For those of you who don’t know The French Laundry is one of the most famous restaurants on the west coast of the United States. For those of you who do, I invite you to tell us all about your experience in the comments below.
I received the The French Laundry Cookbook as a gift and duly marked all the wondrous dishes that I’d love to make.
Then never made them.
I’d trot out the cookbook to make an appearance every now and then on my display stand in the dining room.
But still, the recipes were intimidating… OMG it’s Thomas Keller!!!
Well last week Maggie Mason sent out the challenge to pick three things off your life list and do them this month.
The first thing I did was adding to my Make 100 Wonderful Things category with this project.
The next thing I wanted to cross off my list was to make something out of my beloved FLC!
It wasn’t hard to choose. I’ve never made gnocchi before and I was sure the family would like it.
That and it was only 4 ingredients. Or, so I thought. But I’ll get to that later.
So, first I baked the potatoes. Yes! I can do this. I didn’t even mind the starch-glue bomb that went off all over my kitchen.
Next I made the dough, which was not as difficult as I thought it would be. So far so good.
When I went to shape the gnocchi I found that the technique instructed in the book did not work well for me so I did my own thing of: rolling the dough snake then cutting the pieces off then rolling the pieces into balls then forming the ridges with a fork.
The ones demonstrated in the FLC were small. Mine are more thumb sized. A main course sized portion, yeah, yeah that’s it!
Ok on to the rest…what you thought that was it? Nope there’s more.
Here’s my mise en place for the rest of the meal preparation
In addition to the gnocchi I was to poach some smoked salmon in milk at precisely 115 F degrees. I used my digital meat thermometer to keep watch on the temp.
I realized at the end that Chef Keller meant for me to use something more like lox type smoked salmon. Oops! I used the other kind. Oh well, I flaked my salmon into chunks for the plating.
The thing I love about cooking is that it’s not an exact science. If you don’t have or can’t get a certain ingredients you can make substitutions and it is just as tasty.
The other change I made to the recipe was the bitter greens salad for the top was replaced with Mache, a sweet delicate lettuce that I knew the kids would eat.
I attempted tomato diamonds too! So now I know how to make those.
The sauteing of the gnocchi went well and they had a lovely crispy crust on the outside.
Yay! And, might I add, Yum!
It was gone in no time, with a request that I make them again sometime!
So, That getting crossed off my life list. But more important I’m not intimidated by the recipes in the FLC anymore and I’m chuffed to try more.
I think Chef Keller would be pleased.
Next up, Saber open a champagne bottle. Stay tuned.