>> Friday, November 19, 2010
A Spanish blog was challenging us to prepare gnocchi this month. As I had already tried my hand at gnocchi in the past, in order to bring a little joy into my humdrum life, I decided to add a-not-so-common ingredient: seaweed. Because I have a confession to make: I like seaweeds. Not because I have tried them in sushi, I had tasted seaweeds before trying the ubiquitous sushi, (no, not before sushi was invented, I'm not that old). I must say sushi doesn't really thrill me, to put it mildly. However, some seaweeds can be really good when fried or boiled in a salad. So I added powdered nori to the gnocchi dough and ate them with an accompaniment of fried sea spaghetti. This is what I call an adventurous life... And my Italian readers, if any, will probably be shocked at my impudence.
Hmmm, and I'm also revealing the name of the winner of the CSN giveaway!
First to the winner of the CSN giveaway: Domestic Diva! I will soon give CSN your name and e-mail address for them to send you the code.
And... back to the recipe, for the gnocchi sauce we were free (whoops!) to make whatever we wanted, so I decided to do some refrigerator cleaning by using up some crab boiling juice that had been frozen since the Jurassic, and because this week seemed to be my improvisation week so far I devised a roux sauce of crab and saffron. The recipe for the gnocchi is the following:
For the crab sauce (yields enough for 3-4 servings of gnocchi):
I know, if the sauce had pieces of crab or fish it would be tastier, but this is good enough for an improvised sauce.
For the sea spaghetti crisps:
In Spain seaweeds are sold dried or canned. I buy them dried, they last very long and you can hydrate them for use at any time. You take the dried seaweed and place it in a bowl with water, as long as directed on the package, to be well hydrated. Separate the stems and drain well. Then fry the strips in a deep fryer or skillet until crispy, about 2 minutes. Then you can add the seaweed to the dish in small bits, like you would add some shavings of toasted Serrano ham. And both ingredients have the umami flavor. Long live the umami. Oh, and you better try seaweeds and like them, because very soon they will be the only thing left in the oceans that we can possibly eat.
Then... plate the whole thing by heaping some gnocchi, pouring a generous serving of the steaming sauce and topping it with a bunch of crispy sea spaghetti... the assembly had a deep and delicious sea flavor.