Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mushroom Gnocchi

I have a serious thing for mushrooms. I love stuffed mushrooms and mushrooms in salad and mushroom wine sauce over chicken and mushrooms risottos and grilled portabellas. I am yet to meet a mushroom that I do not love.

But until recently, cremini mushrooms had not entered my life. Now that they have, there is no going back. Who knew a mushroom could be so deliciously meaty? Who knew there was a mushroom out there more savory than a portabella? Well, now I know.

I can't get over how good this dish is. Seriously, people, this will change your life. Browning the gnocchi in butter after boiling them is a heaven-sent way to add flavor and complexity to your regular, bland store-bought gnocchi. The thick, creamy sauce with savory thyme is to die for. The mushrooms, I think you know how I feel about them.

This dish is so satisfying that it makes me think I could become a vegetarian again and eat mushrooms all day every day and never miss meat.

But then I remember how delicious bacon is. 

Mushroom Gnocchi
adapted from Cooks Illustrated Cooking for Two 2009

serves 2

1 1/2 cups (1/2 lb.) vacuum packed gnocchi
2 Tbs. butter
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme (or 1/8 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbs. white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
salt and pepper
1 Tbs. minced fresh parsley

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 Tbs. salt and the gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi float to the surface and are just tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the gnocchi.

In a 10 inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbs. butter over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to a plate, set aside.

Heat remaining 1 Tbs. butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and shallot, cover, and cook until the creminis have released their liquid, about 4 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the creminis are well browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, thyme and flour, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, cream and wine and simmer until the sauce has thickened slightly and reduced to about 1 cup, 12 to 15 minutes. Fold in the browned gnocchi and peas and cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in parsley and serve.

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