Haute Hot Food

Only for the adventurous in eating that want to tantalize their taste-buds and make food dance on their palate.

For I am not afraid of letting the food
overtake my desires, nor am I afraid of letting my desires be my food. Food is my expression, not just my livelihood. Cooking is my art, not out of responsibility, but purely out of passion.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pillows of Perfection

     Watching cooking shows growing up, I thought I could conquer the world of culinary perfection at the drop of a hat.  After all, they made everything look so easy and effortless. The dishes jumped off the screen, and I could almost smell the aromas steaming up in the room.  As I grew up, I realized there was a trail and error approach to cooking. Sometimes the oven caught on fire, and then other times, the meal was fit for pure royalty.  Either way, the thing I came to realize, was that each of the chef's I had diligently studied in my youth had a common resounding ring to them that echoed loudly through each episode: pure passion.
     I remember watching the ever graceful Lidia Bastianich on her Italian cooking show stir sauces, roll pastas, saute seafood, and prepare her meals not as an eager self-absorbed and over confident chef, but as a passionately strong woman just wanting to share her traditions and love to anyone willing to listen.  
I was mezorized by her ability to teach seemingly difficult executions with patients and perfection.  

Salute to Lidia.  Salute to traditions.  Salute to passion.

Perfect pillows of gnocchi were my favorite technique Lidia taught. These will soon be your go-to pasta to make at home whenever you have those few potatoes floating around you don't know what to do with  As always, best enjoyed preparing with those you love, having fun, and savoring the moments. 

Fresh Gnocchi
1 1/2 lbs mix of sweet potatoes and russet potatoes
1 c. (plus extra for dusting) flour
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp salt
pinch of fresh nutmeg
1TBLS Olive oil

Pierce potatoes and bake in a 400 degree oven about an hour or until soft.
Scoop out warm potato and whip until smooth.  Cool for 20-25 minutes
Add flour, salt, nutmeg and egg yolk and kneed until dough forms.

 Turn onto slightly floured surface and kneed until comes back together adding additional flour if sticky.  Divide dough into 4 sections. Roll each section into a rope about 3/4" wide.
 Cut each rope into 3/4" pieces

   With a floured fork, roll each piece down the fork while pressing gently and allowing the pasta to slightly concave.  

The pillows are ready to cook!
To cook: bring salted water to rolling boil and gently add pasta.  Cook about 4 minutes or until it rises to the surface.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.  Add favorite sauce and devour.  

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