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Sunday
Sep212014

« Recipe: Parisienne Gnocchi with Spinach, Onions and Poached Eggs »

Parisienne Gnocchi with Spinach, Onions and Poached Eggs

Adapted from Michael Ruhlman's The Book of Schmaltz

Yields: 4 servings

 

Ingredients

Gnocchi

1 c chicken stock or water

1/2 c schmaltz or butter

1 t kosher salt

1 c all-purpose flour

4  eggs

1/4 c chopped fresh, soft herbs (such as parsley, chives, tarragon or chervil)

To Finish the Dish

2 Tbsp schmaltz or butter

1 Spanish onion, diced

1 1/2 lbs fresh spinach, stems removed

4 large eggs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

To Make the Gnocchi

Combine the stock, schmaltz and salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. When the liquid reaches a simmer, lower the heat to medium and add the flour. Stir continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed and a uniform paste has formed. Continue to cook, stirring, for another minute or two. Set the pot to cool for 5 minutes, so that the eggs don't cook when you add them.

Crack an egg into the pan and quickly stir it to combine. It will be slick at first, but the paste will soon embrace the egg. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Stir in the herb.  This step takes some muscle power, but persevere, it is worth it! 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Fill a large pastry bag, fitted with a coupler, with the pate a choux. Pipe the dough into the simmering water, cutting the gnocchi off at 1 1/2 inches. (Hold the pastry bag in one hand, and a knife in the other; it goes really quickly when you get the hang of it.)  When the gnocchi float to the surface, they are done.

Transfer the cooked gnocchi to a plate lined with paper towel. Set them aside; toss with a little oil or schmaltz to prevent them from sticking together. Precede with the rest of the dish immediately, or chill or freeze the gnocchi until you are ready to use them.

To Finish the Dish

In a large sauté pan, melt the schmaltz over medium hear, and sauté the onion until completely cooked through, but not brown.  Add the gnocchi to the pan, along with more schmaltz if needed to help them brown. They should turn an appealing golden brown, after 4 or 5 minutes. When they are finished browning, add the spinach and toss. The spinach will wilt quickly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Drop the eggs into simmering water (which has a splash of vinegar) and reduce the heat to low. The eggs are poached when the white has completely solidified and the yolk is still fluid. This does not take long, so do not step away.

Divide the gnocchi and spinach among 4 warm plates, and top each with a poached egg. Give the eggs one last pinch of salt and a grind of pepper before serving.