DDD Ep. #2 – Last Word Cocktail & St. Patrick’s Day

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Click the image below to watch the video recipe.

Reposting this recipe because I have a video to accompany it – and I hope you find it funny.  Please – subscribe to my channel on Youtube. Www.VideoVegan.com.

https://www.facebook.com/CapitalBarandGrill

http://capitalhotel.com/CBG/

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Or – as served at the Capital Bar & Grill in Little Rock.

Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

This is one powerful drink!  The first sip makes you think it of Robitussin & you won’t think you can drink it.  The second sip will win you over & you will realize the trouble you have just gotten yourself into.  Consider yourself warned!

PRINT THIS RECIPE

THE LAST WORD – A Prohibition Era Cocktail

Yield: 1 Drink

Ingredients:

Shake with ice in a cocktail shaker, strain & serve!

Lime Gin Fizz Cocktail

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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It has been so friggin’ hot here in LA that a sparkly, bubbly citrus cocktail sounds delicious – as early as lunch.  Gin is a great hot weather liquor as it goes with citrus so well.   This is easy & uses ingredients that are not exotic & goes down like candy.  I used a lemon sugar rim intended for Lemon Drop cocktails but it worked very well.

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Lime Gin Fizz

1 cocktail

INGREDIENTS

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice

1/2 ounce simple syrup (I used bottled but recipes for it are HERE)

2 ounces gin

2 ounces seltzer water or club soda

Some sort of sugar for the rim (optional)

Lime wedges for garnish

DIRECTIONS

Wet the glass & dip the rim in sugar.  Shake the lime juice, simple syrup & gin with ice for a good 30 seconds to a minute or more.  Fill the glass with ice & pour the chilled gin mix on top.  Add the seltzer & garnish with lime wedge.

Chug it & make another!

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And don’t forget about my book!  www.BathingBook.com.  The REVIEWS ON AMAZON are awesome!

 

The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

 

Part 1 – Sixty or More Los Angeles Restaurants for Your Consideration

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Hi everybody!  That is me just above.  And this is the first entry in a several part recap of restaurants I have visited around Los Angeles.  This is not a complete list & some places here reflect images from multiple visits.  I am not going to get into reviewing them but I will post a link if I have blogged about specific places here in the past – and that link will likely have lots of info & more pictures (except for my earliest posts which were pretty simple).   They will be listed pretty much in alphabetical order & if there is a website for the place – I will try to supply it by making the name of the place a link to their site.   The images above are from Millie’s in Silverlake.   The beer below was at La Poubelle – a spot that is too dark to photograph with much success.  There isn’t a spot in this list that I do not recommend highly.  They span the city from East L.A. to Inglewood and all over Hollywood.  I included two spots in Santa Barbara.   It is just too fucking hot to cook this week – so I am using this heat as an opportunity to reflect.  I hope you enjoy this photo retrospective and maybe try out a few new places yourselves!

 

My blog about MILLIE’S is HERE.

My blog about LA POUBELLE is HERE.

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OK – here we go!

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3 DOG CANTINA – Hollywood

3 DOG CANTINA – in my blog HERE.

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33 TAPS  – Hollywood

 

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54TWENTY – Hollywood

54Twenty in my blog HERE.

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101 COFFEE SHOP – Hollywood

My blog about the 101 Coffee Shop.

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BENNY’S TACOS VENICE

My blog about Benny’s Tacos.

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BIRDS CAFE – Hollywood

My blog about Birds.

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BLUE PALMS BREWHOUSE – Hollywood

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CHEEBO – Hollywood

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CHI DYNASTY – Los Feliz

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DAVEY WAYNE’S – or – GOOD TIMES AT DAVEY WAYNE’S – Hollywood

My blog about Davey Wayne’s.

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OK!  There are the first ten.  I hope you try some of them out!!! And don’t forget about my book!  www.BathingBook.com.

 

The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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vromans back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower Bites with Sriracha Ketchup & Doomie’s Home Cooking & Good Times at Davey Wayne’s

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Easy & yummy.  And nearly guiltless!!!

Roasted Cauliflower Bites

INGREDIENTS

1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets

S&P

1/4 cup olive oil  (more or less – depending on the size of the head of cauliflower)

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the cauliflower in just enough oil to lightly coat all the florets & add some S&P.

