Last week I had my boy visiting me for 8 glorious days. I had every intention of taking pictures and posting recipes of the things I prepared ahead of time (paczki doughnuts, cinnamon pecan swirl coffee cake, triple chocolate biscotti, Irish brown bread, among other things) but the weather here was so goddamn dark and gloomy. It is this week as well so far. I'm pretty sure last week was a fluke in nature. With temperatures in the 50's on St. Patrick's Day, I was able to wear just a track jacket and not freeze - and I'm always cold!
Anyway, one thing I did have time to get some pictures of from last week was the gnocchi mac 'n cheese we made for dinner last Tuesday night before the Sabres-Hurricanes hockey game! I adapted it pretty liberally from Sugarcrafter, using the cheeses I had on hand as well as doubling the recipe (which served 2 hungry petite girls and one hungry boy with no leftovers!)
6 smallish baking potatoes
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with a large piece of foil. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork, then wrap them in the foil and bake for about an hour, until very tender. Let the potatoes cool until easy enough to handle, then peel them and grate them finely into a large bowl. Add the eggs and salt, then enough flour to make a stiff yet still slightly sticky dough.
Dust a countertop with flour and dump the dough out, kneading until a smooth ball forms and then divide it into 6 sections, then cut those in half, forming 12. Roll each section into about a foot-long rope of dough, then cut into 1/2" to 1" pieces, placing them on wax paper. When all the pieces are cut, freeze them on the sheets of wax paper until they're firm. (Or freeze up to 3 months for longer storage in a plastic bag or container.)
Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then add the gnocchi, a handful at a time, stirring occasionally until they rise to the top. Then take them out with a slotted spoon and let them drain on paper towels.
Mac 'n Cheese Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar and Parmesan)
1 lb. cooked gnocchi
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, then add the garlic and sautee until aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until it dissolves into the butter and becomes bubbly, then whisk in the milk slowly. Cook the mixture until it boils and thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes, then stir in the cheese until it's all melted. Add the gnocchi, then pour the mixture into a greased 7x11 baking dish. You can refrigerate or freeze it at this point, or pop it into a 375 degree oven until bubbly and golden brown on top, about 30 minutes.
This is so decadent and delicious! I urge you to make it before warmer weather causes us all to worry about bathing suit season :)