Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Italian Easter Bread

Okay, the last post to catch up on my backlog. This is my friend Alicia's grandmother's Italian Easter Bread recipe. I had never had the original at the time, but Alicia assures me it turned out almost authentic. It resembles Challah, I thought, but is a bit sweeter. We took half of the dough and shaped it into little twisted Easter cookies. The main bread ring, also twisted, we covered with rainbow sprinkles, a substitute for the colored sugar crystals we couldn't find in time. I ate up my share of the cookies in about a day and a half. Thanks, Alicia's grandma!

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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Souffleed Gnocchi

Another recent recipe, Souffleed Gnocchi from the latest issue of Gourmet magazine. The ingredient list was fairly simple: milk, semolina flour, butter, eggs, grated parmesan, a pinch of salt. The process was unusual, though. You add the semolina to the simmering milk on the stovetop and cook it there for a while, sort of like pâte à choux, the dough used for making eclairs and cream puffs, then you mix in the other ingredients, then you bake it. You can see the heart-shaped cookie-cutter I was going to use in the first picture. Oddly, the only cookie-cutter I own. It ended up making pieces that were to big and unweildy to transfer to the baking dish, so I improvised with a smallish metal measuring cup. The final result was very tasty. Savory from the salt and parmesan. The texture was very different from a standard gnocchi, which is more like a dense dumpling. These felt like extra-fluffy scrambled eggs. Kinda cool, actually. I would definitely make them again, either as a breakfast item or a dinner side.

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