A recipe redeemed

49/365

Over the weekend, I made plans to again attempt a batch of ricotta gnocchi. Finding a good recipe is a bit of an ongoing project for me, and Judy Rogers’ version in the Zuni Cafe Cookbook came very highly recommended, so I figured I’d give it a whirl. Unfortunately, even though I drained my super-fresh ricotta for two whole days in cheesecloth in the fridge, and tried other ways to correct the batter, my testers were slippery, gelatinous, and inedible. But I had so much of the mixture left, I couldn’t bear to just toss it; instead I tucked it into a container in the fridge and tried to decide how to use it.

During the day on Thursday, Mike pulled the remaining meat from last weekend’s roast chicken carcass and made a pot of stock. That stock was finished by the time I got home from work, and since I didn’t have anything planned for dinner, I decided to make a quick chicken soup. I chunked up the meat Mike had set aside and added it to the stock, along with some diced carrot and thin slices of celery. We had a couple of lemons which were looking a little shriveled, so I added their juice to the pot as well. I adjusted the salt and let the whole thing come to a simmer. Then I remembered the batter.

I pulled it out of its container, tipped it into a bowl, and stirred it up. It had firmed up a bit as it sat in the fridge, but I wanted to give it a little more heft, so I added some flour, beating it in a little at a time, until the dough was as stiff as I wanted it to be. I think I put in between 1/4 and 1/3 cup total.

Dinner:  March 12, 2009

The carrots were tender and the soup was done, so I raised the heat just a bit as I formed golf-ball sized rounds of the dough. I gently tipped them into the soup and let them cook for 5 or 10 minutes, and was really happy to see that they were holding together beautifully. I ladled the soup and dumplings into deep bowls, added a generous amount of fresh dill, and we ate.

The soup itself was bright and tasty, but the dumplings were amazing – light, fluffy and super-tender, not leaden at all. The little bit of lemon zest that I had added to the original batter still came through, which was a nice accent to the lemony broth. I was so pleased with these that I might just forget about mastering ricotta gnocchi altogether and focus on how I can play with these dumplings… like adding some chopped fresh herbs, perhaps?

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4 thoughts on “A recipe redeemed

  1. Mmmm lovely rescue! good dumplings aren’t that easy to make (in my experience) so it’s wonderful that these guys were so light yet also held together. I bet chopped fresh herbs in them would be scrumptious.

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