Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The French Laundry Warm Smoked Salmon with Potato Gnocchi

This recipe is a two day-er. I started yesterday with chicken stock and chive oil. Then I wrapped it up today in the following steps. First the Gnocchi: Bake some poatatoes and when done, scoop out the flesh and put it through a food mill or potato ricer. While hot, add flour, egg yolks and some more flour.  Then you use a bench scraper to "chop" this mixture together. This has to be done quickly and without burning your fingers off.

Once the dough comes together you pinch off a piece and roll it into a 1/2 in diameter snake.

You cut pieces off and then roll them on the back of a fork to make little grooves. Sadly, my gnocchi were decidedly un-groovy, but don't tell them because they were feeling pretty good about themselves. I couldn't get the hang of the groove thing, the gnocchi kept coming apart.

You place the little dumplings into boiling salted water until they float (about 2 minutes) and then remove them to a towel to dry. We held some out for tonight's recipe and froze the rest.

The next step is to prepare the brunoise. I didn't feel like getting the V-slicer out so I did it by hand and thus, my pieces are probably slightly larger than 1/16th cube but hey... close enough for a home cook. This mixture consisted of turnip, carrot and the green part of leeks.
These are blanched in boiling salted water for just a minute or so and then set in an ice bath to stop the cooking. These will be added to the pan that the gnocchi brown in along with some tomato diamonds, (mine looked more like triangles) and some finely minced chives. In getting ready to cook, I gathered together my arugula and minced shallot and dressed it with lemon oil. I got ready the chicken stock, a dash of white wine vinegar and some butter to make the gnocchi sauce. On to the final steps of cooking and plating.

You heat up a little canola oil in a pan leaving just enough to coat the pan and toss in the gnocchi which cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Add to the pan some chicken stock, a splash of white wine vinegar and some butter and cook until it is a sauce consistency. Then add the brunoise, tomatos, and chives, until heated through, then remove from the heat. Meanwhile you heat some milk to 115-117 degrees and add your salmon for just long enough to warm it.  Around 5 minutes.

To plate, start with the gnocchi mixture and place the salmon on top. Then add your arugula on top of the salmon. Garnish with a ring of chive oil and afew dots of balsamic glaze.

Jim said the milk bath removed some the fishiness and saltiness of the salmon, it added a touch of sweetness as well. All in all he said the textures and flavors worked well together. I had a small plate of gnocchi and loved it. The splash of vinegar was just great and jazzed it up.

So there you have it!  The French Laundry Warm Applewood Smoked Salmon with Potato Gnocchi and Balsamic Glaze.  Whew! 

See you soon.

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