grocery shopping (who doesn’t have noodles!?) – but I was watching a couple extra kids and figured  it would be easier to occupy them with a noodle making project than wrangle them all into the car and thru the aisles of a store. What can I say, the choice made sense in my head at the time. I hold women who manage grocery shopping with 4+ kids in VERY high regard! I don’t have a fancy pasta press, cutter, drying rack, or attachment for my Kitchen Aid. Nope. Just my hands, a rolling pin and some adorable little helpers.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

I’ve decided that some things appear overwhelming because they are unknown. Like noodles. They really aren’t difficult to make at all. They just seem scary. Summer is here – I highly recommend this for kiddos lolly-gagging in your house claiming boredom. Pasta making kept two high-energy five year-old boys occupied and engaged for over an hour. And I’m sure there’s a benefit to fine motor skills here too.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

A few simple ingredients in a bowl and the dough comes together lickity-split. Let it rest about 10 minutes, then roll it out nice and thin. This dough was incredibly easy to work with. No sticking, no frustration, just a nice flat canvas for our noodles. I let it air dry a few more minutes before trying a trick I remembered seeing (somewhere – no idea where) about cutting nice even noodles.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

Don’t cut yet. Roll your dough. Yup. That’s the trick. Instead of attempting to cut in a straight line thru the vast expanse of a big dough sheet, roll it up. Like so. Kind of like making cinnamon roll cookies.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

Then, cut off the end and you have a dough spiral that can just get unrolled into a perfect egg noodle. Now, you can use this dough for other kinds of noodles too. Just change the shape you cut it into and you can make ravioli,  farfalle, lasagna or many other kinds of basic noodle shapes.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

This is where the reinforcements came in very handy. I cut little dough spirals and the munchkins unrolled them and draped them over some bowls. You can see I have two dough rolls on the table. That’s because I cut the dough in half and then rolled it up. I didn’t need noodles that were three feet long.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

In no time at all we had used every big bowl in the house for draping noodles. Let them dry a little while – I let them alone in the fresh air while I finished up some soup details.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

Then, just plop them into some boiling water (or in my case, soup broth) and cook until al dente. Which, for me was around 3 minutes.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

I didn’t use all these noodles in my soup. I saved some to see how they tasted just boiled in water with a little cheese on top. Delicious. The chicken noodle soup was perfection and got thumbs up from all my little noodle slurpers.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

Check back for the full soup recipe in a week or so. Mmmmmm. It was gooooooood.

Homemade Egg Noodles - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Homemade Egg Noodles

Homemade Egg Noodles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled slightly

Directions:
1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the beaten egg, milk, and butter. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in a covered bowl for 10 minutes.
2. On a floured surface, roll out to 1/8 inch thickness. Allow to rest about 10 minutes. Cut into desired lengths and shapes.
3. Allow to air dry 30 minutes before cooking.
4. To cook fresh pasta, in a large pot with boiling salted water cook until al dente (2-4 minutes)

BBQ Master Tri Tip Steak

Beef. Gorgeous and delicious when it’s done right. Tasteless hockey puck when done wrong. Don’t let your meat be a tasteless hockey puck. This tri tip recipe includes a fantastic marinade that produces a flavorful, robust steak, and a grilling hint straight from Gordon Ramsey’s mouth. Well, from his mouth via my TV. Ok…via my computer screen. I don’t have a TV. I watch Master Chef on my monitor. And I love every minute.

BBQ Master Tri Tip Steak - Bakerlady

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Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

I’ve heard tell that before there were slow cookers, women actually stood all day long in the kitchen. On their feet. Stirring, stirring, stirring. Checking meat and basting in an eternal loop. What kind of sick twisted world must that have been? I’ll tell you what. My Crock Pot love affair prior to homeschooling looks like a 13-year-old puppy love summer dalliance compared to my over the moon adoration of this kitchen appliance now. Especially when it produces easy meals as gorgeous and delicious as this one.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken - Bakerlady

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Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers

This post is going to upset some people. People like Ron Swanson, who think that a burger should be made of meat…and nothing else. On this one point (and pretty much nothing else…I love you RON!) I disagree. I think that burgers should taste amazing, and be incredibly juicy without serving them mooing on the inside. If it is sacrilegious to mix non-meat items into a burger, I apologize…sort of. I don’t tread lightly on tradition when the result is better tasting food. And these burgers taste ridiculously good. Far surpassing any other I’ve ever had. Ever.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

We start with nice fatty ground beef. 20% fat. Keep your lean meat far away from these. If you want a lean burger, make it out of rice and veggies. We add bread crumbs, seasonings (garlic, onion, chili powder), some Worcestershire, salt n’ pepper, milk and an egg yolk. Just the yolk. The white is basically water. We don’t need no stinkin’ water in our burger.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Mix it all up with your hands, form it into a lump and make like it’s a big old meat pizza. Sliced meat. That could be a thing. Right?

