The Kid Demanded Gnocchi

It’s been a while since I posted here; two kids under the age of four really can suck your free time. (Publishers note, I post just about every day on Instagram).

Anyway, for the past couple of days, the original rugrat has been demanding gnocchi for dinner; we figured tonight was a good time to oblige him.  I spent most of the day trying to figure out just what to do with the (gasp) store-bought gnocchi. On a slightly related front, a butternut squash had been on the counter for most of the week. Eventually, I realized the two could work together.

Here’s what I did.

I diced the squash very fine (so as the 11-month-old could eat it) and then roasted in the oven with a little EVOO, salt, pepper, red pepper flake and balsamic (400 degrees, 30ish minutes).

Then, sautee some pancetta for a minute or three. Add in some minced shallot (again for a few minutes), then toss the squash in for (again a few minutes). Season as you go (salt and pepper)

Next, the secret ingredient: Morels.  The insanely expensive mushrooms (almost always sold dried) add amazing flavor to any dish. (Semi) pro tip though: Don’t let the cost scare you off; buy quality over quantity.  You can fit 10 bucks of morels in the palm of your hand; you can 10 bucks baby bellas in a giant pot. The former is spectacular, the later is tasteless.

Ok, snobbish rant over. Toss in the morels, cook for 5ish minutes.  Add in a couple of cloves of garlic, and then toss in the cooked gnocchi along with a little pasta water and a dash of cream and some parsley for color.

Start to finish in about an hour,

Serve alongside red, and two screaming children for a lovely Saturday evening meal.

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons

Over the years, the wife’s go-to gift for me has been a cookbook. (She always seems to shoes and coffee from me). One of the best purchases has been the Chopped Cookbook, which, much like the show, offers creative ideas for things you almost certainly have in the house already. This one is a becoming a favorite; you can make it in a half hour. And our toddler loves it.

Take some chicken thighs, season them with salt, pepper, cinnamon and coriander. Brown them, about 3 min a side, then take them out. Throw some tomato paste in the pan, cook it for about a minute, then add the chicken back, with about a cup and a half of chicken stock, chickpeas, and some preserved lemons*. Let it simmer for about 15 min, then serve it over couscous with dates and cilantro.

*if you dont have preserved lemons, just take a regular lemon, slice it, then season with salt, pepper and sugar. Let them sit for about 15 min, the sear them for about 2 min a side to caramelize.

Try it out, and enjoy!