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Monday, June 04, 2007

potato "fingerling" gnocchi in cabbage sauce

easy recipe vegetarian low-fat healthy potato fingerings cabbage sauce meatless tofurkey kielbasa

The Other Half has imposed a ban (read: requested a temporary hold) on desserts, sweets, and fried foods. Not that I make desserts and fried foods often anyway.

Fortunately, I'd like to believe that my recipes are usually hearty, predominantly vegetarian, mostly balanced and nutritious, and typically low-fat. I don't think I can go fat free in the near future... anyway, so, this ban is not quite the bummer, really; I simply continue to cook what I normally cook and everybody is happy.

This potato "fingerlings" in cabbage sauce recipe is inspired by a Bavarian dish I recently sampled during my vacation, and quite surprisingly approximated the taste, even though I don't quite know what the chef put in his original recipe.

Very simple and wholesome dish, easy to prepare: the potato "fingerlings" are not really the heirloom fingerling potatoes but just an adaptation of potato gnocchi, made without eggs.

Gnocchis are fun to do, but the trick is to make sure the dough has just enough flour or the whole thing will either disintegrate in the boiling water, or get pasty and gummy, or even end up like lead shots. Unfortunately I got carried away and didn't measure closely for this recipe (so what's new, right?), but, as a rule of thumb, I use about 1:3 for flour:riced-potato, by volume. The potatoes have to be flaky and dry, not moist and mushy; putting them through a grater or ricer after they are steamed is better than trying to beat/mash them for this recipe.

for gnocchi:
2 potatoes,starchy kind (I use the Idaho or Russet)
about 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (maybe less)
water as needed

for the cabbage sauce:
3 cups finely minced green cabbage
1 cup 2% milk
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried oregano
water as needed


start heating a pot of salted water to boil the gnocchis in

steam the potatoes with the skin on, taking care not to overcook and turn them mushy; on a work surface, put the potatoes through a ricer or grate them when still hot (discard skin)

fan out the riced potatoes, season with some salt and pepper, and gradually knead in the flour; just add a little flour at a time, incorporate it well till the dough is no longer sticky and can be shaped

shape the dough into a long rope, about 3/4 to 1 inch thick, and then cut them to even-sized "fingerlings"; i went with fairly big fingerling potato size, but smaller the better as it cooks faster and more evenly

drop the shaped gnocchis into the salted boiling water in small batches; they will drop to the bottom and then rise to the top; fish them out when they rise to the top and keep them handy

cabbage sauce: heat the oil in a sauce pot, sauté the cabbage, season with salt, pepper, marjoram and oregano (or any other herbs/spices), add the water and milk and cook till cabbage is well done; adjust flavors; add more water if the sauce is too dry; this is a fairly thick sauce

warm up your favorite meatless sausage**, or Wiener Würstchen or Frankfurter Würstchen and serve them on the side, or garnished as in the photo.

**home-made wheat-meat sausage or bean sausage would be good too

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