Gooey Gnocchi

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Put 2 unpeeled large Russet potatoes in a large pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the potatoes by at least two inches and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, partially cover the pot and simmer the potatoes until they are completely tender and easily pierced, about 35 minutes. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool to the point that you can handle them. Peel. Cut in half crosswise and pass through a potato ricer into a large bowl. Let cool until almost at room temperature.

Flour a flat surface. To the potatoes, add one egg, 1/2 bar of cream cheese, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 1/2 cups flour. Mix with your hands until it starts to clump together. Press against the bottom of the bowl until you have a uniform mass. Transfer to floured surface and knead by hand for about 30 seconds. Tear off a portion and roll out into a rope. Cut every 3/4″ to make individual gnocchi. Drop into boiling salted water. When it rises to the top, it’s done!

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Griessbandnudeln

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Don’t worry, I can’t pronounce that either.

In a bowl, use a mixer to combine 3 cups of semolina flour, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup water, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix until the dough comes together, about 2-3 minutes. Continue mixing at a slightly faster speed until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and a tight dough ball forms.

Remove the dough from the bowl, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for one hour.

Fill a large pot with heavily salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Float a couple tablespoons of olive oil on the surface.

Lightly dust a flat surface with semolina flour. Unwrap the dough and divide into four roughly equal portions. Roll one portion to approximately 1/4″ thick. Use a pizza roller or cookie cutter to cut diamonds or shapes out of your dough.

Drop the noodles into the boiling water. Bring up through the olive oil a couple of times, and cook 4-5 minutes or until tender. Drain and serve as desired.

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Apricot Scones

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Scones are one of those things that feel intimidating and fancy, but really shouldn’t. They come together quite easily and are pretty versatile.

In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour with 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cardamom, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 cup cubed cold salted butter. Mix together with your hands until it looks like coarse crumbs. Fold in a heaping 1/2 cup diced dried apricots (I used half regular dried apricots, and half chocolate covered dried apricots we had in the pantry) and 3/4 semi-sweet chocolate chips.

In a separate bowl, whisk together one egg and 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream. Add to dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Knead lightly approximately 30 seconds, until everything comes together. If it feels too wet and you’re having a hard time pulling your hands out cleanly, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it you can shape the dough without it sticking to you much. It should look a lot like cookie dough.

Pat the dough into a ball and transfer to a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Flatten into a 1″ disk. Use a butter knife to carefully cut the disk into eighths. Brush with additional heavy whipping cream, then sprinkle with sugar. Cook about 17 minutes at 425.

If you prefer savory scones, omit the cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, apricots and chocolate. Instead, half the sugar (use 2 tablespoons instead of 1/4 cup), add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup grated sharp cheddar and 1/4 cup fresh chives.

 

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Goes on Everything Peanut Sauce (with Pan Fried Tofu and Cucumber Noodles)

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Press and drain 1 package of extra firm tofu. Cut into 1/2″ cubes or slices and brown over medium heat in approximately 3 tablespoons of oil. This should be approximately 6-7 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and cool.

Spiralize two English cucumbers, discarding the core of the cucumber. Dry on a paper towel so the cucumbers stay crisp. If you don’t have a spiralizer, peel the cucumber, then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out the channel of seeds using a spoon. Slice thinly across, cutting the cucumbers into crescent shapes. Spread across a paper towel to drain.

While everything is drying a bit, stir together 2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil. Keep stirring while adding in 1/4 cup of warm water. The warm water helps melt everything enough to mix it together. If you need a bit more water, add slowly. Separately, you can and should use this sauce for everything. It tastes so good. If you buy unsalted peanut butter because you’re known to share it with the puppy dog in your life, add a bit more soy sauce to taste. If you’re gluten-free, substitute tamari.

Plate the cucumbers, top with sauce then tofu, finish with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. Because this doesn’t need to be served warm, it packs well for lunches.

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Orzo Pasta Salad

DSC_0056I spent the first 10 years of my life steadfastly avoiding beans because of that stupid rhyme from when we were all kids. I spent the next 15 avoiding beans because I genuinely couldn’t handle the texture. But I’ve learned that if I disguise it in enough other textures, I’m on board.

Dice 1/2 of a red onion and marinate in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. While that’s marinating, cook 1 cup of orzo according to package directions. Rinse. Add to red onion mixture. Drain and rinse two cans of pinto beans, then add to mixture. Add 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 peeled, seeded and diced English cucumber, 1/2 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes, the zest of one small lemon, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, and 1/2 cup of kalamata olives (optional). Mix all this together. Finally, fold in one cup of crumbled feta.

Serve over spinach and/or arugula if you need more green in this dish. Serve with shredded chicken if you don’t partake in Meatless Mondays!

 

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