Monday, September 17, 2012

The -would be-final Pinterest Summer Recipe Challenge: Gnocchi Mac n Cheese (a pictorial fail)

If you are a Pinterest addict like I am, you'll know that sometimes you pin ideas that you, for all intents and purposes, plan to try at some point. My recipe board, Nyam, is full of those. I decided that this summer, I'm actually going to make use of this board and try these recipes out. My goal is 1-2 recipes per week, and I'm calling it my Pinterest Summer Recipe Challenge. You can find more of my challengers here.

With much anticipation, summer is finally drawing to a close! Don't get me wrong, I love summer, but I love all more. And I think that overall I'm in love with the first half of every season. After that, it's just old.

So I had planned on my final Pinterest Summer Recipe Challenge to be somewhat fall inspired. It was actually my first pin EVER and I finally got the gumption to do it. And oh my gawsh, it met and exceeded everything I had hoped and dreamed it would be.

I'm speaking of this fabulous Gnocchi Mac n cheese.

If you're unfortunate enough to never have heard of (or tasted) gnocchi (pronounced "nyo-ki"), my deepest sympathies for you. Gnocchi consist of potato dough and are tiny little dumplings, usually the size and shape of the top digit of your thumb.  Being the Polish girl that I am, I have grown up with potatoes alongside almost every meal. We Poles even have a version of gnocchi, called 'kopytka', which translates to 'hooves' because I suppose they sort of look like a part of a cow's hoof. For the Germans, spatzle would be something like gnocci.

I can't remember when I discovered that gnocchi and kopytka are the same thing (just different shapes), but I pretty much insist on having gnocchi at least once a month. Usually just sauteed lightly with some traditional red pasta sauce thrown on top.  But this time, oh man.. this recipe called to me in ways that gnocchi has never called to me before.  Because this recipe features tasty, aromatic cheeses..which I'll admit I'm a total sucker for.

Now that I've gotten you drooling, I have a confession. I've let you down. I made these dish for dinner a couple weeks ago, took spectacular pictures, but somehow the little Canon elves/gnomes/trolls invaded my memory card and ate the images. I guess it was so delicious that mythical, completely made up by me creatures had to destroy the evidence so that perhaps I should make it again.

Alas, Canon creatures, I can't make it again so soon because we're still recovering.

Nonetheless I couldn't blog about this amazing recipe and not share. So here we go, just forgive me for the lack of pictures.

Edit: after posting this earlier today, I decided that it just wasn't right to post without a picture.. so .. I whipped it up for lunch.

You will need:
1 pound of premade or homemade gnocchi (I have my own gnocchi recipe, which I may blog about in the future.. for this time, I used prebought)
2 T butter
2 tsp minced garlic
1 T flour
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon of any fancy mustard - I used a spicey hot mustard that my mom found at a winery :)
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese
1/3 cup of shreddd parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

You will do:
1) Spray a medium sized casserole dish with nonstick spray. Prepare gnocchi by boiling in salted water until they all float. Drain and place into your casserole dish. Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
2) Slowly melt the butter on a skillet. Add the minced garlic, let it simmer for about a minute.
3) Whisk in the flour to thicken it up, break up any lumps. Add mustard and milk. Keep on low heat, continually stirring until the sauce thickens.
4) Slowly incorporate shredded cheeses, continue to stir as the cheese melts.
5) Taste test - then add salt and pepper if you wish. So good!
6) Pour the sauce over your gnocchi, top with the parmesan.
7) Bake until cheese is bubbly, about 15-20 minutes. Rest for a few minutes before serving.

We served this with some steamed broccoli and sourdough bread.. OMG! YUMMERS!!!

One more recipe to go.. I apologize for my absense these last couple weeks.. had some big stuff brewing - we sold our home! Post with details to come :)

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