The starter was brought over as a potluck starter so we focused entirely on the main course – took about 2 hours to make and by the time we finished cooking it was past 11pm. Definitely a recipe for a weekend, not a work night! It was a delicious meal, just wish we’d had a bit more energy to appreciate it!
We were so hungry by the time we started cooking, but luckily I had picked up this curious cheese from the grocers – I’ll be honest, I picked it solely based on it’s unusual name. It actually tasted very similar to Brie (if I was blindfolded, I probably wouldn’t have been able to tatse the difference!) It went very well with a much needed glass of white wine.
Clam, Coconut and Sweet Potato Soup
I’m including a picture of this delicious soup, however the chef is being rather cagey about the recipe so it’ll have to remain a mystery!
There are 3 different steps involved in the gnocchi recipe:
1 large egg yolk
1/2 nutmeg, grated
3 handfuls plain flour
1 handful semolina flour
Salt and pepper
Peel the potatoes, chop them into quarters and boil them in a pan with a pinch of salt. Once the potatoes are soft, remove them from the pan and mash them until they are very soft with no lumps. Separate the egg yolk (you can either save or discard the white) and whisk it with the grated nutmeg, chopped parsely, salt and pepper, and add a dash of water to the mixture. Add this whisked mixture to the mashed potato and then add in the flour. Mix in the bowl with your hands until you get a well mixed dough. If it’s too wet, add some more flour, if it’s too dry, add some water!
Separate the dough into 6 balls, cover the table with semolina flour, then roll each ball into a long snake, about 2cm thick. Then chop the dough snake up into equally sized little pillows (this part is fun for people with snake phobias like myself!)
Once you have all your gnocchi, pour into a pan of boiling water, once they start to float, they should be ready! What we then did was to fry the gnocchi in same pan I used to cook the mushrooms in, giving them a tasty flavour and just browning the sides nicely.
Salt and pepper
Soak a pack of dried mushrooms (porcini, oyster, shitaake) in warm water for 10-15 minutes, then pour the mushrooms and the water into a blender and blend until they form a smooth sauce. Heat up some oil in a pan and add some chopped garlic, once it is browned, pour in the mushroom sauce, add 2 glasses of white wine, a large piece of butter, salt, pepper and a vegetable stock cube and leave to simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Fresh chestnut mushrooms
Fry some garlic in a saucepan and add in the sliced mushrooms. Pour in a glass of wine and allow to sizzle for a couple of minutes then add the chooped parsley and take off the heat. You dont want to cook the mushrooms very long or they will become soggy and lose their beautiful shape and texture.
Once you have all the three components, mix the sauce with the fried gnocchi and the mushroom garnish together in a hot pan, taking care not to squash or break the gnocchi (they are very delicate!) Sprinkle some more parsely over the top to finish.
It doesn’t look all that attractive, but I promise you it tasted unbelievably good. I’m so glad that there are loads of leftovers for me to hurry home to tonight!