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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Roasted Garlic and Chipotle Sauce

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Roast four heads of garlic (instructions available here). When cooled, remove roasted cloves. In a food processor, combine roasted garlic, 1 can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, zest of two limes, juice of one lime, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. Pulse to combine.

This recipe is incredibly easy but the flavor payoff is equally incredible. Because the canned chipotles are pretty mild, this isn’t spicy- just flavorful! I like to use it on the roast chicken, but it tastes amazing on eggs and most savory foods. I’m drizzling the leftover sauce over nachos tonight!

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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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Savory or Sweet Ricotta Pizza

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Pizza dough:

Combine 3 3/4 cup bread flour (you can use all-purpose if you don’t keep bread flour on hand), 1 teaspoon honey, 1 packet instant dry yeast, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt in bowl of a stand mixer. With mixer going, stream in 1 1/2 cups warm but not steaming water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Your dough should combine into a solid ball. If it looks too dry, add an additional tablespoon of water. Dump out dough onto lightly floured surface and knead gently. Grease large bowl with olive oil, place dough inside. Cover with wrap, let sit in a warm place for 1 hour. If it’s never warm where you are, place it on a heating pad set to warm. Makes two 12-14″ crusts.

While the dough is proofing, thinly slice one fennel bulb and saute in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Ricotta topping:

Combine one container of ricotta cheese (approximately 1.5 cups) with the zest of one small lemon, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes.

When ready, roll your dough out into two crusts and top with the ricotta mixture. Add fresh arugula, dried tarragon, sauteed fennel, and sliced peppadew peppers. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and a bit of pepper and a light pass of Parmesan. Cook at 425 for 15-20 minutes.

If you don’t keep arugula or fennel on hand (or don’t like them), omit the red pepper flakes and Parmesan. Instead, top with shaved Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions and pomegranate seeds; serve with a squeeze of honey over your slice.

 

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