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Gnocchi a la Parisienne

This was an interesting FFWD recipe. I’ve made Gnocchi Parisienne before, but it was sans sauce: lovely pastry dumplings topped with cheese and then broiled. When I saw this version included a bechamel, it was a match made in heaven.
Unlike like the potato gnocchi we’re used to in the U.S., French gnocchi is made with pâte à choux — the same dough responsible for delicious pastry treats like gougères and cream puffs.
This loose dough creates wonderfully light and puffy gnocchi.
The dough is so loose, in fact, that it’s quite common for pastry chefs to use a pastry bag to pipe the dough into its final shape or destination (which in this case, is into a pot boiling water for a quick poaching).
I’m not printing the recipe here (per the rules of the group), but do know that the bechamel sauce as printed was problematic for many folks making this. The proportion of butter-to-flour-to-milk was, in my non-culinary-school-certified opinion, way out of whack. I didn’t have problems producing the sauce, but it was very, very thick. The photo above shows a shallow layer of bechamel under the gnocchi, prior to the addition of the remaining bechamel. Next time, I would halve the quantity of bechamel and stop at this point, topping the cheese directly on the gnocchi.
Ready for the oven.
Okay, this photo makes the dish look like roasted marshmallows, but it was quite delicious, like a very sophisticated mac-and-cheese. It was enjoyed by all.
This post is participating in French Fridays with Dorie, a blogging project where we cook our way each week through the recipes in Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook, Around My French Table. Given the book’s newborn status, we’ve been requested to not post the recipe (although SoupAddict will post it if she finds it elsewhere on the web). SoupAddict hopes that you’ll understand and will perhaps be inspired to either buy the book or seek out a recipe of a similar nature to try on your own. Or better yet, join us on French Fridays with Dorie!
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9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2011 10:07 am

    Hahhaha, roasted marshmallows! Didn’t occur to me until you mentioned it but now I can’t look at them the same way.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      January 15, 2011 5:55 pm

      Sorry ’bout that – I can’t either!

  2. January 14, 2011 10:10 am

    Roasted marshmallows, funny. I think I remember you posting on all the white sauces at once point… I should have sought out some Soup Addict wisdom. Bangs head on desk.

    • SoupAddict permalink
      January 15, 2011 6:03 pm

      No, you can’t blame yourself. I’ve ruined enough white sauces in my time to recognize a butter-flour situation in the ingredients. If there had been more butter, it would’ve been less of an issue for folks. As it was, I sort of cringed in anticipation of hearing all the tales of the lumps in the milk. The bechamel was delicious, but, I can’t justify using that kind of white-flour-heavy sauce very often.

  3. January 14, 2011 1:19 pm

    Oh yum. I could just dig in to that last photo. Seriously.

    Thanks for the tip on forming the dough, too! It worked wonders! 🙂

    • SoupAddict permalink
      January 15, 2011 6:08 pm

      No problem! I’m far too lazy to spoon out that much sticky dough. If you were with the group back when we did the gougeres (the very first FFWD recipe), those little darlings could be piped, too (similar pate a choux).

  4. January 15, 2011 1:16 am

    Well, when I make these gnocchi, I will use your trick and grab a bag! It seems much easier:) I’ll remember the problems with the bechamel, I hope:)
    Your cooked gnocchi, dished from the boiling water look divine!

    • SoupAddict permalink
      January 15, 2011 6:11 pm

      At the very least, it’s much, much faster to pipe. I’m terrible with spooning. When I do drop cookies, they get gradually larger and larger. I don’t think I’d last very long at a job where I had to make quenelles all day long. “Small egg shape, not ostrich egg shape, you dolt!”

  5. Teresa permalink
    January 19, 2011 4:41 pm

    My gnocchi looked like raggedy lumps, but since they were nicely covered by sauce and cheese, I didn’t mind. Your finished dish looks wonderful. I think I’d be right there with you on the quenelle unemployment line…

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