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Take each portion and make burger softballs. Check for uniform size. There’s a joke here somewhere about team sports…but I’m striking out trying to come up with it. (insert eye roll here)

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Then we’re going to use a little secret. A mold. You can use a big peanut butter jar lid, or anything that’s a decent size and reasonably round/flat. I use an empty painter’s tape container. Set some plastic wrap down inside (for easy release) and plop one of your softballs in.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

More plastic on top, then use your favorite rounded measuring cup to smoosh the meat into a flat shape all around the edges.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Burger ball becomes burger patty. Awesome.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Repeat with remaining balls of meat. I make more than I need, then freeze the rest so I can have delicious homemade patties just as fast as someone else can make a pre-made, store-bought, frozen meat puck. See? Nice and flat and even. This way, when they plump as they cook, they don’t end up rolling off your bun.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Hand off the perfectly formed patties to your favorite grill master. Mine goes by the name of Zack. He makes meat look pretty.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Top it with your favorite accoutrements.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Consume with breathless anticipation of the juicy, gorgeous deliciousness. No mooing. Still incredibly tender and full of flavor. I really did intend to take a picture before I’d wolfed down a giant bite. Really I did. But the meat heaven was calling me. I had to answer.

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers - Bakerlady

Print Recipe for Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers

Perfectly Juicy Hamburgers
a Bakerlady original

Ingredients
2 pounds ground beef (20% fat…yes, this matters)
1 egg yolk, beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 pinches of fresh cracked pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat grill for high heat.
2. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, egg yolk, bread crumbs, milk, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion powder, pepper, salt and garlic using your hands. Form the mixture into 8 hamburger patties by pressing into a mold.
3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill patties 5 minutes per side, or until well done.

Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers

I blame Pinterest for many things. Off the top of my head, here are a few. I can never again guiltlessly purchase the little tear apart Valentines and send my children to school with them. Every minor holiday must be celebrated as an over-the-top extravaganza with special breakfast food and remarkably adorable after school snacks. Supplies for more crafts than I ever imagined existed are now cluttering up my house. Let’s be real. The craft supplies are relegated to my closet after I realize post-purchase that I am not now, nor will I ever be crafty. I despise everything in my closet because none of it is perfectly coordinated down to shoes, bag and belt. I obsessively want to work out and try the twelve cleaning tips I found this morning. There are at least ten things I do wrong as a mother every single morning before school (according to all the amazing parenthood books Pinterest has introduced me to). And don’t get me started on the change in my children’s birthday parties since Pinterest took over my life. That being said…. that darn red swirly P holds my heart forever because it gives me recipes like this one.

Chicken With Curried Cream Sauce

This recipe originally called for turkey, which immediately conjured up a quote from  Bridget Jones’ Diary in my head. “Once again I found myself on my own going to my mother’s annual turkey curry buffet.” But you have to say “buffet” like Renée Zellweger does…”boo-fey”. I have adored Renée since Jerry Maguire, but am I the only one who thought she seemed a little…um, tipsy during her stint as an Oscar presenter last night? I was thinking about her on stage appearance as I sat to do my menu planning for the week this morning – and this turkey curry recipe leapt off the page at me. I wanted to dress like an old couch when making it. I used chicken instead as I already had some out waiting to be turned into something delicious and bumped up the curry (could have even done more), but left the original recipe otherwise intact. It was delicious and easy but a little out of the ordinary. Yummy.

Chicken with Curried Cream Sauce - Bakerlady

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Beer Battered Shoestring Carrots

The only people I know who consider carrots a snack food are practically vegetarians. Sure, they are crunchy and pair perfectly with hummus. But really? I’d much rather be noshing on pretzels or chips. Carrots are not my first thought when deciding on a snack. You also probably never thought of them as pub (sorry, there’s my English roots showing) food. But I’m telling you, carrots made with a perfectly seasoned beer batter are both deserving of munching and would totally fit in on your favorite bar counter while you down a few brewskies.

Beer Battered Shoestring Carrots - Bakerlady

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Baked Mashed Potatoes

Otherwise known as “The Most Awesome Potatoes Ever”. Let me just say that I’ve tried to find a substitute for the gloriousness of potatoes. It just never works out. Kudos to you if roasted cauliflower has found a place in your heart where french fries used to live. I’m in awe of those who think a mashed veggie with just the right seasoning can replace the creamy goodness of softened potatoes mixed with butter and milk. It just isn’t going to happen for me. True love lasts a lifetime, and I truly love potatoes.  I’ve made my peace with it. You can too. Come join me on the dark side. A magical place where we embrace the carb-soaked starchy goodness of the potato.

Baked Mashed Potatoes - Bakerlady

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