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Getting back to basics, whether it be by growing our own fruits and vegetables or exploring vintage family recipes, our family seems to have taken a step back in time. Following an illness and with a child in college, our family budget took a hit and we had to learn to pinch it back wherever possible. From gratefully utilizing the services of the Utah Food Bank once a month to “couponing”, even bartering for goods and services, we have learned how to decrease our need for cash and increase the need to rely on one another.
I decided to also to spend some time this summer sharing favorite family recipes with my adult daughter, many of which she has never had hands on experience with. This time, for our weekly dinner, I chose a simple recipe which can be made with common household items. It is a great recipe for a family on a budget as the ingredients are inexpensive, half of the dough can be frozen and used at a later date with a simple sauce and most kitchens will have the necessary ingredients.
Children also tend to like gnocchi, which can be personalized, through the use of herbs such as sage or basil and various sauces. For this recipe, we wanted to use something we have a plentiful and free supply of. Our basil is doing outstanding this season (click this link to check out Gradi’s Organic Garden), therefore we picked a couple handfuls of leaves, washed and air dried them.
For those unfamiliar with a classic gnocchi, it is basically simple dough of potato, flour and egg. Potatoes of any type can be utilized, including sweet potatoes for a special dessert or holiday treat. A basic flour (nothing fancy) and one full egg or two egg whites are all combined and then mixed, cut and boiled into delightful, light and delicious pillows.
I also enjoy this recipe as it can be made with any cannabis-infused oil (click this link for instructions on creating homemade coconut oil – “Kiki Rosemaria’s Ganja Coconut Oil”) and provides an excellent method of ingestion which can maintain a nice level of medication for several hours.
1½ pounds of potatoes such as baby Red, Yukon Gold or Russets
1½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 egg, or 2 egg whites
½ stick of butter (medicated canna-butter or cannabis infused oil)
2 handfuls of fresh basil leaves, washed, dried and torn
salt and pepper to taste
Gather all ingredients, pans, tools, etc. and ensure your mise en place is well prepared.
Boil or steam potatoes whole, with the skins, until tender, not mushy as that can cause the gnocchi to be rubbery. Peels potatoes once cool enough to handle, do not refrigerate to cool.
Rice or mash the potatoes until smooth with no lumps. Don’t use a food processor as this will make your gnocchi taste like glue.
Lightly flour a clean work surface, then add the mashed potatoes, 1 egg (or 2 egg whites for the more health conscious) and about half of the flour, a pinch of salt and a little black pepper (to taste). Begin with kneading the dough until it begins to hold together, adding a bit of flour at a time until the dough is smooth, but no longer sticky. Shape the dough into a ball and cut it in half.
Roll out the one half of the dough into a long, snake like cylinder shape, about 1 inch in diameter. Use a sharp knife or pastry cutter to cut the shape into individual pieces about ¾ inch in length. Press each gnocchi with a fork to leave an imprint as this will ensure any sauce will adhere better to the gnocchi.
This is the point at which you can freeze half the batch, after imprinting each piece, place individually on a flat sheet, place them into the freezer and transfer to freezer bags, once completely frozen.
To cook the gnocchi, drop each piece carefully into a large pot of lightly salted, boiling water. They will quickly rise to the surface, after about 10 seconds. Retrieve them with a slotted spoon and cool them a short while while allowing them to dry a little.
Melt the butter (or cannabis infused oil) in a non stick pan and fry the gnocchi until lightly golden and crisp. Add the torn basil leaves, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days and if medicated, enjoy responsibly, as always!
Photo Credit: Gradi Jordan