Roast at 400 degrees for about an hour – turning 3 or 4 times in the process.

Serve with sriracha ketchup!  DEVOUR!

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Sriracha Ketchup

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup ketchup

2 TBS sriracha (more or less – depending on your heat tolerance)

2 tsp lime juice

2 tsp chopped cilantro

1 tsp rice vinegar

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DIRECTIONS

Mix that shit up!  Should last in the fridge a week or more.

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OK – first of all – my book reading in Pasadena is THIS SUNDAY!  COME ON OUT!

Secondly – a vegan friend of mine, Ethan, was in town this week promoting veganism for the Humane League on the Warped tour.

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I finally had a companion (or 5 – as he was traveling with 4 peers) to try out a place I have been DYING to try – Doomie’s Home Cooking!!!!  It is right in my hood & it is vegan but not healthy vegan.  It is greasy, comfort food at its best.  Check out the menu.

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Impressed?  Me, too!  And as if this were not enough – Doomie’s has over 150 items on the “secret menu.”  Among them – a vegan BIG MAC!!!!

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The kids Ethan was traveling with were quite aware of the secrets at Doomie’s and they ordered a Dinosaur Egg.  I am not quite sure what it is but here is what it looked like.

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I think it involves something like mashed potatoes & cheese in a deep fried ball with gravy – but I am unclear.  One of them ordered the Big Mac – but with fried chicken instead of burgers.

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The secret menu includes anything you want them to make from the ingredients they have on hand & every sandwich is available served between two grilled cheeses rather than just bread or a bun.  Ethan opted for some kinda fried chicken sandwich between two grilled cheeses.  Here it is & here he is trying to fit it in his mouth.

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We all sampled the fried shrimp & they were VERY convincing!

I cannot recommend this place highly enough!!!!  I am taking the carnivorous Badass Miles Miller there when he visits in two weeks & I am going to convert that son-of-a-bitch to loving the fake meats as much as the cruelty-ridden real meat he subsists upon.

Zits popping out of our faces from grease consumption, we staggered back out into the sunlight – blinking away the brightness & weaving from sudden onset food comas.  And I thought!  OMG!  I have some people I can drag to another place I have been DYING to try – Good Times at Davey Wayne’s.  It, too, is right in my hood and – likely because they were to food-drunk to resist – my companions agreed to go there with me.

The entry is hidden in this little alley garage sale thing.

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At first, I was later told by my vegan companions, that as I spoke to the doorman seated there, they feared I was stopping in the alley to buy drugs.  LOL!  Never fear!  I was just being carded.  Because behind that refrigerator door –

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is Davey Wayne’s!  Pull the fridge door open & it isn’t condiments & produce you find.  No!  You find STAIRS!  That lead you into this 70’s awesomeness!

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See the giant Jenga game in the outdoor area?  This place fucking rules!  We were there at the crack of broad-daylight-5pm – on a MONDAY – and there were like 20 or 30 people there.  Just enough so it felt populated but there was still tons of room & many seating options.

The bartenders were friendly (that matters) – and one mustachioed gent agreed to mix me up a Last Word cocktail by my directions – as he was unfamiliar with the drink.  Here is his:

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I am a huge fan of this cocktail & it was one of the things I posted on DAY ONE of my blog’s life.  Here is my Last Word effort

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And here is one from the Capital Bar & Grill in Little Rock.

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The Last Word set me back $10 but that seemed fair to me & the whole experience was tremendous!!!  I very much recommend both Doomie’s and Davey Wayne’s to all!   Your cool factor will rise immensely.

 

 

Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous & Waterfront Film Festival!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans front

vromans back

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I have been shirking my blogging duties lately because last weekend was year 16 of the AWESOME Waterfront Film Festival (Waterfront on Facebook) – a festival I have programmed for every year.  This year was our second season in South Haven, Michigan – having been in Saugatuck for 14 years before that.  We screened a ton of amazing films & the weather was gorgeous & I got to meet a lot of new folks & reunite with some old friends.  Internationally acclaimed artist Ron English did our poster again this year

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and he even came early & painted this mural – IN A DAY.  That is my stepdad, Alvan Long, in the black get-up.

