Gnocchi should be made in one continuous process: cook the potatoes, make the dough, form the gnocchi.
- 4 large (about 2 pounds) Idaho potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 large eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Place unpeeled potatoes in a large saucepan, and cover by 2 inches with cold water. Add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium high, and cook until tender, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill another large saucepan with cold water, add 1 tablespoon salt, and bring to a boil.
- Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice and water. (These are for cooking and cooling the gnocchi.)
- Drain potatoes, and peel while still hot, holding them with a clean kitchen towel. Pass potatoes through a potato ricer or a food mill fitted with the finest disk onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Make a well in the center of the mound of potatoes, and sprinkle flour evenly over the potatoes.
- Break eggs into the well, and add 2 1/2 teaspoons salt and the pepper. Using a fork, lightly beat eggs, and incorporate the remaining ingredients to form a dough.
- Knead lightly on the work surface until the dough is soft and smooth.
- Lightly dust the work surface with flour.
- Divide dough into four balls, and shape each ball into a rope 3/4 inch in diameter. Cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.
Shape the Gnocchi
- Hold a dinner fork in one hand, and use your index finger to hold a cut edge of a piece of gnocchi against the curved back of the tines of the fork.
- Press into the center of the gnocchi with your index finger to make a deep indentation.
- While you are pressing the piece against the tines, flip it away over the tip of the fork, allowing the gnocchi to drop to the work surface.
If the gnocchi becomes sticky, dip fork and index finger into flour. The finished gnocchi will have ridges on one side and a depression on the other. At this point, gnocchi can be refrigerated on a lightly floured baking sheet for several hours before boiling and serving.
To cook gnocchi
- Drop half of them into the boiling water, and cook until they float to the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon, and place in the ice bath for about 20 seconds.
- Transfer from ice bath, to a colander, and repeat process with the other half of the dough.
Cook up a batch of the tastiest apple butter in no time by making it in a slow cooker with this recipe from Amy Traverso, author of “The Apple Lover’s Cookbook.”
- 5 pounds (about 10 large) mixed apples, peeled, cored, and cut into medium-size pieces
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 whole star anise pod
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 cups fresh apple cider
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- Turn a slow cooker on high and add all ingredients. Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Mixture should be bubbling vigorously. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1 hour more. Remove and discard star anise pod.
- With the lid set slightly ajar, continue cooking until apple butter is dark brown and thick, 7 to 9 hours more. Stir well and pass through a food mill or strainer, if necessary to remove any lumps.
- Place six clean 1-pint or twelve clean 1/2-pint jars right side up on a rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill canner and jars with hot water, about 1 inch above tops of jars. Bring jars to a boil over high heat; boil for 10 minutes. Using a jar lifter, remove and drain hot sterilized jars one at a time, reserving hot water for processing filled jars. Place jars on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet.
- In another large pot filled with water, bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer, then add clean lids and lid rings. Simmer lids for 10 minutes; do not boil, as this may cause problems in sealing jars. Drain lids and set aside.
- Divide apple butter evenly among sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top of each jar. Using tongs, place lids on jars. Using your hands, place rings on jars and tighten (but do not overtighten). Reheat water in the canner until it reaches at least 180 degrees, within 10 minutes of filling the jars. Place filled jars into the canner, one at a time, using a jar lifter securely positioned below neck of jar. Keep jars upright at all times.
- Add more boiling water, if needed, so that water covers jars by at least 1 inch. Increase heat to high and cover. Once water begins boiling, heat jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and gently transfer jars to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, taking care not to tilt jars and spacing each jar at least 1 inch apart. Avoid placing jars on a cold surface or near a cold draft.
- Let jars sit undisturbed until fully cooled, 12 to 24 hours. Do not tighten ring bands on the lids or push down on the center of the flat metal lid until jars have cooled completely.
- Once jars have cooled completely, test to make sure each jar is completely sealed: Press down on the middle of the lid with a finger. If lid springs up when finger is released, jar is unsealed. Store sealed jars in a cool place. If any of the jars are unsealed, store in refrigerator and use within several days.
