Thursday, June 29, 2017

Grubs Au Gratin (Gnocchi in Cheese Sauce)

The other day, my husband and I looked through some pictures of my upcoming blogs and a theme emerged. We noticed that all my Halloween ideas were worms, snakes and other wiggly things. It started with Squirmy Wormy Shots, and then Decomposing Deviled Eggs which looked like worms and now, Grubs au Gratin...and I have two more upcoming that are along the same theme. Totally unintentional and I'm sure there's a Freudian interpretation in here somewhere. But hey, I didn't invite the psychoanalyst to my Halloween party. Anyway, I think worms and snakes make for some way cool Halloween inspired dishes. And like all my Halloween recipes they have to taste good! They can't look disgusting and then taste disgusting...what's the art in that?  I thought of this idea back when I was making some homemade Gnocchi for my Potato Gnocchi and Spinach Curry. While I photographed it, I thought those puffy little pillows of gnocchi looked like grubs...and that was the moment this dish was born! Grubs au Gratin. It's actually just a fancy Macaroni and Cheese but I like the sound of Grubs Au Gratin way better than, Grubs and Cheese. The cheese sauce is divine, by the way. I literally want to put it on toast and eat it for breakfast, or make grilled cheese sandwiched with it, or even drink it straight. It is that good!  A classic Bechamel Cheese Sauce with sharp cheddar, Parmesan cheese and a smidge of goat cheese. Happy Summer of Halloween everyone!

Grubs Au Gratin

Serves 4

2 medium potatoes, measured 1 cup cooked
2 cups all purpose flour
1 egg
1 tsp parsley, dried
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

green food coloring

Place unpeeled potatoes into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Cook until potatoes are cooked through. About 20-30 minutes. 
Drain and let potatoes cool slightly. Peel potatoes and mash with a potato ricer. Measure out 1 cup of packed cooked potatoes and add to a medium bowl. Let cool. Add parsley, pepper and salt to the all purpose flour and mix well. Add flour mixture and egg to the potatoes and mix until incorporated. Add food coloring and mix until you get stripes of green throughout but not solid color. 

Cut dough into quarters and roll each quarter into thin ropes of dough. Cut ropes into 1/2 inch pieces and roll and twist with your fingers to mimic grubs. Set aside. Bring salted water to a boil, add a drop or two of green food coloring to the water and drop gnocchi into boiling water. Cook until gnocchi float to the top of the water and then drain and set aside with a little coat of olive oil. 

Cheese Sauce
2 T unsalted butter
2 T all purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 small onion, peeled
1 bay leaf
white pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 T goat cheese
salt and pepper (to taste)

Heat butter in a large sauce pan over low heat. Add flour to make a roux. Turn off heat. In another sauce pan, scald the milk and then gradually stir the warm milk into the roux. Whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a simmer. Add bay leaf, onion, nutmeg and pepper to the sauce. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Turn off heat and then add the cheeses. Stir until melted. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Add hot cheese sauce to gnocchi and top with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Other Halloween dishes to try:

Love at First Bite Linguini
Ghoulish Goat Cheese Torte
Nightcrawlers con Funghi

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