Executive Chef David Frakes' goat cheese gnocchi are easy and fun to prepare. They can be made and frozen days or even weeks ahead of time—making this dish a great choice for weeknight dinners and impromptu holiday get-togethers. Rich and satisfying, it makes an outstanding main course and can also do wonders to dress up simple meals like steak, pork tenderloin, or roasted chicken. Make sure to pair with a winery favorite.
Shiitake, button, or crimini mushrooms can easily be substituted if chanterelles are not available or outside your budget.
Roast garlic: Preheat oven to 325º. Place peeled garlic cloves in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes—until cloves can be easily pierced with a knife. Transfer to a small baking dish, cover generously with olive oil, and roast for 20-25 minutes, until caramelized. Roasted garlic can be prepared ahead of time, covered in olive oil and stored in a sealed container in a refrigerator until needed.
Crispy sage leaves: Select 12 nice-looking sage leaves. Lightly dust leaves with salted flour and shake off excess. Heat vegetable oil over high heat. Test readiness of oil first with a piece of bread or crouton; when the bread begins to sizzle around the edges, the oil is ready. Place sage leaves in oil a few at a time for about 30 seconds each, until bright green and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel until ready to use.
Mushrooms: In a roomy, very hot pan, saute mushrooms in oil and butter over high heat. Cook until soft and caramelized.
Make a well in center of mushrooms and add roasted garlic and parsley. Cook for another minute, then season to taste with coarse salt, freshly cracked pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.
To serve: Add gnocchi to boiling, salted water. Wait for gnocchi to rise to the top of the water—this indicates that they are done. Remove with slotted spoon, letting the spoon rest for a moment on a folded paper or cloth towel to drain off excess water. Add gnocchi to chanterelle mixture and toss to combine. Top with additional parmesan, manchego, or asiago and a couple of the crispy sage leaves.
Press cheese through a fine-meshed sieve or strainer. Stir in yolk with a wooden spoon.
Combine parmesan, flour, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. Use hands to carefully mix dry ingredients into cheese and egg mixture, making sure not to overwork. The finished loaf will most likely have small chunks of parmesan. This is okay. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes.
After dough has rested, cut a wedge of dough about ½-inch thick. Roll each of these pieces into a thin log about 10 inches long by ¼-inch thick.
Cut each log into 10 or more pieces. Roll one side of each piece gently off the back of a fork to form grooves.
Freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet to insure that gnocchi won't stick to each other. Even if cooking the same day, gnocchi will benefit from 30 minutes or so in the freezer. They can also be left in a sealed plastic bag and frozen for up to 3 months.
Approximately 6 servings of 16 pieces each
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