Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Way to forget to post this for several days, Hannah.

It's generally easy to avoid owning single-purpose kitchen items when your kitchen is the size of most people's closets. You just have to think, "Will I be able to fit my hand in the drawer if I purchase this? No? Am I willing to throw something away in order to own it? No? Back on the shelf." (Exceptions: I do own a mandoline, to make up for my amateur knife skills, and a KitchenAid pasta attachment, because fresh pasta needs no excuses.)

Much more difficult is avoiding single-purpose ingredients. You know what I mean: those extracts and vinegars and cheeses that one and only one recipe requires. Plenty of times I'll concoct a substitute or just move on to the next recipe--I'm looking at you, black vinegar--but sometimes I just have to have it. Thus the head of black garlic that's been languishing in my fridge for months. Thus my habit of allowing a couple stray ounces of goat cheese to go crusty, because who can finish a log of goat cheese that fast, anyway?

But no more! Time to use up a lot of black garlic!

This is black garlic cod with mushroom agnolotti, frizzled kale, and a celeriac and parsley puree.

Have a quick agnolotti tutorial:

Agnolotti can be folded-over squares or circles; I went for
squares, not in the least because it gave me an excuse to buy
a square cutter (for a dollar!) that will really help with biscuits.
The dough is an egg-enriched pasta rolled out to the second-
thickest setting on my KitchenAid.

Place a quarter-teaspoon of filling slightly off-center toward
one of the points. Trust me when I say that's enough filling.

And fold over, pressing around the daub of filling to get out
all the air. Seal with a little water if necessary.

I also did a black garlic chocolate budino with raspberry red wine coulis and a crunchy hazelnut biscuit (which was supposed to be a tuile, but I decided to try a new recipe that did not tuile at all). It was pretty transcendental... so transcendental that we gobbled it down before taking pictures. Ditto the pad see ew made two days ago, and the blueberry pie with the best filling I've ever done (red wine, leftover raspberry coulis, and allspice in the filling, as well as a bit of ground tapioca for texture; the tapioca or tapioca flour can be found in the bulk section of your local food coop or, likely, Whole Foods).

And I also made goat cheese gnocchi to use up the aforementioned goat cheese. No pictures; just recipe.

Goat cheese gnocchi

7 oz goat cheese, slightly cooler than room temp
3 egg yolks
125-150 g flour (1 cup ish, if you don't have a scale)
salt and pepper

Cream the goat cheese and egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Gradually add the flour until the dough is tacky but able to be handled; salt and pepper to taste. Do not overwork, or the gnocchi will be dense and tough. Chill for at least 30 minutes, 1 hour preferred.

There are a few techniques for creating the dumplings: rolling little snakes of dough and cutting off snippets, squirting them out of a pastry bag, or rolling them gently between your floured palms. I prefer the third option; I am unable to get fluffy gnocchi with the first technique for some reason, and I hate cleaning pastry bags. Do whichever you prefer. Roll the finished dumplings over a fork to get the classic ridged appearance.

Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Boil the gnocchi until they float, at which point they should be cooked through but tender to the tooth. Optionally, sear in a buttered pan before serving.

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