Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 6: Marcie's Goat Cheese & Beet Gnocchi

This is what my family thinks about beets:

So when we found out they were the secret ingredient of this week's cooking challenge, we were less than thrilled.  My goal was to figure out a way to disguise the beets so well that nobody would even know they were there, and I succeeded!  I found this great new food blog Always Order Dessert and modified her recipe slightly.  The beets gave the gnocchi a lovely rose color, but you couldn't taste them at all!  Mostly they tasted like goat cheese (yum) and butter (extra yum).  But if you don't like goat cheese, don't worry - even Ben liked these, and he hates goat cheese.  And beets.  But he does like butter.

I served them with a parmesan rosemary pork tenderloin, which is my very favorite way to cook pork tenderloin.  Super easy: cut three lengthwise slits in the pork tenderloin (the whole length of the loin).  Stuff with fresh rosemary needles and grated parmesan cheese.  Cover the pork tenderloin with more parmesan.  Cook until done (I think 400F for about 35 min?)

Goat Cheese & Beet Gnocchi
serves 4

For the gnocchi:
1/4 cup goat cheese

1/4 cup cream cheese (Neufchatel is okay)
1/2 cup roasted beat puree 

1 whole egg, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (plus more for flouring boards)
2 tsp salt (try less next time)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg

For the sauce:
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 bunch fresh basil
1 sprig fresh rosemary
salt & pepper

Make the gnocchi:
1) Stir the goat cheese and cream cheese together until smooth.
2) Add the beet puree, stir until smooth.
3) Add the egg, stir until smooth.
4) Combine the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Add in small batches to the beet mixture, stirring until combined.  The dough should be sticky, but not too sticky to work with.  Add more flour if needed.
5) Working on a floured surface with floured hands, roll a handful of dough into a rope.  Cut into 1" pieces (make them smaller next time).  Place on a floured cookie sheet, and press with a fork to indent.
6)  Add half the gnocchi to a large pot of boiling water.  Wait until all the gnocchi pop to the surface, then cook for 2 minutes longer.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi from the pot.

Make the sauce:
1) Melt the butter in a large skillet.
2) Dice the basil and rosemary.  Add to skillet.  Cook for a few minutes.
3) Gently drop the cooked gnocchi into the butter sauce.  Stir and cook for a few minutes until gnocchi are toasted.

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