22 March 2010

Butter and Sage Gnocchi

Gnocchi Burro e Salvia
Brown Butter and Sage Gnocchi (with title)
Normally I really wouldn't, but several people would have strangled me if I didn't announce over both Twitter and Facebook that I had finally succeeded in getting an Internal Medicine residency position in the United States. Thanks to all those who expressed their congratulations. My ecstasy is tempered by the sense of responsibility and the determination to be the best physician that I can be. Part of this is determining what's going to happen to No Special Effects for at least the first year of my residency. But first, let me establish a few things:

1. I'm not burned out, and despite the food blogging world taking some directions that I don't support, I still love the cooking aspects of it, and of course reading up on what everyone's up to, whether food-related or life-related.
2. I will not be able to comment or even read other people's blogs starting mid-June. When I was just studying for exams, I could balance everything fine, but this will take too much time, and I don't want to be that person who comments only on the top 5 people I like -- I like all of you, honestly. So if I can't do it for all, I can't do it for one.
3. That doesn't mean you won't be able to talk to me anymore. If you really want to tell me anything (or if you need anything I can help with), feel free to e-mail me and I'll get back to you. And if I'm not blogging, I will still write my close friends e-mail. Tweeting, I don't know. Maybe. Just very short conversations.
4. I will still be active on The Gastronomer's Bookshelf. The collaborative nature of the site makes it easier for me to manage my duties there. If you want to read my cookbook reviews (and they are all awesome, I tell ya), please subscribe to our feed.
So, given all that, let me ask you:

Well, no matter what the outcome, just remember that this is a dormancy, not an extinction, and also, I have a ton of recipes and travel posts to roll out before mid-June, and some more books to review and Photoshop tutorials to write (thanks to all those who made requests). And I just realized I haven't properly celebrated over getting the job. What do you guys have in mind?? :)


So, this isn't really party food, but I gotta say, beurre noisette is kind of like a party in your mouth. These pictures were taken from when I first attempted making gnocchi. The texture came out beautifully, though for some reason I can't see the pretty fork-produced ridges I made on the little buggers. I snatched the recipe off The Age, from an article written by none other than the multi-talented Duncan Markham. Speaking of Duncan, he just recently wrote an article on Syrup and Tang about knowing your oven to successfully make macarons. It shocks me how often this is overlooked and how many assumptions are made, even by professionals, on how macarons should be baked, when they don't know the first thing about your oven, and all too often the blame goes to the mixing, frustrating many home bakers.

Anyway. I'm aware that a classic recipe for Gnocchi Burro doesn't really involve browning or crusting the gnocchi at all (just tossing the boiled dumplings in the sauce), but I thought, why waste that extra dimension of flavor? It was as delicious as could be expected. Simply brown a big lump of butter over a gentle flame with a few fresh sage leaves, lifting the leaves out as soon as they're crisp. Add in a few boiled gnocchi at a time in the browning butter, letting some of the sides sear as you do so. And don't forget a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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