This recipe goes out to all of those chefs who like to get their hands dirty, who love cooking, who don’t believe in “that’s just okay,” and who don’t mind the extra 20 minutes behind the stove. This goes out to all of those cooks/chefs/stews to ANYONE who goes that extra mile.
This recipe originated when I was a head chef at a fine dining restaurant, where pre-made was a nail in the coffin, a swear word even! Something I noticed during my last few years of freelancing is the increasing amount of pre-made items which litters the shelves of boats. I get it, we run out of time and we have to make a plan, last-minute changes etc., etc.
Well here you go, this little beauty can store in the fridge for up to a week or even be frozen. So get creative, turn your music up and remember why you picked up that apron in the first place.
Bring the chicken stock to a boil, add salt.
Place the diced potatoes into the pot and cook until potatoes are tender.
Pass potatoes through a potato ricer (mash VERY fine if no ricer available) and place on a floured work surface.
Make a well in the center of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle all the flour and baking powder (through a sieve) over potatoes.
In the center of the well add the egg, salt, pepper, capers and zest.
Stir in the flour and bring all ingredients together.
In a mixer with the dough hook attached, place the potato mixture and “knead” on a low speed for 4 minutes.
Remove the dough and knead for a further 2 minutes by hand. (dough ball should be well incorporated and dry, if it is too wet, add a little flour at a time until dry to touch)
Place a pot of salted water on the stove set to boil, once it begins to boil add 1/2 the butter.
Divide the dough into 4 balls. One at a time roll the balls out until it resembles a 3/4 – 1” wide snake.
Cut the dough “snake” into 1-inch pieces. Neaten up each gnocchi piece by rolling it between your floured palms.
Once all the gnocchi has been cut, drop them (you can do it all at once if your pot is big enough, or do it in stages if not) into the boiling water.
The gnocchi will be done when they float to the surface and remain there for 15 seconds.
Remove them from the pot and place them in an ice bath (equal quantities of water and ice) to prohibit the cooking process.
When you are ready to eat/serve the gnocchi, place a heavy bottom pan on the stove set to medium and place the butter in the pan.
Allow the butter to slowly brown (you will start to smell a sweet nutty aroma) and then add the gnocchi.
Sauté for 3-5 minutes and serve immediately with your favorite pasta sauce or just like that.
I served my gnocchi with a spicy Arrabiata sauce made with shrimp stock and roasted asparagus tips.
Mark Godbeer has been a yacht chef for more than 10 years. Contact him through chefmarkgodbeer.com.