A few weeks ago we made Parisian style gnocchi to serve with a steak dish. These are made from Pate Choux (cream puff or eclair style dough) that has been flavored with aromatic herbs and Parmesan cheese, then pushed through a pastry bag with a straight tip into boiling water, poached for about two minutes, cooled then sauteed. Served in this manner they are quite lovely and they make an unusual accompaniment to a grilled steak or hearty pork dish. They’re certainly much more interesting than any number of potato or rice dishes and one of the many reasons people dine at Stella’s Southern Bistro. So a few weeks back Jason had made a batch of these and they were flavored with truffle peelings and thyme. Sounds amazing, right? Well one of the other cooks had one in his hands and he looked at me. I think he was going to eat it cold, just to taste it but he tossed it in the fryer. It was pretty delicious and we agreed it had sort of a Chee-toh-ishness to it. So right away I started thinking about a cheddar cheese version and a few nights ago we did just that. You can find recipes to Parisian style gnocchi all over the internet, it’s hardly new but only found one link to deep-fried, pan-fried yes but not like this.
Start with Pate Choux. This is fairly easy to make but you’ll need a stout wooden spoon, trust me on this, don’t try this with a metal spoon or a rubber spatula. Since a lot of chefs will look at this recipe the quantities are large but fairly easy to scale down for home use. You’ll need a heavy duty stock pot with a long handle, a Kitchen-Aid style stand mixer with the paddle (works better than the dough hook), a large pastry bag with a straight tip and a pair of scissors. When it comes time to poach the gnocchi, you’ll also need an extra pair of hands. Here’s what you’ll need:
Three cups water
12 ounces whole butter
Two teaspoons salt
Four cups sifted, all-purpose flour
One teaspoon powdered vinegar
Two tablespoons Dijon mustard
Four tablespoons finely chopped chives
Four tablespoons finely chopped parsley
One teaspoon fresh black pepper
Two cups grated Cheddar cheese
Powdered vinegar is exactly what it sounds like, chefs can order this through a food supplier but sadly I’ve never seen this in even the fanciest of grocery stores. Try a few dashes of red wine vinegar. After making this I would love to see your own photos or comments, especially from chefs Jacquelyn Brassell, Art Smith and Andre Carthen.