Gnocchi, Polenta, Pork

This week I knew work would be busy, but I still anticipated getting out near on time most days so over the weekend I made a pork butt with the intention of making several dishes with it. Work being work …. I ended up getting out late every day except for the day I had my hair appointment. So while I intended to have multiple pretty pictures, I only have a few.

But I started off with gnocchi. I love gnocchi, but I never make it light and fluffy. I probably make it totally wrong, use the wrong potatoes or use too much flour. But … I found a recipe that uses ricotta instead of potatoes. Interesting. Couldn’t find goat cheese ricotta so I improvised and went with a large, 32oz container of regular ricotta. I wrapped it in cheese cloth and sat it on an upside-down ash tray (the one I kept because it is from grandmom’s house and Vanessa calls the world’s smallest ash tray) in an old Corning ware pot overnight so it could drain. It actually worked really, really well. The cheese stayed above the liquid and everything was easy to clean. I followed the rest of the recipe (only for the gnocchi) pretty much as written, but made a few Sunday night because I couldn’t resist. Browned butter, sage and gnocchi. These were amazing. Light. Fluffy. Lots of flavor. Both Bob and I like them better than the regular ones and the butternut squash ones I’ve made before. (and that is saying something because I love the butternut ones.

I also used them a second day with a pork sauce.

20130929-200734.jpg Onion, garlic, carrot, whole tomatoes crushed up with the juice, thyme, oregano, and a little zinfandel. I let that cook together then added the gnocchi and let those cook just for a minute or two. The result ….

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I also made a sort of pork taco this week. The same pulled pork, onions, cilantro and goat cheese. Very simple, but really flavorful, I did add a little vegetable broth when cooking the pork, just to add some juice and flavor. It worked.

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Today I wanted something hearty and comforting. Both Bob and I are getting over colds, so soup sounded good, but not exactly what I wanted. So, I found an easy polenta recipe and change it just a bit. I cut it in half, substituted vegetable broth for chicken broth and eliminated the pepper. I loved how easy this was, and really, it was really, really good.

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I’m pretty sure Bob would have eaten this by itself, and all of it. He really, really liked it. But I topped it with a kind of soup, kind of loose stew. Pork, onion, carrot, tomatoes, vegetable broth and apple cider. >20130929-201808.jpg I added some herbs from the garden and put it around the polenta for a pretty perfect lunch.

20130929-201855.jpg. I really loved the creamy texture of the polenta, but the carrots and onions gave it a nice texture.

Yes, there was a very definite theme this week. Of course, when you use what is on hand, that tends to happen. Hopefully I’ll be a little more creative next week, but it will depend on work. Fingers crossed it will be a lifter week.

… Oh … Dessert. Still on the shortbread kick …

20130929-202101.jpg Brown sugar shortbread with bittersweet chocolate. Kind of can’t go wrong there.

One thought on “Gnocchi, Polenta, Pork

  1. Anonymous says:

    When do you publish your cook book? I would love that polenta recipe.
    But really the cook book?

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