gnocchi a la parisienne

In a couple of weeks I will be starting a new job which promises to keep me quite busy and so I am now in a last-minute rush to try to get all caught up with my French Fridays with Dorie recipes. Today’s catch up recipe is Gnocchi a la Parisienne.

Dorie credits this recipe to her friend Paule Caillat, a delightful french woman who’s cooking course I have had the pleasure of attending. A cursory read of the recipe quickly reveals that this gnocchi is very different from its italian counterpart. Instead of potatoes the Parisians use pate a choux (the same stuff they use to make gougeres & eclairs), and instead of tomato sauce or pesto the Parisians use béchamel sauce and lots of cheese. I tell ya, it’s a wonder those Parisians can fit into their tiny little apartments.

Now, full disclosure, this is actually the second time that I have made this recipe. The first time was nothing short of disaster. My béchamel was way too thick and I couldn’t get it to mix in with the other ingredients. My gnocchi were too big and everything just seemed to dry out in the oven. It was neither pretty nor tasty.

This time around I wised up and first read through a few of my fellow FFwD blogs to see what tips I could glean.

  • Brilliant Tip # 1: Turns out that I was not the only one with béchamel issues. A few of my fellow cooks even went so far as to wonder if there was a typo in this recipe because the ratio of flour to butter seemed to be off. So this time around I reduced the flour from 6 to 4 tablespoons and my sauce came out perfectly. Still a little thicker than a standard béchamel, but the perfect consistency for this dish.
  • Brilliant Tip # 2: This one came from Karen over at Soup Addict and it just made the entire process SO much easier. Instead of trying to spoon the dough into balls (which was kind of time-consuming and not so pretty last time) you throw all the dough into a pastry bag, or even just a zip log bag with a corner cut off, and then use your scissors to squeeze & cut the dough right into the boiling water. Brilliant!

And since Dorie specifically states that this is not a recipe which keeps, we invited some friends over to share the calories and help prevent leftovers. In fact, it turned out to be a Dorie dinner, with Bistro Paul Bert Pepper Steak as the main and Garlicky Crumb-Coated Broccoli rounding out the meal.

So, how did our Parisienne Gnocchi 2.0 turn out? De-lish! This dish was so rich and creamy and cheesy and good. In fact, it reminded me just a bit of mac-n-cheese, but with the emphasis more on creamy than cheesy. This is not a dish one needs to eat very often, but I could absolutely see making it again as an indulgence for a special occasion. In fact, I could see this dish being right at home on a holiday laden dinner table.

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5 Responses to gnocchi a la parisienne

  1. dulceshome says:

    Your pictures and description make me want to have this again! I was totally fine with it leftover btw, but what a great menu for a dinner party! Looks delicious!!!

    So ambitious to get all caught up! Well done!

  2. Kudos for giving this a second chance! I was done after the first try.

  3. SoupAddict says:

    That looks delicious! Glad the tip was helpful. 🙂 Gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve thought about this dish, I might have to make it again before the winter ends. The gnocchi are so puffy and decadent!

  4. Ei says:

    You know, I’ve never even read through this recipe. Dorie’s other gnocchi recipe (made of ricotta cheese) enraged me so much when I made it, and was such a waste of time and HOURS of work, that I’ve blocked out the fact that I had a gnocchi recipe to catch up on. That looks pretty good, though. And it’s not made of flimsy ricotta, so that’s a step up. Maybe I’ll give it a shot. I’ll keep your tips in mind if/when I do!

  5. Krissy says:

    WOW! You made such a great meal and did so much catching up. I”m glad to be reminded about these dishes…we keep running forward with new recipes and I don’t make it back to use many that we enjoyed. You have reminded me that I wanted to make some of these again. Good luck on your new job.

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