Gnocchi + Sweetbreads = Mmmmmm
While they might not be the most traditional pairing, they were tonight's dinner.
SWMBO and I recently went to a rehearsal dinner where we had some of the best gnocchi I've ever eaten. They were light, fluffy and delicious. I've made pasta before, so I figured I'd give gnocchi a try.
I wanted to see if there was a difference between All-purpose (AP) flour and cake flour due to the lower gluten content in the latter. Would it make that much of a difference? I didn't know, but that's what experiments are for. I also wanted to see if there was a difference between baking and boiling the potatoes before. I decided to make 4 different batches of dough:
1) AP flour, boiled potato
2) AP flour, baked potato
3) Cake flour, boiled potato
4) Cake flour, baked potato.
The doughs were formed identically, I put the potatoes through the shredding disc of my food processor (I don't have a ricer), and each had one egg and just enough flour to make the dough come together. I wanted to avoid a chewy, hard gnocchi, which is why I wanted to see if there was a difference between AP flour and cake flour.
The results -- I cooked a few gnocchi from each group and had SWMBO do a blind taste testing. I couldn't really taste them "blindly" since I knew what went into them, but I still sampled all four. While we didn't really notice a difference between the cake and AP flour, the baked potato batches had more potato flavor than the boiled groups. All were light and tasty. I'll try this experiment again to rule out any errors on my part, but the initial results look like AP flour can produce a pretty good gnocchi (and at a much cheaper price). I'm also going to try it with semolina flour, as well. (I was just using what I had on hand)
Now for the sweetbreads -- I poached them for 20 minutes, then cooled, sliced, flattened, breaded, and lightly fried them. Simply delicious! Nothing too fancy about the preparation of them, but they were really good. <bad joke>Actually, they were offal!</bad joke>
(SWMBO is a vegetarian and was thoroughly disgusted when I told her what they were, btw)