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Besides beaches & murals & movies – there were lots of parties & lotsa this kinda thing:

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As you might imagine, it takes a few days to recover from such debauchery – but recovered I am!  Sorta.  Still too lazy to get nuts in the kitchen but I made this soup today & it came together in about 20-30 minutes & tastes amazing!  EASY & healthy & vegan.  I used these products from Trader Joe’s:

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but you could use any vegan (or not) meatball or another grain – like barley or something.   So easy & flavorful – I hope you try it!

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Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup uncooked Israeli couscous

1/2 lb vegan meatballs

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 medium onion – minced

6 garlic cloves – minced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS mint – chopped (plus more as garnish)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp chili powder

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

NOTE – I tried the leftovers of this soup the next day & by day two – the spices seemed heavy-handed.  So – if you are going to eat this immediately – spice it up.  If you expect leftovers or intend to let it simmer long time – maybe reduce the spices by half and season it more (if it needs it) before serving.

Despite the photos above – keep your vegan meatballs OUT until the end to prevent them from falling apart.

Cook your couscous according to the package & set aside.  This should take 15 minutes.

Meanwhile – heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat & saute the onion (not the garlic) with the dry spices until the onion softens – a few minutes.  Add the garlic for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & add the couscous & meatballs.  Season with S&P – add some mint – and you are pretty much good to go.  The longer it gets to simmer – the better the flavors meld but be careful not to break up your meatballs.  If it gets too thick – add water.

Serve with more chopped mint & slurp it up!

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Spicy Chili Chocolate Cake & Fine Dining in Montecito, California

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – I will apologize up front for the lame photos of the chili chocolate cake.  I hope the photos of my Montecito trip make up for it a tiny bit.

This chili chocolate cake is just stupid easy & really dense – like a flourless cake – despite the fact that it is flour-based.  I stole the recipe from Bake-aholic.com (their version & photo below)

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and just used my Fireball frosting from the Fireball Whiskey Cupcakes I made the same day I made this cake.

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My cake seemed far more dense than their appears but it was rather yummy.

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Here is their recipe for

Chili & Chocolate Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk (you know I never plan ahead…1 T of vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup…add milk to the 1 cup mark.  let sit 5 minutes to curdle)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup hot hot water

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Spray a 13″x9″ baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, soda, cinnamon and cayenne (start with 1/4 tsp cayenne…you can adjust when the batter is all combined). Add in oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Stir gently. Add hot water. Pour into pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Frosting:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4-6 T milk

Beat butter until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually, add vanilla and cinnamon. Add milk and beat until you attain your desired consistency (I generally start with 4 T [1/4 cup] then add 1 T at a time).  Frost cooled cake. (This frosting is also delicious on graham crackers.)

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This weekend marked my second anniversary with the badass, Miles Miller.  I had an available dog sitter so we took the opportunity & escaped for a night to Montecito.  Montecito is the wealthy town just south of Santa Barbara.  I used to go there all the time & have a few favorite spots but I hadn’t been in over a decade – so – returning to those old favorite haunts had a distinct element of risk.  Not every restaurant can maintain its quality for twenty years.  Since I chose the destinations – all the responsibility was on my shoulders and I was a bit nervous.  But one place I was fairly certain would have maintained its allure is the Four Seasons Biltmore up there on the beach.  Unable to afford to actually stay there – I decided we could certainly afford to lunch there – so that was our first stop.

We sauntered into the hotel around noon & went to their restaurant there – Bella Vista.

“Are you joining us for brunch?”

I looked at Miles who shrugged and then answered, “I don’t see why not.”

But I could see why not.  I am not a brunch fan & I am especially not a brunch buffet fan.  Omelette bars & tables of pastries are of no interest to me – not to mention that most buffets are excessively littered with meat options.  Not only am I not a meat eater but, recently, I decided to stop eating seafood (because of the radiation they are finding in it from Fukishima – read HERE).  WTF else is there on a buffet for me?

But, we committed & I decided to make the best of it.  The bottomless champagne promised to take the edge off whatever disappointment lay ahead for me.  And look how pretty the joynt is.

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I tried to console myself with the thought that a high end buffet would, at least, have lots of options that would please my nearly purely carnivorous boyfriend.  I sipped champagne.  I looked around.  I thought, “This does not suck.”  Because it didn’t – no matter what I ended up eating.  And look at how cute Miles is!

