Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gnocchi n Tomatoes

Last night I tried my hand at gnocchi. I had it once at a restaurant in East Village, drenched in heavy cheesy sauce. So I wanted to make a lighter version out of it. Here is my original recipe of:

Gnocchi du beurre

Gnocchi du beurre

1. Boil gnocchi in a pot of 1/3 water, 2/3 chicken stock (any type of stock will do). You can measure the parts according to your pot and as long as the liquid covers the gnocchi you are good.

2. After the water boils, turn down the heat and leave it in for another minute or two. This will soften the gnocchi. Scoop out the gnocchi with a pasta drainer.

3. Set the gnocchi aside. Meanwhile, heat up 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a frying pan. Make sure the butter is evenly distributed around the pan.

4. Dump (for a lack of better word) the gnocchi into the pan, and swirl around in medium heat. You can spice it up with your fav sauces if you'd like, but I stuck with the original version to retain its authenticity. I added in a dash of sugar for flavor, and some salt and pepper for taste.

5. If you are a calorie counter like me, drain the extra butter out of the gnocchi on a piece of paper towel.

Draining the butter out of the gnocchi

6. Shave on some sharp-tasting cheese before serving.

You'd be surprised at how good this simple recipe tastes.

Since my hubby likes to buy things and forget about them a minute later, I found an over-ripe avocado and mango sitting around. My creativity kicked in and I decided to cook them on a whim.

Maple Ginger Mango Avocado Salad

Maple Ginger Mango-Avocado 

1. Cut the avocado in half, scoop out the flesh

2. Cut out the mango, retaining as much flesh as possible, then dice up the flesh

3. Mix with a generous drizzle of maple syrup (has to the original stuff or it ain't Canadian!) and some ginger vinegraitte

4. Add in a few pieces of pickles for crunchiness

I thought it tasted just fine, but this was definitely not a hit with hubby, who dislikes "weird-tasting" Asian-fusion food. I guess this isn't for everyone.

Tomatoes n Eggs

Tomato n Eggs

You know how people throw rotten tomatoes to boo people off-stage, and smash eggs on people's windows as Halloween pranks? You know what my Mom says to that?

"Good heavens! Why are people wasting so much food these days? I'd pick it up and cook it!"

(As a side note, my very asian Mom actually saved an egg from a parachuting egg project when I was in grade school, and made this dish out of it that night)

This is perhaps as authentic a dish as you can get in terms of Chinese home-cook cuisine. Almost everyone's first cooking project starts out with this one. There's almost no way you can mess it up, unless you're like me and didn't know how to turn on the stove the first time I started cooking.

Anyways, the recipe is really simple, but to get the right homemade taste is not. This time, I'm very happy to announce that I actually made it to the right sweet-salty proportions =)

1. Cut up some ripe tomatoes and a few slices of onions

2. Heat up the pan. I didn't need to add any oil since I still had the butter from the gnocchi, which I think acted as a mega flavor booster.

3. Dump in the onions. Wait until the onions start sizzling, then drop in some egg to cover the pan. I used a liquid egg mix, but you can use normal eggs too.

4. Turn down the heat so the eggs do not overcook. When the eggs settle down, poke it around with a spatula to break up the pieces.

5. Dump in the tomato pieces, and turn to medium heat. Then cover pan with a lid.

6. Mix together half a tablespoon of corn starch, three tablespoons of water (I used the leftover chicken stock from the gnocchi boiling), some drops of soy sauce, and a dash of sugar

7. While the tomato is cooking, dump in the mix. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

This was a definite hit! Hubby and I both loved it. I think it was the butter that did the trick.

Although I make fun of my Mom's asian-ness, I'm a victim of the Asian stinginess too. In order not to waste the liquid from the gnocchi, I boiled a potato to make some mashed potatoes for next time =)

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