Pumpkin Gnocchi with Milk Poached Fish

Tapa Style

According to Breadhead, gnocchi is easy to make.  I’m not so sure, but this pumpkin gnocchi tastes amazing, and even if it takes you a little more effort than buying a pack of gnocchi from the supermarket, it’s well worth the effort! One of my all time favourite restaurant meals was a yam gnocchi with beurre blanc at The Red Ochre in Adelaide, but this was equally as good, perhaps even a little better!

This gnocchi can be made in rolls and cooked in cling film, which means it doesn’t fall apart so much during cooking (good for those of us who are not so gifted in the gnocchi area, and tend to add more flour to stop this happening, resulting in pumpkin glue rather than gnocchi).  It also means it can be sliced into rounds for nice presentation.

Breadhead served the gnocchi with a beurre blanc sauce, a chunky tomato sauce and milk poached fish- pretty damn good!  The milk poached fish method is great as you can leave it in the milk for as long as you want and it won’t overcook- this helps to make sure everything is ready at once.

Pumpkin Gnocchi with Milk Poached Fish

For the Gnocchi

400g pumpkin

400g potatoes

Roasted veg

125g plain flour

125g grated Parmesan

1 whole egg

2 egg yolks

3 tbsp chopped chives

salt

1.  Bake potatoes and pumpkin in oven until soft

2.  Scoop out flesh and pass through a ricer (much better than using a food processor as the fast movement releases the starch from the potatoes and makes them gummy, mashing by hand is OK, but not so smooth and very time consuming).

Ricer set up

3.  In a bowl add Parmesan, flour, egg, yolks and chives to potato and pumpkin.

4.  Mix well and add salt to taste.

5.  Take about 2 Tbsp of mix at a time and lay in cling film.

6.  Roll into log shapes, twisting each end of the cling film to seal.

7.  The logs can be stored in fridge until needed, or cooked straightaway.

8.  Cook logs for 10 minutes in boiling water (still wrapped in cling film- don’t worry it doesn’t melt!)

9.  Remove and refresh in cold water.

10. Unroll from cling film and cut into 2cm lengths.

Ready for frying

11.  Dust in flour and fry over a medium heat in butter for 2-3 minutes each side, or until lightly brown.

For the Beurre Blanc.

1/2 shallot

Keeping warm in a water bath

2 tbsp white wine

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

50ml water

120g chilled butted diced

1 heaped tsp mustard

lemon juice

1.  Boil shallot, wine and vinegar and reduce over medium heat in small saucepan

2.  Add water and reduce further

3.  Gradually whisk in butter one cube at a time.

4.  When all butter is melted, remove from heat and add mustard, lemon juice and salt to taste.

5.  Use immediately as it will solidify and separate if its sits around.

The bible

For the Milk Poached Fish.

Fillets of fish (frozen is fine and can be cooked straight from freezer)

milk

1.  Cover fish with milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil

2.  Remove from heat and leave to sit until needed.

For the Tomato Sauce

1  400g tin whole tomatoes

2 dried chillies, diced

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic finely diced

1.  Drain tomatoes, reserving some of the juice

2.  Crush tomatoes with your hands to retain the chunky texture

3.  Fry garlic over medium heat in oil

4. Add tomatoes, chilli, and vinegar and a couple of tbsp of tomato juice

5.  Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.

To assemble

Serve a round of gnocchi, topped with a small piece of fish, and drizzled in sauces for a tapas style dish, or serve a few gnocchi s topped with sauces and a larger piece of fish on the side for a main meal.  This is also good with grilled prawns!

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Tuna Mornay with Chip Topping

One of the dishes I remember my mum making when I was growing up was Tuna Mornay with chips (crisps) on top.  I remember the topping was lovely and crunchy and as the weather has become slightly more wintery recently, I was in the mood for a nice winter comfort food.  I have never made Tuna Mornay before, but after a quick internet search I had a rough idea of what should be in the recipe and decided to give it a crack with what I had in the cupboard.

slightly overbrowned!

The result was a tasty, cheesy winter warmer, rather like a jazzed up macaroni and cheese!  It also  contained enough veggies to make it seem moderately healthy. The chips added a lovely crispy crust and contrasted well with the creamy tuna.

I think this recipe would work well with a variety of vegetables and it’s particularly  good if you only have frozen veggies in.  I used carrots, frozen peas, and tinned corn, but I think spinach, mushrooms, pumpkin or zucchini might also work nicely.  The recipe freezes well and also reheats well the next day in the oven (better!) or microwave , although to avoid soggy chips I would add some fresh chips when reheating to maintain the crispness.

Tuna Mornay with Chip Topping

500g of tinned tuna in oil/water well drained

1 small tin corn kernels

2 carrots diced into small squares

3/4 cup frozen peas

4 eggs

2 Tbsp plain flour

3 Tbsp butter

500ml milk

3/4 cup cheddar cheese (grated)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

1 bag plain potato chips (crisps)

1 1/2 cups cooked pasta such as macaroni or penne

salt and pepper to season

1.  Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente

2.  Boil eggs for about 10 minutes or until hard boiled.

3.  Cook diced carrots in a little water in a saucepan until soft, drain and set aside.

4.  Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan and add flour stirring well to combine.

5.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuosly

6.  Add milk little by little, whisking well all the time.

7.  Cook over medium heat until sauce thickens slightly, about 7 minutes, whisking continuously to prevent lumps.

8.  Remove from heat and add grated cheddar cheese.

9.  Place drained tuna, cooked pasta, carrots, corn, peas, chopped eggs and cheese sauce into an oven proof dish and mix well to combine.

10.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and top with crushed chips.

11.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes until top is slightly browned (if browning too fast cover with tin foil).

The perfect winter comfort food!