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Monday, June 1, 2009

Daring Cooks: Ricotta Gnocchi

Between my time spent in the middle of nowhere Alaska (just for the record, the middle of nowhere is quite beautiful) and company I have found it challenging to keep up with the posts. I was so proud of myself for actually completing the very first Daring Cooks Challenge on time, but of course I am about three weeks late to post about it. I was looking for a fun food challenge group ever since the Suppa Club broke up. I had joined Recipes to Rival, but found the recipes and mostly the ingredients just a little too challenging. You try finding raw oysters in Fairbanks in December and let me know how you do! So, when the Daring Bakers re-vamped their program to include the Daring Cooks I jumped on board. When the first challenge was ricotta gnocchi I was pretty certain the ingredients wouldn't be hard to come by. Let me start by saying that although I didn't find this recipe particularly challenging it did encourage me to make my own ricotta cheese (post coming soon), which I have said I was going to do since we moved here.
It turns out that Ricotta Gnocchi is way easier than potato gnocchi. There is none of that burning your fingers on hot out of the oven potatoes, not to mention no running them through a ricer. In the end I think that the potato gnocchi are worth it. Maybe it is just me, or maybe I have just eaten too many bad gnocchi, but I like a little bite in my gnocchi. As David put it, "It feels like we are having dinner at the Senior Center". These gnocchi were just too light, we literally could have eaten them with a straw. They were also HUGE! The recipe called for them to be two to three teaspoons each, I used one and they were still huge. I had a feeling this might happen when I saw the recipe was from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook. I checked this one out from the library a while back and gave it the three recipe test and was less than thrilled. So, this makes four less than thrilling recipes from the cookbook. I know from reading other blogs that it has its fans, but I am not one of them.
I will say this about the recipe, if I ever decide to make my own homemade ravioli, this will be what I use for filling. The homemade ricotta gave it a wonderful flavor. They really did taste good. Although challenge #1 was not exactly a success, I also wouldn't call it a total loss. It was a good first challenge.

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