Sunday, July 19, 2009

Italian experiments and Salsa Fest

Just a quicky update before bed, it's been a few days! Spent a few hours today at the Sun & Salsa Festival, sampling the various concoctions available to us from businesses in the neighbourhood. Most of them were some variation on tomato, onion, peppers and cilantro but some restaurants eschewed the theme almost entirely, choosing instead to whip up something from their menu that could be scooped into tiny paper cups and slathered on a multigrain Tostito.

Delicious Thai had a crock pot on the go and I got mad at the lady scooping it out because when I asked her if it was vegetarian she just said that it was green chili curry. I vowed not to vote for them (and I didn't - but I didn't for any, whoops!), but it was quite delicious. Didn't go well with the chips though.

The Broken Plate did some sort of cream cheese-feta-pepper combination that was delicious but so very not-salsa. Sungate Cafe was hawking some sort of curry too but it was cold and lumpy and I was not impressed.

Other booths were more creative, most notably The Naked Leaf, which integrated organic veggies from
Sunnyside Market in their recipe, as well as tea from the Naked Leaf. They even gave us a recipe card. I wasn't blown away by the salsa, though it was lovely. I am very interested in using tea leaves in a future recipe though. I was also impressed by Foo King Hot Relish, I'm not sure if they were actually in the salsa portion of the festival because they were selling their product (I bought some and yum!) as well as giving away samples.

Sorry about the lack of photos, I took my camera but I wasn't particularly happy with any of the shots from the festival.

However! I decided I wanted to make gnocchi tonight because, well, it's delicious!

And make it I did! I was a little bit wary because the recipe I was following warned of the difficulties of pulling off gnocchi, particularly without using egg as a binder, which is the route I took because Bribot prefers not to eat egg.

I followed the aforementioned recipe fairly closely, although I didn't know how many pounds of potato I had - I used 4 medium russets. I didn't have any trouble at all with the recipe. I think that my experience kneading pizza dough is a huge asset, because I felt confident during that rather important portion. The original recipe, while poetically written does have some downfalls such as "Very gently, with a feathery touch knead the dough," I'm not sure that that is physically possible, as kneading is a rather forceful process. And then "It [dough] should feel almost billowy." My dictionary has this in the entry for billow "a large undulating mass of something, typically cloud, smoke, or steam." A mite confusing! So I just ignored those bits and pretended like I was kneading bread dough.

The gnocchi turned out very soft and tasty - success! The downside is that they really haven't got much flavour on their own, so a girl's got to have a good sauce. I went basic so that I could taste the actual pasta with a butter, olive oil, garlic and dried basil sauce. I finished it off with a few shavings of this fabulous 3-year old cheddar we picked up at Janice Beaton during the Salsa Fest.

I think next time I will try incorporating ricotta into the gnocchi, or just go with a completely ricotta version - yum!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent entry- you could offer it to a local mag... gnocchi is a great affordable dish that is sure to impress like risotto over all this entry describes 'lifestyle' hungry