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Then I wandered into the buffet room.  It was truly a wonderland of options.  The Biltmore does not fuck around & this buffet proved to be the finest I had ever seen.  Sure, there was bacon & sausage & homemade hash & rare lamb chops & prime rib & steak salad & chicken salad and, really, every meat option you can imagine and there was a wall lined with every variety of sweet thing on Earth.  There was the requisite omelette bar & the bagels & lox & all the other things you might expect.  Initially, I loaded a pile of mashed potatoes on my plate, still determined to go vegetarian – until I lifted the lid on the shrimp & grits.  Oh fuck.  I adore grits & radiation cancer or not – I was going to have some of that shrimpy goodness.  As I spooned a bit on my plate – I spied huge hunks of lobster in the grits, too.  It was about then that I apparently went into some kind of seafood-frenzy black-out.  Photos of my first plate reveal these selections:

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Mashed potatoes, seafood grits, CAVIAR (I could live on caviar) with all the traditional accoutrements, two oysters & a shrimp.

My return to the buffet resulted in this selection:

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That, if you cannot tell, is a small selection of sushi, a tiny piece of smoked salmon, oysters, a shrimp & a SCANDALOUS portion of caviar that, as you might observe, I tried to obscure beneath the little bowl of soy sauce & wasabi.  There are eight blini there so that gives you some idea of the greed I exhibited.  I could have just stood there at the buffet & smeared it all over my face as I scraped the entire quantity offered into my mouth with a cupped palm – whilst growling at anybody unwise enough to approach me.  But that seemed rather classless so I just took about an entire ounce of the black gold and the desired extras (egg & creme fraiche etc) and rejoined Miles at our table & grunted, “This does NOT SUCK” repeatedly as I swilled the free-flowing champagne & licked caviar from my fingers.

Sometimes I’m not safe in public.  God bless Miles for loving me.

Properly sated – we braced for the bill.  Miles guessed the cost would be high & guessed $50 each.  I feared it would be closer to $125 each.  Or more.  After all – there was BOTTOMLESS CAVIAR & the champagne was not sweet & gross and it, too, was bottomless.  I think Miles threw up in his mouth a bit when the bill turned out to be just under $200 with tip but I knew we had dodged a bullet.  And I still had caviar running down my chin like a goatee – so I was good with it all.

So – I dragged him across the street to the beach.  Here is a peek at that loveliness.

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So – we checked into the hotel – the Montecito Inn – and clicked on the fireplace.

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Ah, romance.  A bubble bath in the jacuzzi tub & a stint watching Crib’s Most Expensive Homes & it was time to get back to the eating & drinking.

A single cocktail next door at Lucky’s

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and it was time to go to one of my favorite restaurants anywhere – Pane e Vino.  The pressure was kind of off me by the time we got there because lunch had been such a success but I still sweated it out a bit until Miles declared his bolognese with spinach noodles to be delightful.  He hadn’t been as pleased with a similar dish the night before at LA’s Bottega Louie – so I really was worried.  My homemade pasta with mushrooms was insane.  Hard to photograph but not hard to shovel into my face.

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The ride back & forth, by the way, was provided by the AWESOME Uber service.  Uber is a car service that you summon with an app on your phone.  You simply provide a credit card to them when you sign up & all the fees & tips etc are handled that way.  No cash.  And the drivers (for UberX – the least expensive of their three car options) drive their own car.  Cheaper & easier than a taxi service & you can request a fare estimate before pulling the trigger & calling for an Uber pick up.  I recommend it VERY highly.  And here is a little discount for your first ride.

Use my Uber promo code, 4hmyy, and get $10 off your first Uber ride.

Before we went to bed, I received this pathetic image of my two sons – huddled in despair because of my absence.  They can really work up a pity party when they are motivated.  Silly kids.

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The next day before we headed home to reunited with the doggies – we stopped at Cava in Montecito.  It was a gorgeous day & we sat outside on the patio.  We nibbled on chips & salsa.

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Miles ordered a beer & fajitas.

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I got a huge portion of guacamole, a Bloody Mary & (back on the seafood wagon) – the chile relleno.

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All were delicious though the chile relleno, as you can see, was served as almost a soup.  I have never seen it served that way before but it was very tasty.

