Friday, January 14, 2011

French Fridays with Dorie: Gnocchi à la Parisienne

There's nothing really healthy about this dish when you run down the ingredients list: flour, butter, full-fat milk. And this is the time of the year (post-holiday) when I really don't need more fat and carbs going to my waistline.

gnocchi parisienne_01

Yet Dorie Greenspan's recipe for "Gnocchi à la Parisienne" was intriguing and I couldn't resist but at least make a half-recipe of this French version of an Italian dumpling.

Unlike the Italian gnocchi, which are potato-based, the dough of the gnocchi is basically a pâte à choux (cream puff dough) that are blanched in boiling water (like potato gnocchi), then covered in a rich and creamy béchamel and baked in the oven au gratin. Rich indeed and oh-so-very filling with just a small portion, but it's the perfect comfort food to get you through the cold, gloomy winter months.

The gnocchi is surprisingly easy to make (much easier than its Italian counterpart), and I was surprised to how light they came out. They're very easy to shape and freeze in advance, so it's great to keep a bag of the gnocchi in your freezer for a quick assembly on a weeknight.

gnocchi parisienne_02

Lighty and puffy, you can taste all the elements that are going on in the dish: the egg and butter in the gnocchi, and the rich creaminess of the béchamel. The broiled, melted cheese (I used Emmenthal) on top adds a little crispy texture. Yet another fabulous dish from Dorie!

You too can join in the fun and cook along with Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table. Just pick up a copy of the book, sign up at French Fridays with Dorie, and start cooking!


Mardi Michels January 14, 2011 at 8:25 a.m.  

I really enjoyed this too. I made 1/3 of the quantity and put it in individual ramekins. I also used 1% milk, no parmesan and much less cheese than it called for. So I don't feel *quite* so bad about it!

Jessica of My Baking Heart January 14, 2011 at 1:02 p.m.  

Loved this dish. However, I agree that it's the worst time to be eating it - totally crashed my diet for yesterday! :)

dorie January 15, 2011 at 10:45 a.m.  

I'm so glad you liked the gnocchi and how smart to have frozen them -- they'll make a nice treat on a cold night.

Steph January 15, 2011 at 6:40 p.m.  

I thought this was easier than expected too! Your gnocchi looks so fluffy and gooey with all that cheese :)

Bonita January 17, 2011 at 9:52 p.m.  

Thank you Dorie for yet another great recipe! Genius suggestion to made gnocchi ahead! Saves so much time and I can easily put it together on a weeknight after work.

Thanks Mardi! Thanks Jessica! Thanks Steph!

Anonymous January 20, 2011 at 2:56 a.m.  

I froze 2/3 of the batch - it's great to look in the freezer and see easy dinner possibilities.

Suzanne Ellis January 22, 2011 at 4:47 p.m.  

Definitely putting this on my to-do list....looks so homey and comforting.

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