Learning the basic techniques behind good cooking, such as how to make a good pâte à choux, is far more important than mastering a specific recipe.
As shown in recent posts, this dough can be piped into decorative logs and filled with pastry cream to make eclairs…sandwiched with dollops of chantilly or ice cream to make cream puffs or profiteroles…deep-fried to make light and puffy beignets…or mixed with herbs and cheese and baked for savory gougères.
Regardless of what you are making, the basic technique behind making pâte à choux remains the same…
First, boil water and butter in a saucepan…then dump in flour all at once and stir it vigorously with a wooden spoon until a smooth ball of dough forms. Finish making the dough by adding eggs and beating the dough until creating a sticky, paste-like dough that holds itself together just well enough to be piped from a piping bag.
Today we will be talking about Parisian gnocchi.
Parisian-style gnocchi are very different than the traditional Italian potato version and actually easier to prepare.
Parisian-style gnocchi are made by piping the pâte à choux directly into boiling water, cooking until they rise to the surface, and finally searing them lightly to create texture.
3 Tbsp butter
3 large eggs
1⁄4 cup freshly grated parmesan, gruyere, or asiago cheese
1. Making the Dough...Combine water, salt, nutmeg, and 2Tbsp of the butter in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat. Add flour all at once. Beat dough with wooden spoon until thick. Cook, stirring to dry out dough, about 30 seconds.
Beat 1 egg into dough until incorporated. Beat in 1/4 cup cheese and another egg until blended. Beat in last egg until dough is smooth and shiny.
At this point you may also add chopped fresh herbs–chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon-for a more savoury version.
Gnocchi dough can be refrigerated overnight before boiling and baking.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Set bowl of ice water near stove.
Transfer dough to large pastry bag.
Reduce boiling water to gentle simmer.
Hold bag over water with one hand. Squeeze out dough into the water, using a small sharp knife to cut it into 1-1/2″ lengths.
Simmer gnocchi 3 minutes.
Drop cooked gnocchi into nearby bowl of ice water. Drain on paper towel-lined baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil. Allow to cool.
Cooked gnocchi can be transferred to a sealed container and stored in the refrigerator for up to a few days until you’re ready to fry or broil them just before serving.
Baking…Grease 9×13 baking dish with 1Tbsp butter. Scoop gnocchi into the dish.Top with 2Tbsp cheese. Bake 25 minutes.
Broiling…Preheat broiler. Broil gnocchi 6″ from heat for 1 to 2 minutes. …
Searing…Add gnocchi to aa very hot skillet. Add just enough butter to cover them. Top with finely grated Parmesan cheese. Cook over high heat for thirty seconds. Be careful not to agitate them too much when searing. As they heat, they get even more tender.
Sautéeing…Sautée gnocchi with butter, lemon, and fresh parsley.
The gnocchi can now be used as a blank palate for any number of seasonally-based pasta dishes….just like any other type of pasta.