May 12, 2014
Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Chipotle Brown Butter
By Kusuma Rao, www.Ruchikala.com
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1 ½ -2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
½ teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons butter
a small handful of cilantro minced
Poke each potato with a fork and roast on baking sheet in the oven at 425 degrees until soft and tender (approx. 20 minutes). Let potatoes cool, just enough to touch, for 5-7 minutes.
Peel each potato and add to the potato ricer, or food mill, and mill/rice the potatoes into an extra large plate or wide large, shallow vessel. While the mixture is still warm, add 1 ½ cup of flour into the potatoes, adding more flour as you see fit. Using just your fingertips you want to gently “fluff” the flour into the potatoes, distributing as evenly as possible without overworking the flour, which can make the potatoes gummy. You want to potatoes to feel fairly dry, and ready to soak up the moisture from the egg yolks you will be incorporating,
At this point, get a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Pour mixture out onto the counter in a mound, more or less. Make a little well in the center and add to the egg yolks as well as the nutmeg. Mix, using a light hand. Does the dough feel overwhelmingly sticky? Add a bit more flour a couple tablespoons at a time. Gently knead into soft dough by folding the dough onto itself, limiting the number of folds to 3-4 total to ensure the gluten doesn’t get overworked, and gnocchi remain light and fluffy. Using a bench knife, scrap the dough into a mass and then on a nice clean large surface sprinkle a few tablespoons of flour down on the surface evenly. Using a bench knife, pick up your dough and set it onto the flour-protected surface, roll out to a 1 ½ inch thickness, then cut into long even strips. Using the bench scraper, cut each strip in ½ inch dumplings. Cut a few more strips into pieces. If you’re using a gnocchi board, roll out your gnocchi onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment tossed on a thin dinner plate.
At this point your water should be boiling. Use your bench scraper to scoop a handful of gnocchi, no more than 20 at a time, into the water. Shake to toss lightly from the parchment paper into the boiling pot (if using the gnocchi board method).
Cook in the boiling water for about 3-4 minutes or wait till the gnocchi float to the top and give it about 20 more seconds. Pull from the water with a spider, or slotted spoon and add to a large shallow bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and toss to coat. This will ensure that the gnocchi don’t stick together.
Prepare the brown butter:
Melt the butter in a medium skillet for 2-3 minutes. When the butter start to foam, add the chipotle powder to the butter. Simmer butter until ½ of the foam starts to disappear. Add gnocchi to the skillet, toss to coat, if a seared texture is desire, sauté for 2-3 extra minutes until you start to get a light brown sear. Apply a thin drizzle of honey to the pan, garnish with cilantro or epazote.