Find out why homemade sausage is worth the effort with this flavorful recipe from chef and master butcher Ryan Farr. Use in his Sausage Bread Pudding, if desired.
- 15 feet pork casing (about 1 pound)
- 1.4 pounds boneless chicken thigh, skin-on
- 1.2 pounds pork shoulder
- 2 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1 cup peeled, chopped apple
- 1/4 cup ice water
- 1/4 cup Calvados
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Immerse pork casing in a large bowl of cold water; refrigerate overnight.
- Hold one end of each piece of casing up to the nozzle of the faucet and support it with your other hand; run cold water through the soaked casings to check for holes and begin to open it out, so it will be easier to stuff. If there are any holes in the casing, cut out that piece. Keep casings in a bowl of cold water until ready to stuff.
- Transfer chicken and pork to freezer until exterior of the meat is brittle and hard on the outside but still soft in the middle, 30 to 60 minutes. Do not freeze solid. This is called open-freezing. (It is not necessary to distribute the meat evenly so it’s not touching other pieces; the meat on top will freeze first, and that will be enough to lower the temperature for the whole batch.) When making sausage, meat must stay at or below 45 degrees at all times during the process. The ideal temperature is 38 degrees.
- Make sure all equipment is very clean and place in refrigerator or freezer to chill. This should include bowls, grinding equipment, and stuffer.
- Cut meat into cubes that are smaller than the opening of the meat grinder (about 1-inch cubes). Open-freeze meat, 30 to 60 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mix together salt, thyme, sage, parsley, pepper, fenugreek, and red-pepper flakes; set aside.
- Fit clean, chilled grinder with a medium clean, chilled die. Grind meat, starting with pork. Start rotor, and, without using the supplied pusher, let rotor grab each cube of meat and bring it forward toward the blade and through the grinding plate. Continue grinding until both the pork and chicken are ground. Transfer to a clean, cold, nonreactive bowl and open-freeze until surface is crunchy, 30 to 60 minutes.
- Whisk apple, ice water, calvados, and honey into salt mixture until well blended and dry ingredients have dissolved; set aside.
- In a large, wide basin or bowl, combine cold meat with the apple mixture. Using very clean hands, begin kneading and turning the mixture as you would a large quantity of bread dough. Mixture should become creamy, caused by the warmth of your hands; this indicates that the mixing process is finished. Remove a few tablespoons of meat mixture and set aside. Transfer remaining meat mixture to refrigerator.
- Heat a small nonstick skillet over medium heat; add reserved tablespoons of meat mixture to skillet and cook until cooked through. Taste, and adjust seasoning in remaining meat mixture as necessary.
- Prepare a very clean sausage stuffer. Place bowl of casings, in water, next to stuffer. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
- Working in batches, transfer sausage mixture to the hopper of the sausage stuffer, compacting it very lightly with a spatula to be sure there are no air pockets; cover with lid. Thread a length of casing all the way into the stuffing horn and start cranking, just to move a little sausage into the casing. Stop, and crank backwards slightly to stop the forward movement. Pinch the casing just where the meat starts, to exclude all the air; tie in a knot.
- Start cranking again with one hand while you support the emerging sausage with the other. Move the casing out slowly to allow it to fill fully, but not too tightly; there should be some give in the sausage when it comes to tie the links. When you get close to the end, leave 6 inches of unstuffed casing and stop cranking.
- Working from the original knot, measure 4 inches of sausage. Pinch sausage firmly to form your first link; twist forward about seven rotations. Move another 4 inches down sausage; pinch but do not twist. Repeat process as you move down sausage, alternating pinch-and-twist links with pinch-only links. Twist the open end right at the surface of the sausage to seal off entire coil. Repeat entire process with remaining sausage mixture and casing.
- Cook immediately or hang or place sausages on parchment paper-lined baking sheets in refrigerator overnight covered with plastic wrap. Cut between each link before cooking. Do not prick sausage before cooking; cook slowly and gently to prevent bursting. Only prick if you see air holes.