WMFB02/18

 

Gnocchi( pronounced no key ) is an Italian noodle with a potato base. You can now purchase these delectable little dumplings at the bakery – gluten free of course. They come frozen and you cook them by putting them, still frozen, into plenty of boiling water. They can be used in many recipes such as the one that follows, from Nick Stellino’s Mediterranean Cooking.

 

Gnocchi with Creamy Asparagus-Prosciutto Sauce

 

3 T olive oil

4 garlic cloves, thickly sliced

½ cup chopped white onion

1 lb asparagus, tops cut off and reserved, stems cut in ½ inch pieces

¼ cup dry, white wine

2 T chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 ¼ cups chicken stock

¾ t salt

¼ t black pepper

½ cup prosciutto or smoked ham, cut into thin strips

1/3 cup whipping cream

2 lbs gnocchi

boiling water

¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

 

Heat 2 T olive oil in a large saute pan set on high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, onion, and asparagus stems and cook until the garlic begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the parsley, chicken stock, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, until the asparagus is soft.

Transfer the asparagus mixture to a food processor or blender and process until a smooth, creamy consistency, about 1 minute.

In the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat until sizzling, about 1 minute. Add the asparagus tops and half the prosciutto or ham and cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until the ham and asparagus start to turn color and become fragrant. Add the processed asparagus mixture and the cream to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook the gnocchi in the boiling water according to package directions, drain well and return to pot. Pour the sauce over the gnocchi, add the cheese and gently stir to coat well. Transfer to plates and top with remaining prosciutto or ham.

Serves 4 to 6.

 

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Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 7:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

WMFB 02/10

WMFB 2/10/2011

 

One of my recent assignments was to take some stale bread and make bread pudding, something I don’t do very often. I was given bread cubes from several different kinds of bread that were dry but not hard. Of course, by the time I actually got around to making the pudding, the bread was as hard as a rock. “This can’t be good”, I thought, but charged ahead anyway. I picked out a recipe from Everyday Food, from Martha Stewart, that seemed easy enough. When I poured the custard over the bread, I let it sit for 15 minutes to soften the cubes a little. I don’t know if it helped or not. Let us just say that the end result was very soft and tasty. It also helped (in my opinion) that some of the bread cubes were from a loaf of raisin bread.

 

It turns out that in the interim, the staff at the bakery developed a “Bread Pudding Kit”, with bread chips and seasoning and a recipe included. I haven’t tried it yet, but you may want to save your own stale bread and make the pudding yourself, so I have included my recipe.

 

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

 

Unsalted butter, room temperature, for dish

1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin puree

1 cup whole milk

½ cup heavy cream

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

¼ cup light brown sugar

½ t coarse salt

¾ t pure vanilla extract

½ t ground cinnamon

½ t anise seed, roughly chopped (I did not use this)

10 oz. day old bread, cut into ½ inch slices or 1 inch cubes

½ cup pecans, roughly chopped

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2 quart baking dish. In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, milk, cream, eggs, brown sugar, salt, vanilla,cinnamon, and anise seed. Arrange bread in dish. Pour custard over bread and top with pecans. Bake until custard is set, 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

I found it best served warm with vanilla ice cream.

 

Enjoy the recipe or go to the bakery and get one of the kits. I’m going to try one myself!

 

 

 

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 8:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Update 02/04/2011

WMFB 1/25/11

 

I’ve been hanging around the West Meadow Farm Bakery. The air is redolent with good smells. The free sample of the day is Fettuccine Alfredo, contained in a chaffing dish sitting on the counter. It is a creation of Jeff’s and he is quick to give me a taste. Yum. The fresh pasta is so good and you can’t even tell that it’s gluten free. The consistency is the same as any fresh pasta and the sauce is cheesy goodness. There has to be a lot of cream involved!

Everyone is hard at work, each doing their job with quiet concentration. Sarah is packaging muffins soon to be delivered to the local hospital where they will be served in the cafeteria and the food kiosks. Patients who have been recently diagnosed as gluten intolerant will have a pleasant surprise when they bite into one of these. They won’t have to do without good tasting baked goods after all!

Jeff is making pirogies, little pasta dumplings filled with a broccoli – cheddar mixture. They are a fairly new product and are sold frozen. He explains that you can cook them in several ways; he prefers to pan sear them, but you can also bake, fry or boil them. I am bringing some home – can’t wait to try them. They also come filled with potato, onion and garlic.

Kristen is back in the office working at the computer. It’s not all about baking; there is always office work to do – making labels, typing up nutrition information, keeping track of production, and many other tasks. She was in early baking muffins, bread, and other goodies.

Mark comes in for a later shift and goes right to work on pizza crusts for the American Flatbread Co. They now offer a gluten free option at their Burlington restaurant.

Lois, the owner, is giving me the low down on recent activities. Did I tell you that she’s my sister? I try to help her out when I can because I love her products and because she provides a valuable service. Imagine being told you can never eat pizza again; or apple pie. If you are diagnosed with a gluten intolerance, you might think life as you know it is over. Not so! At West Meadow Farm Bakery, life begins again.

So, with Super Bowl weekend coming up, why not stock up on goodies from the bakery, so you can join your friends, or even feed your friends, at that Super Bowl party. The new pasta choices would be perfect!

Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment