Crispy potato gnocchi with foraged mushrooms and aspargus
The Okanagan Wine Festival has just ended and as usual there were many events that I attended with my friend My friend Val of More than Burnt Toast. Mid week we piled into the Hummer and drove to Penticton for a wild mushroom and pinot noir tasting offered at the new Wine Information Society Sensory Centre at the Penticton Campus of Okanagan College. It’s about an hour drive from Kelowna but Val and I are known to drive further for a cup of coffee if we are curious.
I go to a lot of events and attend many cooking classes and it’s not often that I like everything but this was one of those rare classes where I loved everything he made: wild mushroom soup, mushroom risotto and potato gnocchi with wild mushrooms. Each dish was cooked to perfection and paired with a local pinot noir and it was interesting to compare how the different wines interacted with the dishes.
As is often the case after I taste something good I want to make it at home and this week I made potato gnocchi that I combined with foraged mushrooms from Scott Moran, our local forager.
I usually do not add an egg to the gnocchi but did this time and after they were cooked I proceeded to sauté them until golden and crisp. The secret to making gnocchi is the correct proportion of potatoes to flour. After you make it a few times you get the feel for it. You can always drop a few gnocchi into the boiling water and cook them, and if they are falling apart then add more flour to the dough and roll it out again.
4 baking potatoes
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 – 2 cups flour or as needed
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
1 lb mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut diagonally into pieces
Salt and pepper
Boil, microwave or bake the potatoes until done. When they are cooked through peel and pass the flesh through a a potato ricer while the potatoes are still warm.
Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Add the egg, yolk, cheese, salt and pepper and mix well.
Begin adding the flour about half a cup at a time mixing it in with a wooden spoon or a spatula. Do not overwork the dough and only add as much flour as the potatoes absorb. Don’t add too little flour either, as the gnocchi will fall apart when they cook.
Knead the dough until it comes together.
Divide the dough into 4-5 pieces and roll each into a cylinder about 1/2 inch thick for small gnocchi, larger for larger gnocchi.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
When the water is boiling drop in half the gnocchi and bring back to a boil. Cook until the gnocchi float to the surface. Continue cooking for about a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon.
To cook the mushrooms and asparagus:
Heat butter or oil in a large skillet, add the onion and cook until translucent.
Add the mushrooms and cook until softened.
Add the asparagus and continue cooking until it is crisp tender. You can add a little stock if the skillet seems dry. Remove to a dish.
Add the cooked gnocchi to the same skillet with a little more butter or oil and cook until crisp golden.
Return mushrooms and asparagus to the skillet and stir gently until heated through.
Pile into bowls,grate parmesan over and serve hot.