Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Zema Estate and the Parsnip Gnocchi Adventure

Hurricane J said it couldn't be done, or perhaps shouldn't, I can't recall the nuances but suffice it to say Parsnip Gnocchi was not to be made or consumed. Never, never ever ever ever, not now, not then, not ever. Never one to listen to anyone telling me what to do (ask my Mum, she'll agree) this negativity meant one thing - that the challenge was ON! I have, in the past, perfected the sweet potato gnocchi and adapted the recipe in various ways, jerusalem artichoke gnocchi, pumpkin gnocchi, gluten free gnocchi ... next stop was parsnip gnocchi.

Miss J and fellow academic Mr E were the guinea pigs in this culinary experiment. It started with ... the making of bolognaise!!! This for me is an all afternoon adventure. I start by peeling a motherload of tomatoes (alas not grown on the balcony garden.) Miss J is the best at this job but when the cat's busy getting ready for a trip to Paris, I, the mouse, have to peel.

2kgs of beef in the pot, along with browned onions and garlic. I collected some herbs from the garden including oregano, basil, sage, rosemary and lemon thyme to add to the mix.

Can't forget the vino, I used this one, a Zema Estate Cab Sav because no other cheaper wine was available! Don't tell Dad!!! Although good cooks only cook with wine they would drink, and boy was this drop drinkable (and kinda pricey, but again don't tell Dad, because he bought it when he visited last!) Half for the pot, save the other half for me.

The gnocchi was easy to make, well relatively, although I took no photos of the process. AND I took no photos of the finished product, at least the parsnip ghocchi with bolognaise. I do have this shot of the entree, parsnip gnocchi with a nut brown butter and sage sauce!

And before you ask, yes the entree was parsnip gonocchi, so was the main, but the dessert had nothing to do with parsnips or gnocchi at all, it was homemade coconut cream and raspberry ripple icecream. Overall I have to say the flavour of parsnip gnocchi was very mild and was clouded by both sauces but the texture was definitely divine. I even made a second batch later in the week in which I incorporated goats cheese in the mix for extra fluffiness (Hurricane J tried that batch, and it was not spat out which is a promising sign.) Next gnocchi challenge has also been set ... beetroot gnocchi - at least this time I can use home grown produce!


Fern @ Life on the Balcony said...

You're a very adventurous cook Prue!

prue said...

Hi Fern - heheh thanks. Am considering having a 'black food' balcony dinner party soon. You can have the black plants and I'll have the black food, though is the concept patented??? ;)

Dan said...

Looks good! I just had parsnips tonight after not tasting them for a long time. I was quite surprised how potato like they are. I was expecting carrot like.

prue said...

Dan - that's so funny, because when my friends ate white carrots they all said they tasted like parsnips! Shows how much our vision plays into the food we eat.

Jessa said...

Any chance you could pass on the proportions for the j-choke gnocchi? Would love to try it!

mark said...

Prue, Your choice of cooking wine was tremendous! Glad you saved some to drink, though. We discovered this great line of wines quite by accident and discovered that the owners and we are distantly related. We buy it by the case here in the USA. Love the gnocchi, too! Well done! Regards, Mark Zema USA