30 January 2010

This is another Taste of Home recipe I tried last night. I had a little trouble with it; mostly because I read it wrong. (That's why it doesn't look so hot in the picture.) It can be made as a side dish, or as a main dish with the addition of cooked chicken. I found the serving size to be off, so here is my amended recipe.

Gnocchi Alfredo

1 lb. gnocchi, frozen, refrigerated, or boxed
3 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp flour
¾ cup milk
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash ground nutmeg
4 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed, optional

Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 1 tbsp butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese and nutmeg until blended. Keep warm.

Drain gnocchi. In a large skillet, cook remaining butter over medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown. Add mushrooms, gnocchi, and chicken. Cook and stir 4-5 minutes or until gnocchi are lightly browned and mushrooms are tender. Serve with sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts (excluding chicken)
Serving Size: 1 cup gnocchi with ⅓ cup sauce
Calories: 529
Fat: 14g
Sat. Fat: 8g
Cholesterol: 46mg
Sodium: 996mg
Carbohydrates: 81g
Fiber: 5g
Protein: 19g

Taste of Home, August/September 2009

So where I went wrong was with the sauce. Every bechamel sauce I have ever made called for a one-to-one ratio of butter to flour. So I didn't notice that this one called for 1 tbsp butter and 1½ tbsp flour. I made it with 1 tbsp of each. Which would have been fine, except that the recipe originally calls for 1½ cups of milk. That is not enough flour for that much liquid and it didn't thicken up for me. I melted another tbsp of butter and mixed it with another tbsp of flour and added that to the saucepan and then it thickened up for me.

So the other issue I had with this recipe was the serving size. It originally called for 2 lbs. of gnocchi and 8 oz. mushrooms. It said that it made 5 servings, but I thought that 2 lbs. of gnocchi for 5 servings seemed like a lot. I decided to cut it in half, using only 1 lb. of gnocchi. That was fine, the problem was that I didn't halve the sauce. I realized this after it was done and I set it aside to cook the mushrooms. I decided I would just use half of it, and save the other half in the fridge for some other application. Again, that would have been fine, except that by the time I added the sauce, I had forgotten and accidentally added it all. Oops! It was way too much sauce and looked gloopy and yucky. It tasted okay, but did not look pretty enough for a picture. I had taken some of the gnocchi out of the pan before adding the sauce because my daughter is somewhat lactose intolerant and can't have much dairy in the evening. I added a teeny tiny bit of the sauce to her serving (not enough to bother her), and took the picture with that.

So I can't say that dinner last night was a success, but I will be trying this recipe again, using the right ratio of sauce to gnocchi! I did like how the gnocchi and mushrooms were sauteed in browned butter; I snuck one of the gnocchi out of the pan before adding the sauce, and it was delicious. Too bad I then drowned it in alfredo sauce!

So that the picture does not turn you off completely from trying this recipe, here is what it was supposed to look like:

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