Tuesday 7 February 2012

Little hoofs aka Polish gnocchi

I've had a lot of trouble with my hoofs. I'm talking about those little potato dumplings down there. Sometimes the simplest things can be the hardest, because, as we all know from Julie and Julia, simple does not mean easy. And yet I firmly believe that simple is best, in cooking as in life. When you're young and naive life appears to be complicated, but as you get older and wiser you realize that complicated situations are actually incredibly tedious. You just need to be stronger, braver, more honest with yourself that's all. Simple, but not easy
To be fair, the first time I made these I didn't have any plain flour. I had only chickpea flour and self raising, and after the last time I made dumplings with self raising flour, I knew not to use that. They ended up looking like bloated little haggis and tasted like... carpet (don't ask me how I know what carpet tastes like). So I used the chickpea flour. And that was really weird too, although it did make them a pretty colour at least. The moral of this story is to use plain flour
And don't stray too much from the measurements I give you, although I myself use them only as a guide and don't own a set of scales. And don't cook them for too long either, like I did with my first batch. You need to stand over them and watch out for precisely the moment they swim to the top, otherwise you'll have a sticky mess on your hands. Other than that, you'll be fine
Cook the potatoes until they fall apart when you poke them and mash with a bit of salt until they are perfectly smooth. Allow to cool on a surface covered in (plain) flour. At this point, start frying the shallots in the olive oil, season. Add an egg and a cup of flour to the potatoes (see below for more precise measurements). Quickly kneed it all together and roll into three snake-like shapes, just like that up there. Cut these diagonally into little hoofs and throw into a large pan of boiling, salted water. As soon as they swim to the top, remove them from the water and drain. You'll need to cook these in three batches most probably, too many in one go and there'll be yet another kind of sticky mess. Throw the drained hoofs in with the shallots and fry for a brief moment before serving

Ingredients (serves 2)

3 large potatoes
1 egg
200g of plain flour
Sea salt
Handful shallots, peeled and sliced
3-4 tblsp olive oil, or more - don't be shy

1 comment:

  1. They sound different and nice. Never cooked any type of gnocchi before. Actually, don't believe I have ever eaten it.