Pan-Fried Plantain Gnocchi with Crème Fraiche and Bacon Crumbs

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I wanted to try and make plantain gnocchi for a while now.  But the last time I got plantains; I ended up frying them and eating them with rice and fried eggs. One of those things I used to love eating growing up. It is simple and delicious.

I served these gnocchi with a very simple sauce made with crème fraiche, shallots and garlic, and topped it off with some bacon crumbs and a few thyme leaves.  This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the Gnocchi:

3 ripe plantains

40gr of Parmesan cheese

1 egg

½ teaspoon of salt

1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

200gr crème fraiche

Salt

Pepper

For the bacon crumbs:

5 slices of crispy bacon

Butter and olive oil to pan-fry the gnocchi

A few fresh thyme leaves (optional), to decorate

 

To make the bacon crumbs, just fry the bacon in a pan until crispy. Then place the bacon on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb most of the fat. Then put the bacon in a food processor and pulse until you get crumbs. Set aside.

Put the unpeeled plantains in an oven tray and bake for 30 minutes at 180C/350F.  Allow to cool down. Then peel them and cut each plantain into 4 pieces and remove the seeds using a knife.  Once all the seeds have been removed, chop them and put them in the food processor and pulse until you get a smooth puree.

Put the plantain puree in a large bowl; add the Parmesan, egg and salt. Mix well with a fork.  Then slowly add the flour.

Once all the flour is incorporated, Place 1/6 of the dough on a floured surface and start rolling it as if it were a long snake. Then cut it into small pieces of about 2cm/1inch. Roll them in the palm of your hands to give them more shape. They don’t have to be perfect.  Put the finished gnocchi aside and continue with the rest of the dough.

Once all of the gnocchi is done, drop them into a large pot of boiling salted water. When they start floating around in the top, give them an extra minute and then drain them using a colander.

To make the sauce, heat up the olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Then add the crème fraiche and cook for another minute stirring. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Going back to the gnocchi, you’ll have to pan-fry them in batches.  In order to get a nice even golden color you can’t to overcrowd the pan.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick pan, over medium heat. Add about ½ of the boiled gnocchi and fry them until they have a light brown crust on both sides.  Then remove from the heat and repeat for the remaining gnocchi.

To plate the gnocchi, place a bit of the crème fraiche sauce on a plate. Then add the gnocchi and top with some of the bacon crumbs and a few thyme leaves.

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Pan-fried Ricotta and Chive Gnocchi

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Pan-fried gnocchi is my favorite kind.  They are soft little morsels with a buttery crust. This recipe serves 3. You can serve it as a main course, but it would also go very well as a side dish to a good steak. If you like pan-fried gnocchi, you can check out this recipe for Butternut squash gnocchi with sage butter, which is still my favorite so far.

Ingredients:

500gr russet potatoes (or kruimige aardappels as they are called here)

250gr ricotta

2 eggs

1/3 cup of chives, chopped (plus a bit more for garnish)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish)

1 ½ cups flour plus extra for rolling

6 tablespoons of butter

6 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Pepper

 

Boil the potatoes until they are completely cooked through, the time will depend on the sizes of the potatoes so try to get them all about the same size.  Drain them and allow to cool down.

Once the potatoes have cooled down, remove the skin and mash them in a large bowl. Make sure there are not any lumps. You want them to be as smooth as possible. Add the eggs and mix well. Then stir in the ricotta, Parmesan and chives. Add the flour and stir in until it is completely incorporated.

Sprinkle some flour on a smooth surface, grab 1/6 of the dough and start rolling it as if you are forming a large snake. Cut it into small pieces of about 2cm/1inch. Roll them in the palm of your hand to give them more shape. They don’t have to be perfect. If you want them to look a bit fancy you can also roll them on the back of a fork. Put the finished gnocchi aside and continue with the rest of the dough until it is all done.

Once all the gnocchi is done. Drop them into a large pot of boiling salted water.  When they start floating around in the top, give them 2 extra minutes and then drain them using a colandar.

You’ll have to pan-fry them in 2 batches.  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick pan, over medium-high heat. Add half of the gnocchi and fry them until they have a light brown crust. Then remove from the heat and repeat for the second batch. Once all the gnocchi are ready, divide them into 3 plates.

In the same pan, add the last 2 tablespoons of butter with olive oil. Cook until the butter has melted. Spoon the melted butter mixture over the served gnocchi. You will hear it sizzle. Sprinkle some Parmesan, chives, salt and pepper.