Sweet potato GNOCCHI Sweet potato gnocchi with a brown butter sauce and fried sage leaves and kale
I was really excited when I was invited to perform a demo on the Main Stage at the world famous Taste of Chicago! Yes! I wanted it to be amazing because I knew the audience would be really big. I started by thinking about the flavors that I like. I also wanted to make sure that I created something that was bright and colorful ... something that would really stand out.
One thing that people know about me is that I love to use the smoker. My smoker was a gift from my grandfather. He was an amazing guy. He was a teacher and professor for several decades and he taught me a lot about cooking...especially gumbo, but I will save that for another day.
For this dish I cured the pork belly for seven days and then slow-smoked it for two hours. My cure is a secret and my signature, but you can still get great flavor with my with the honey mustard glaze. Of note, this dish will work with other proteins like Chicken breast or Tofu. Feel free to Evanate. I also wanted to make sure that I used kefir in my dish since we were on Lifeway's stage. I had never even eaten Kefir. I think my mom had and she is always talking about pro-biotics (she teaches me a lot about healthy cooking and eating). So I knew that Kefir was good for your "gut health", but I wondered if it tasted good. I read about and experimented with the Kefir products a lot. At its base, it is tangy like yogurt. It comes in several forms. Some are thin like smoothies and others more textured like ricotta. I opted for the plain smoothie version and came up with a tangy kefir-lime avocado sauce ... it added color and balance to the dish. I was happy I tried something new. Now, I use it often and it provides a healthier option to plain milk or cream.
The demo was amazing. I had lots of audience participation. People asked questions that varied from how I got started to the anatomy of the Pig, and texture/flavor of Pork belly. Afterward, I took a lot of pictures with the guests and handed out recipe cards. I gave the demo sample to the backstage staff who demolished it in no time flat and asked for more...All in all, I'd say this was a pretty successful dish and demo.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi 2 sweet potatoes 2 cups of flour 1 tsp salt
Bake the Potatoes in aluminium foil
Peel the potatoes
Rice the potatoes. (If you don't have a ricer, you can mash the potatoes)
Sift the flour and salt.
Mix the sweet potatoes and flour mixture.
Take the dough and break it into pieces.
Roll those pieces into 1/8 inch logs.
Cut the logs into 1 inch pieces.
If you want a design, you can take a fork and press it into the gnocchi pieces.
Boil the gnocchi, until they float or for about 2-3 minutes.
Brown Butter Sage Sauce 3 tablespoons of butter 10 sages leaves Salt and Pepper to taste
Melt butter in pan.
Once brown spots begin to form add sage leaves and season.
Cook for another 20 seconds on medium heat and take the pan off the heat.
Ricing the sweet potatoes makes sure that the texture is smooth and consistent throughout all of the dough.
Immediately after gnocchi finishes cooking, toss with the brown butter sauce to prevent them from sticking together.
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