Monday, July 08, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...

Last Friday, some friends and I decided to head north for a tour I might call, "You Show Me Yours and I'll Show You Mine: Sharing Our Favorite Places in Montreal." We visited the Dix-30 Quarter for some shopping and several bakeries (as I am still in pursuit of the most perfect croissant in the city). But two stops on our itinerary really stood out.

One was the Patisserie Au Kouign Amann. Their namesake pastry, from Brittany, is this absolutely decadent, flaky, layered confection which seems to be comprised entirely of butter and sugar. It is so sublime, that my friend, Martie, bought a piece, walked out to the sidewalk, took a bite, then walked right back and bought a whole one to take home to her family (or so she claimed)! I don't blame her. This is a must-try experience if you are ever in Montreal.

But the highlight of my day was visiting an Italian grocery called Milano's in Petite Italie near Jean-Talon Market. They have everything Italian that you can think of there, included a fabulous deli counter (imported meats and cheeses and a million kinds of olives), a dizzying selection of dried pastas, and a whole section of the store devoted solely to olive oils (pictured, right)! But one of the most wonderful things about Milano's is the fresh pasta counter. I would love to try them all, but I ended up choosing some lovely potato gnocchi to take home. And I was NOT disappointed!

For dinner last night, I created a dish with spicy sausage, Baby Bella mushrooms, and sweet corn in a roasted yellow pepper cream sauce with fresh herbs and those light-as-a-feather gnocchi that I bought. JUST AMAZING!

Potato Gnocchi with Spicy Sausage, Mushrooms, and Fresh Corn in a Roasted Yellow Pepper Cream Sauce with Fresh Herbs

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casings removed
8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1 ear of corn, steamed for five minutes in the microwave, husks removed, kernels cut from cob
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1 jar roasted yellow peppers (12 oz.), drained and pureed in a food processor
1 cup cream or half-n-half
1 lb. fresh gnocchi
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, parsley, basil--whatever you fancy)
grated parmesan to garnish
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the olive oil and butter and saute the diced onion, Italian sausage, and sliced mushrooms until the veggies are tender and the meat is no longer pink. Add in the steamed corn kernels, garlic, and black pepper, and cook for another minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and white wine, cooking and stirring until the liquid has mostly been absorbed. Stir in the pureed peppers and the cream, reduce to very low heat, and let it reduce while you prepare the gnocchi.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook about half of the gnocchi at a time for about two minutes, until they float to the top. Skim with a strainer and add to the sauce. When the gnocchi are all cooked and added to the sauce, toss in the fresh herbs. Serve with a garnish of grated parmesan.

1 comment:

Thanh said...

This is gorgeous!