Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cold Weather? Makes me hungry...

Well, tonight it made me ravenous and I fell back on one of my tried and true convenience foods tonight; gnocchi.  I keep a couple pounds in the pantry all the time; inexpensive and quicker cooking than pasta, I like it better and even the lad has come to think it is a must keep around item of late.

While I know some people feel they have no need to keep convenience food around the house (my Mum is one of these peeps, I think she feels this way cuz she's retired and has time on her hands) and others live almost exclusively on convenience food (anyone out there have a friend that lives on Lean Cuisine?).  At Casa Hunger things have changed since we gave up the microwave.  No longer able to heat leftovers in 2 or 3 minutes without dirtying any pans, I now try and keep my leftovers to about 1 or 2 portions that I can package up for lunch.  So even leftovers are not really convenience foods for us anymore unless I can reheat in a boil-in-bag scenario or a quick heat in the saute pan.

Anyway, along with the cold weather and wanting to make a quick healthy dinner with a leftover portion for lunch later in the week I've been told I'm not providing enough amusing fodder for some readers.  I was actually told by a friend (Jason Hansen) who will not be named that for some reason I'm "writing about food and stuff" and not writing enough "funny stories" along with.  Huh?

No sure what to tell you (Jason Hansen), but tonight is about gnocchi and I'm just not sure what to find amusing about it other than I had to keep myself from eating the entire pan of hearty, cheesy, vegetable-y, potato dumpling-y goodness.  Oh, I wasn't going to name you (Jason Hansen) was I?

This was actually so convenient I was able to carry on a phone conversation while prepping and was very nearly done when I got off the phone with friend Scott.  He called just after I set the pot on to boil and had begun to chop the broccoli. 

So here it is, convenience food for a cold rainy Puget Sound evening.  On the table in about 20 minutes start to finish...

Cold, Wet Evening Veggie Gnocchi
  • 1 Lb Potato gnocchi; I buy this at Trader Joe's for $1.99, most grocers sell the same for about $4
  • 8 oz Fresh broccoli crowns, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 oz Fresh mushrooms sliced; any will do but tonight I used button
  • 4 oz Fresh red bell pepper, 1/4" dice
  • 2 Tbl Butter
  • 1 Tbl Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Clove Fresh Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 Cup Dry white wine
  • 2 oz Fresh grated hard cheese; I used Asiago because I had it but Parmesan, dry jack, etc will all work for this so use what you like or what you have
  • Pinch Crushed red pepper
  • Fresh ground black pepper to taste
  1. Bring water for gnocchi to a boil
  2. Steam broccoli over the water for about 2 minutes
  3. Melt butter with olive oil, crushed red pepper and garlic in a large saute pan over medium high heat and when sizzling, add the mushrooms and saute
  4. Add the gnocchi to the boiling water and stir
  5. Add the wine to the mushrooms and reduce by half
  6. Add the broccoli and red bell pepper to the saute pan and heat through
  7. Remove the gnocchi from the cooking water and reserve about 1/2 cup of cooking liquid
  8. Add the gnocchi to the saute pan with the veg and stir to coat; if necessary add some of the cooking liquid to make this a little saucy (I like SAUCY!)
  9. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with the grated cheese and stir all together until the cheese melts into the liquid
  10. Finish with fresh ground pepper to taste and serve

I had this with a 2007 Tertius Tempranillo from Spain and it was a lovely pairing but that's another post.  Stay tuned for that (Jason Hansen)...



  1. Excellent, I have been wanting to try gnocchi - and now I have a recipe I'm not afraid of!

  2. Well played sir. This post earned a page hit and an add click.

  3. I can't wait to try this recipe myself. What impresses me most, though, is that you were on the phone with Scott and still able to finish cooking in 20 minutes. (kidding)