My intentions for this post were solid. One of the first recipes in the latest Bon Appetit is for Potato Gnocchi and it struck me as the perfect evening meal for multiple reasons. For one, it called for only three ingredients–one of which (potatoes) I had in spades thanks to my in-laws’ abundant fall harvest. It also seemed a meal that would pass muster with my kiddos. And the leftover pasta sauce in my fridge would make a perfect foil.
It had been years since I made gnocchi and the article promised stellar results for minimum effort. What could go wrong?
I chose the biggest potato in our bunch–a whopping 1 1/2 pounds.
Thinking I was being smart, I cut the potato in quarters so it would take less time to bake. What I hadn’t thought through was that the cut edges–of which there were more now that I’d cut the potato in four–were dry, not moist. When I attempted to rice the peeled potato per recipe instructions, it didn’t shoot through so nicely. I removed the potato flesh from the ricer (things were getting messy now) and mixed in a bit of milk, hoping to soften it for ricing. Slight improvement, but I eventually gave up and mashed the potato flesh with a masher.
So far, things were (mostly) on track. After boiling a large pot of salted water, I added half of the dumplings for a quick cook. Three to four minutes is all they’d need to float to the surface, after which they’d be fished out with a slotted spoon. I didn’t time it too closely and maybe let them overcook a bit as they came out slightly soggy. Fortunately, I had a second batch to work with. But. Somehow I got myself in a conversation with my oldest daughter while this second batch boiled; when I pulled them out–possibly six or seven minutes later–they were puffed-up crumbled potato flakes. Yuck. (no photos–it was that unappetizing)
In the end, I had a half-batch of gnocchi, which was all I needed as they were ok, but not great. As simple as the recipe was, it required a greater degree of precision than than I’d given it. But now I know and next time I’ll not overbake nor will I overboil. And after hearing this cautionary tale, you’re in the clear 🙂
If any of you have kitchen fails you’d care to share, please do so in comments below. Seeing as how America will soon be celebrating Thanksgiving, I’d be grateful to learn from food for fun’s amazing readers. What hasn’t gone as-planned in your kitchen and what was your fix?