Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Marriage Of Two Loves

Last weekend, we hit Barnes & Noble, where I spent the night reading cookbooks.  Sometimes, I just don't know what gets into me, but I have this insatiable need to see pictures of food.  Fabulous pictures.  Pictures of food that put supermodels to shame. 

These two books did the trick:

Bouchon Bakery:  After reading this book, I'm totally abandoning truck driving to become a baker.  I want to make baguettes, fougasse, boule, palmiers, buttery, flakey croissants and pain au chocolat.  I believe bread needs me as much as I need bread.  If you only saw the beautiful block of butter that was wrapped and folded into the croissant dough, you'd clamor to be my best friend once I start baking.

Italian Cuisine: Signature Recipes:  This book, put out by Academia Barilla - which is located in Parma, Italy and founded by actual Barilla family members - is one of the most beautiful books I've ever opened.  The books is at least 18" tall and every recipe page has a photo.  A stunning photo of food like nothing I've ever seen.  On a crisp, white background.  Oh, it was beautiful.

Since I'm probably not going to be able to do much baking of bread in the truck - I still have to figure out how the convection oven works for baking - I'm going to attempt making my favorite pasta from a recipe I found in the Barilla book. 

Here's what I'll be making:

Drooling Gnocchi

Serves: 4
Preparation Time:  44 minutes (40 minutes preparation, 4 minutes cooking time)

For The Gnocchi:
Potatoes  1 lb (500 g)
Flour  1 cup (125 g)
Eggs  1
Salt   To taste

For The Sauce:
Butter  1/4 stick  (30 g)
Fontina Cheese 5 1/3 oz  (150 g)
Milk  6 3/4 tbsp  (100 ml)


1.  Boil the potatoes in their skins in plenty of salted water.

2.  When the potatoes are cooked, drain, peel and mash them on a work surface.  Knead the mashed potatoes with the flour, egg and a pinch of salt.

3.  For small cyliners with the mixture, 3/4" (2 cm) in diameter and cut them into pieces about 3/4 inch (2 cm) long.  Roll them over the prongs of a fork to give them the typical shape of gnocchi.

4.  Melt the butter in a skillet.  Add the Fontina, with the rind removed and cut into thin slices, and the milk.

5.  Meanwhile, cook the gnocchi in boiling salted water and remove them with a skimmer as soon as they rise to the surface.

6.  Put them directly into the skillet with the Fontina sauce and sauté them with the cheese as it melts.

I'm telling you right now, I'm going to enjoy the hell out of this meal.  How can I not?  It combines two things I love - potatoes and cheese.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: I Love A Man Wearing A Damn Good Looking Workboot
2011: MMXI At Full Throttle
2010: Maybe There’s A Reason Ed Never Lets Me Out Of The Truck
2009: Napolitos
2008: Pull Up A Chair
2007: The Story Of The Uppity Barista: Otherwise Known As A Texan Gittin’ Above His Raisin’
2006: Rock, Paper, Eddie
2005: Sorry, no post on this day. The blog didn’t start until May 2005!


Gil said...

Sounds delicious! Haven't had them in a few years...

Anonymous said...

You know about right? I browse the site all the time, your not alone.

The Daily Rant said...

GIL: I order gnocchi any time I find them on a menu - its one of the things I dont ever make, so if someone else is making the, I'll be happy to eat them!

ANON: No, I didn't know about that site!! I've always done my gawking at Thanks for the new site - now I'll never gat anything done.

Anonymous said...

We had a 100 year flood here a few years back and whole city had to evacuate. After about a week we were allowed to go to our homes and grab a few items and then had to leave again. I grabbed my favorite slippers and ALL my Taste of Home magazines lol. I love to read cookbooks even though I don't plan on making the recipes, I love to compare ingredients added in or left out, a new technique one cook may use that another doesn't.

I may or not have a short attention span and that may be why I "read" cookbooks. lol


Belledog said...

Dee: Cookbooks are kind of "gracious living" porn, aren't they?

And LOL re the short attention span. (I read them sometimes at bedtime.)

Salena: I feel sure there is a cookbook with great photographs (where you were when you cooked, rather than a plate o' pasta or meat) in you. You know there is.

Marlaina said...

I'd like to make a reservation please. Two for gnocchi. I'd like the seat away from the A/C vent. LOL

The Daily Rant said...

ANON: I'm totally with you on saving the magazines! I do love reading cookbooks. In fact, I just bought Deb Perelman's book - she's the one who runs the Smitten Kitchen website, which is amaaaazing. Check it out:

BELLEDOG: That's a good cookbook idea - not so much what I cooked, but where it was done. Hmmm. I have a lot of books in me! LOL

MARLAINA: You have a standing reservation for two at our place. I'll make sure you have a nice seat where the snow don't blow. :)