Monday, September 15, 2014

Re-Visited: Cooking Club #7

[Original post date Nov. 2011. --Updated 9/15/14: original, but separate, content, with updated photos and/or more details, if available.] 

---> Cooking Club is coming up soon, and now that I'm blogging, I want to share these moments but I thought I should play catch-up first. So without further ado, here (and in other posts) is what we've been up to. Enjoy!

#7 January: Pasta

The Menu:
Blue Cheese Gnocchi
Chicken Paprikash
Pesto Chicken Pasta
Rice Noodles with Pork
Garlic-Based Red Sauce with Homemade Linguine
Shrimp/Chicken Pasta
Ham and Cheesy Mac

Someone decided pasta would be a great theme for this month's Cooking Club. And I agreed. Like, two hands up agreed.

Now that we have Andrew back, we lost Jessica's sister. She apparently wasn't as enthused about cooking as one needs to be for Cooking Club. (Cough, I'm sure it had nothing to do with last month's 9-hour cookie disaster baking, cough.)

Mmm. Pasta. I LOVE pasta. There are so many ways to eat pasta. But I definitely wanted to try something new. Gnocchi sounded amazing and I've always wanted to try it. So I thought, what's better than trying gnocchi first-hand homemade?

I went to my trusty over-the-top-fancy recipe book, The 1,000 Best Recipes, which I bought for my husband (then boyfriend at the time) when he first moved into his own apartment. I thought he might learn to cook, more so than the freezer-to-oven meals, and pork chops and a can of green beans. He took one look at this cookbook and tossed it aside (more like heaved it aside; this book is ridiculous). He prefers simpler meals, not ones with fancy ingredients and multiple steps. (Although he did brave this cookbook to make this chicken in a paprika and mushroom sauce, check out this post for the recipe, is to die for. But that's it. He won't try any other recipes.)

Anyhoo, when I saw these beautiful pasta pillows drowning in a white cheese sauce, I was a goner. I didn't need to look any further. Nothing else would satisfy. I counted the days until our next meeting so I could make this amazing dish.

And it did not disappoint.

Oh, and this is such a simple recipe. Only five ingredients total in the entire dish! Potatoes and flour are all you need to make this tasty gnocchi.

Yet, I had no idea that making gnocchi from scratch would be so time consuming, and did I forget to mention a MESS! (I've never made any form of pasta from scratch, and Jessica did warn me it was messy. Uh, understatement.)

But it was so worth it. I'd stop writing this post right now just to get my hands caked with flour and potatoes in order to taste one sweet pillow-y gnocchi. Maybe I should add this to our dinner menu for next week....

However, this dish did require some patience. That yummy sauce up there eventually thickens upon standing and Holy frijoles. (I can't wait to see Puss in Boots. That cat cracks me up.)

I think I have a new pasta favorite. Move over lasagna. My palate is too mature for you.

Oh, and a whole meal with tons of carbs...yeah, we didn't think this one through. We were stuffed and miserable by the end, but quite enlightened and satisfied.

Blue Cheese Sauce
*from The 1,000 Best Recipes

Serves 4 (with salad, but if not I could devour half myself)

10 oz cream [I used canned evaporated milk, plus 1 1/2 t xanthan gum to thicken]
4 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives, chopped
gnocchi, homemade or cooked according to package directions

In a small pan, bring cream to a boil. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes, or until reduced by one third. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and pour over gnocchi. Scatter chives over top and serve immediately. ****I never use all of the cream called for. Place leftovers in container and store in fridge, using with other pasta, like linguine....yum.

If you have the time and ambition, make the gnocchi yourself. For a quicker version, pick up some while you're at the store. Hurry home and make this sauce!

Includes gnocchi and all of cream:
Nutritional Information per serving from cookbook
650 calories, 44 fat, 20 protein, 1.5 fiber

Nutritional Information per serving (with my adaption)
296 calories, 6 fat, 45 carbs, 14 protein, 4 fiber, 9 sugar

*I hope you enjoyed these Cooking Club snippets. There are many more to come as I try to play catch-up before this month's meeting. I hope these themes, and even Cooking Club itself, inspire you to gather with your friends and family in the kitchen, and make sweet moments (and delicious food) of your own.

**I've only included the recipes to the dishes I made. Only because I'm unsure of where everyone got theirs...and hey, we gotta give credit where credit is due. If you have any questions about the other dishes, I'll ask the other members where they got their recipes and pass it along!

Check out our previous meetings!
Cooking Club #1-4
Cooking Club #5
Cooking Club #6

[Update: Previous Cooking Club links have been updated, as well as the cookbook link on Amazon. More pictures coming, and the nutritional information has been updated. This is sort of perfect timing since, it's National Linguine Day. Get in your kitchen and make some homemade goodness!]

With Love and God Bless,

No comments:

Post a Comment