And that, as they say, was that.

Try both the Chili Chocolate cake & try Montecito when you can.  And save up for that GD brunch buffet.  You could not possibly regret it!

If Los Angeles is your destination – the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills has a great dining spot, too.  Culina!  Check out my CRAZY experience there – HERE.

Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I posted a pumpkin gnocchi in February with three different sauces.  Those gnocchi came out more dense than I liked.  These new guys are not dense at all – but I experimented with pan-frying them rather than boiling them & I am uncertain how I feel about the results.  Rather than caramelizing – as other bloggers said would happen – they sort of fried up like French fries – with the exterior sealed & the interior soft.  I am not sure if this is because I was pan-frying cheese gnocchi rather than a potato gnocchi – but they were tasty all the same.  I am just not sure if I think the additional calories involved are worth it.  I will boil some up soon & report back on how they stack up against the pan-fried.  Here is how they looked after frying & draining on a paper towel.

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This recipe makes about 6 servings of gnocchi but the tomato & basil sauce is only for two servings.  So – be prepared to freeze some for later use.  To do that, line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper & put the fresh gnocchi on it & freeze them like that.  Once the gnocchi are frozen solid, pick them off the cookie sheet & put them in individual zip lock bags in your freezer – each containing a single serving (or in larger quantity – as you desire).  To cook frozen gnocchi – put them in boiling water directly from the freezer & boil until they float to the top.  If you let them thaw first, they will become a gooey mess.

Gnocchi is pronounced “Nyawkki,” for those that are unsure.

 

Gnocchi can be rolled on one of these (inexpensive) little rollers

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for a result like this

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or just cut into cubes like this.

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If you are frying them, do not bother with the board rolling.  The frying will dissolve the grooves anyway.  Also – frying in clarified butter (or ghee) is better because it is harder to burn but regular butter will work.  HERE is how you clarify your own butter.

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Feel free to just boil them.  They are done when they float to the top.

You can do this will all goat cheese or all ricotta.  I just happened to have the ratio of cheeses I posted here.

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Pan-Fried Lemon, Goat Cheese & Ricotta Gnocchi with Tomato & Basil & Fresh Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS

For 6 servings of gnocchi

3/4 cup (5 oz) goat cheese

1 1/4 cups whole milk ricotta

1 1/2 cups flour

1 cup grated Parmesan

2 egg yolks

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tsp salt

If frying – you will need 4 TBS clarified butter (or regular butter) and 2 TBS olive oil

For 2 servings of tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

1 lb tomatoes – diced small (I used cherry & Roma)

olive oil

4 cloves garlic – minced

1 1/2 cups chopped basil

S&P to taste

Fresh mozzarella balls (in quantity you think suits 2 servings) – sliced

DIRECTIONS

For the gnocchi

Gently blend together the flour, goat cheese, ricotta, Parmesan, lemon zest & salt.  Add half the flour.  When well incorporated, lightly dust a counter with flour & transfer the dough there.  Add the rest of the flour & gently pinch it in.  Try not to over-knead or add too much flour.  You might need more or less flour depending on certain factors such as the size of the yolks & the wetness of the ricotta.

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When done and not still sticky – store in the fridge for at least an hour – covered in plastic wrap.

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When ready to make the gnocchi, take sections of dough & roll them out to 3/4 inch thick snakes.  I used my fingertip as a measuring device to cut the gnocchi into cubes.

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You can opt to roll them on a gnocchi board or not.

For the tomato & basil & mozzarella sauce

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a pan.  Add the minced garlic & saute 30 seconds.

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Add the diced tomatoes & bring to a boil.

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Reduce heat to low & add MOST the basil – reserving some for garnish.  Simmer for 15 minutes or so.  Add S&P & leave on a very low simmer.

To assemble

If boiling the gnocchi – boil them until they float.  Remove with a slotted spoon & add to the sauteing tomatoes.

If frying the gnocchi – heat the butter & oil in a pan & fry the gnocchi – shaking the pan and/or turning the gnocchi until browned on all sides.  They can then either be drained on paper towels & then added to the tomatoes or just added directly to the tomatoes.

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Raise the temperature on the tomatoes to a serving temperature.  Divide between to plates & garnish with the sliced fresh mozzarella, grated Parmesan & reserved chopped basil.

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