Jonesin' For Taste

Jonesin' For Taste: September 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Homemade Horchata

So I know I promised like 3 weeks ago to post my homemade horchata recipe but I had tweaked it a little and wanted to make sure  everything worked the way I thought it would.  And it did.  This was my best version yet and really rocked.  It makes more than the first few recipes I tried which is great but alas, between the three of us we still polished off a solid 2 quarts of it.  My little missy drank a ton of this stuff.  She knows where the good stuff is at of course.  It's best to make it a day ahead...but I will admit I never seem to remember to do it that far ahed.  The longer it sits the better it tastes.  I'm just saying.

Homemade Horchata
Makes 2 quarts

1 1/3 cups uncooked white long grain rice
2 cinnamon sticks
6 2/3 cups water
1 1/3 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract (use clear vanilla for a whiter horchata)
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup sugar

Put rice, 3 cups water, and cinnamon sticks in  blender.  Blend for about 1 minute.  Add as much of the remaining water as you can (my 6 cup blender couldn't handle 2 cups more water and we had some spillage so be wary) and blend until the rice and cinnamon sticks are roughly ground, about another minute.  Transfer rice water mixture to a large pitcher and add the rest of the water.  Let mixture soak overnight or at least 3 to 4 hours.

Strain rice mixture through cheese cloth (or coffee filter) into another pitcher.  If working by yourself this is best done in small batches.

Add milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar and stir well.  If desired, refrigerate until well chilled.  

Serve in tall glasses with ice.

Check out the new blog at


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gnocchi with Mushroom cream sauce

I love gnocchi.  I can't tell you the first time I tried it or when it became this obsession for me but I love it.  And I got my hubby hooked on it too.  Gnocchi is basically a mini Italian dumpling.  There are many different types of gnocchi, some are made with spinach, potato, ricotta, just flour.  As I understand it, it varies by region and probably by family.

I've been wanting to tackle making my own gnocchi since I saw it in Martha Stewart Living years ago but I was always afraid it was way too involved and time consuming.  It does take a bit of extra effort but I am so glad I finally decided to do it.  And what was the special occasion for putting in all of this extra effort?  The hubby had been gone for the week doing artillery field training with his the heat...without a tent...and some rain.  Needless to say I felt he deserved the extra effort.  Oh, the things we do when we are in love.

So this is a basic potato gnocchi that I decided to pair with a simple mushroom cream sauce.  Don't get freaked out by the title.  The sauce uses some shortcuts to make it easy since I made the gnocchi.  I've also done gnocchi with a super simple browned butter sauce which was also super tasty.  I think next time I'll try a good light tomato sauce with it.

Don't be scared, just stick with me, and try it.  It's so worth it.

Basic Potato Gnocchi

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 pounds Russet potatoes (I used about 4 small and 2 medium potatoes)
1 Tbsp plus 2 1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

Put potatoes in a large saucepan whole and cover with cold water by about 2 inches.  Bring to a boil and add 1 Tbsp salt.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes depending on how large they are.

Drain potatoes and allow to cool until they are cool enough to handle.  Peel them (I used a paring knife to peel) and then run them through a ricer into a large bowl.
Courtesy of Wikipedia

Sprinkle with the flour and add the eggs.  Sprinkle with the rest of the salt and the pepper.

Stir with a fork to combine well.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and gently knead until dough is soft and smooth.  I had some chunks of potato in mine that I had to work out when kneading.  Knead for about 3 minutes.  
Divide dough into 8-10 pieces.  I have a small stretch of counter so this worked best for me.  If you have a large work space then divide the dough into 4-6 pieces.

Roll the dough out into a long rope about 3/4 inch thick.  Cut ropes lengthwise into 1-inch  pieces.  I used a bench scraper to cut them.  They may not have been perfectly even but it went pretty fast.

Once you have your gnocchi all cut up you could roll each piece against the tines of a fork with your thumb.  I didn't do it.  Time crunch and its not necessary.  They still taste the same.  Set aside on a floured baking sheet.

To cook, heat a pot of water to boiling.  Working in batches, put the gnocchi n the water and cook until the gnocchi floats.  Just a few minutes.

Sprinkle each batch with Parmesan cheese as you place it into a serving container.

Mushroom cream sauce

8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
1 medium size red onion, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 of 10 oz. container Kraft Philly cooking creme Savory Garlic

Saute mushrooms and onion in the olive oil over medium heat.

Continue cooking until mushrooms are browned and onions are tender.

Once they are done lower heat to low and add the cooking creme.  If needed add milk to thin it out some.

Pour over the hot cooked gnocchi and toss to combine.

Labels: ,