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[3rd course] Poor man’s Cristmas Eve dinner: Pumpkin gnocchi with savoy cabbage

by Gogo on December 22, 2011

in Carbs,EatIstria Recipes

This dish plays with contrasts between sweetness of pumpkin and bitterness of savoy cabbage, softness of gnocchi and crunchiness of the vegetables while visually it can fool the audience.

Pumpkin gnocchi with savoy cabbage

Ovo toplo predjelo igra se sa kontrastima između slatkoće tikve i gorčine kelja, mekoće njoka i hruskavosti povrća a vizualno je sposoban zavarati publiku.

Hrvatska verzija

We opened the dinner with Istrian lard spread – pešt and continued with Roux soup, two meals that were common on the table of poor Istrian peasants. Now we continue with another starter that has a bit more modern approach. It plays with contrasts between sweetness of pumpkin and bitterness of savoy cabbage, softness of gnocchi and crunchiness of the vegetables, while visually it can fool the audience. Tens days ago, at home I had only a savoy cabbage and pumpkin gnocchi in the freezer, and that’s how this recipe was born.

Gnocchi by EnogastromamaTo make pumpkin gnocchi I used the following recipe (it is in Italian, but Google translate is your friend). As you will read in the recipe the making of gnocchi starts with cooking unpeeled potatoes and baking pumpkin slices in the oven. I recommend that you simultaneously heat up a big pot of water with at least 5 L of water that has to be as salty as the sea. Usually for 5 liters you need half a cup of salt. We’ll need this salty water for blanching the cabbage leaves. Also prepare a container full of cold water in which you put a few cups of ice cubes.

When you are finished with the preparation of gnocchi, leave them to rest on a well-floured surface. Let’s finally take care of the savoy cabbage.

Savoy cabbageWe will use the outer leaves of savoy cabbage which are harder and have a nice dark green color. We will need about 8 leaves, which first need to be washed and then cut in 2 cm wide stripes. Now we start with big pot blanching, a cooking technique promoted by the famous Thomas Keller, whose main advantage is that boiled vegetables keep their beautiful green color as if they are still raw. Why? Because chlorophyll remains in the vegetable cells and it does not escape to the boiling water. Thanks to Enogastromama who introduced me to this great technique!

Put the cabbage stripes into the boiling water and cook for two minutes so that they remain al dente. Immediately put them into the ice cold water, drain and dry on paper towels.

Put the gnocchi into the water in which the cabbage was boiled. Be careful because they will be ready in a minute or so and we need them to remain al dente.

In a big pan, even better in a wok, heat some good extra virgin olive oil and add the blanched and dried cabbage stripes. Sautee for several minutes over high heat until the stripes get a bit crunchy. At the very end add one teaspoon of chopped garlic.

Put the gnocchi on the plate and place the savoy cabbage stripes in between them so that the gnocchi’s nice yellow color can be spotted. Sprinkle everything with olive oil and grate some good sheep cheese on top, for example from the island of Pag.

It is time to frighten your guests! Say that today you felt inspired for experiments in the kitchen so you made this nice plate of pumpkin gnocchi with tasty marine algae. Enjoy their amazed and pale faces. ☺

Pumpkin gnocchi with savoy cabbage

Otvorili smo večeru sa istarskim peštom i nastavili sa prežganom juhom, dva jela koja su bila uobičajena na stolu siromašnog istarskog seljaka. Nastavljamo sa još jednim toplim predjelom malo modernijeg izričaja. Igra se sa kontrastima između slatkoće tikve i gorčine kelja, mekoće njoka i hruskavosti povrća a vizualno je sposoban zavarati publiku. Recept je nastao slučajno prije desetak dana kada sam doma imao gotovo samo glavicu ližnjanskog kelja (zelja kako mi rečemo) i njoke od tikve u zamrzivaču.

Gnocchi by EnogastromamaRecept za njoke od tikve sam našao na odličnom webu Giallo Zafferano tako da ga ovdje neću ponavljati. Kao što ćete pročitati u receptu, izrada njoka počinje sa kuhanjem neoguljenog krumpira i pečenjem krišaka tikve u pećnici. Ja vam preporučam da istovremeno stavite na vatru ogroman lonac sa minimalno 5 L vode koja mora biti dosta slana, kao more. Obično vam za 5 litara treba pola šalice soli. Ta slana voda će nam trebati za blanširanje listova kelja. Isto tako pripremite posudu s hladnom vodom u koju ste ubacili par šalica leda.

Nakon što napravite njoke ostavite ih da odmaraju na dobro pobrašnjenoj povšini. Idemo se pozabaviti s keljom.

Savoy cabbageKoristit ćemo vanjske listove kelja koje su nešto tvrđi i imaju tamno zelenu boju. Treba nam oko 8 listova koje prvo operete a potom izrežete na trakice širine dva centimentra. Krećemo sa blanširanjem u velikom loncu – tehnikom koju je promovirao veliki Thomas Keller a čija je najveća vrlina da kuhano povrće zadržava predivnu zelenu boju koju ima kad je sirovo. Zašto? Jer klorofil ostaje zarobljen u stanicama povrća i ne odlazi u vodu za kuhanje. Hvala Enogastromami što me upoznala s tom genijalnom tehnikom!

Kelj baciti u kipuću vodu i blanširati 2 minute tako da ostane al dente. Ubaciti ga u hladnu vodu, procijediti i potom osušiti na kuhinjskom papiru.

U vodi u kojoj se kuhao kelj bacite njoke. Budite oprezni jer su gotovi već za par minuta a oni također moraju ostati al dente.

U velikoj tavi a još bolje u woku dobro zagrijte maslinovo ulje pa dodajte trakice kelja. Sve treba pržiti minutu, dvije na jakoj vatri dok trakice ne postanu malo hruskave. Pred sam kraj dodajte jedan sitno kosani češanj češnjaka.

U tanjur servirajte njoke a između njih ugurajte trakice kelja tako da se lijepo vidi žuta boja njoka. Sve dobro još pošpricajte maslinovim uljem i naribajte preko svega dobar ovčji sir.

Vrijeme je da prestrašite svoje goste! Kažite da ste danas bili raspoloženi za eksperimentiranje u kuhinji pa da su pred njima njoki od tikve sa preukusnim morskim algama. Uživajte u njihovim začuđenim i blijedim licima. ☺

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Clem December 24, 2011 at 18:21

Looks beautiful an very appetizing!

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