How to Cook Everything strikes again!  After the successful stir-fry two weeks ago, I’m feeling pretty confident in my cooking skills.  Plus, I was behind on my plan to cook something new each week.  So, I made two new recipes for dinner tonight!  First up, the main, homemade gnocchi!  Gnocchi is basically potato and flour, but it still a challenging recipe because I don’t work with dough all that much, and when I do, it’s usually cookie dough, which doesn’t require kneading or rolling out for slicing.

First, the potatoes boiled in their skins for 45 minutes.  I know boiling potatoes aren’t the most interesting thing to look at, but I think the still of boiling water is kind of cool.

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After that, I removed their flesh (very easy, it was literally falling off) and started mashing them with flour, salt, and pepper.  I know this post is less colourful than the stir-fry post, but mashed potatoes aren’t that colourful unfortunately.

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After kneading and rolling out the dough, the I boiled the gnocchi and prepared to bake them with sauce and cheese.  Mom loves cheese, so there’s a base of gnocchi, then layers of tomato sauce, mozzarella, and finally cheddar.  As I’m getting out and cycling more, I’m less worried about the fat.

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Here’s the finished product, which was amazingly delicious.  I served it with a side Caesar salad, but that’s not exciting enough to take pictures of.  Maybe a little too much cheese, though…

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End result: Delicious and just about the right amount of sauce.  A bit starchy, of course, given the potato base, and the cheese was quite gooey, to Mom’s delight.  Parmesan was available on the side.  Not much was left after we were through with it.  Dessert was even better.  The recipe was for blueberry cobbler, but I couldn’t find any fresh blueberries, so I went with mixed berries (strawberrry and raspberry).  The raspberries added a very pleasant kick to the dish.  Here’s six cups of berries tossed with 1/2 a cup of sugar.

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While working on the crust, I had a slight mix-up with my choice of tools.  I thought I could get by with the blender, but it could not blend the necessary stick of butter in with the dry ingredients, so I had to pull out the food processor (which we thankfully had) and transfer the ingredients over.  The food processor did its job well and I had a well-blended crust batter, which I then added egg and vanilla to.

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As you can see on the right, dishes are starting to pile up in the sink.  I topped the cobbler with the crust batter, and into the oven it went!

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I wasn’t quite sure to expect, the main reason I wanted to make the cobbler, to be honest, was because I saw Guy Fieri making a delicious-looking cobbler earlier this week.  Mom’s allergic to nuts, so I couldn’t use his recipe, though I guess I could have tried substituting something for the almonds, or just leaving them out entirely.  Here’s how it turned out (the remaining gnocchi is on the right):

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There was a lot more liquid than I expected in the finished product, but it was incredibly delicious, especially after putting a little bit of vanilla ice cream on top.  It may have been even better than the gnocchi, it’s hard to say.

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So, yeah!  Ryan.mCookingSkill++;

Now I just need to figure out how to top this next week, and stay on the bike.