This is good! Simple and delicious! The gnocchi was quite easy to make. I formed the little dumplings using the homemade pastry bag method.......a ziploc bag! It is definitely worth the extra step of folding in a whipped egg white for lightness and fluff. Its important to not overcook the gnocchi! They loose their shape and texture; a minute after they come to the top of the boiling water is plenty. I learned this the hard way.
I used the cheese I had on hand which is some no longer identifiable hard white cheese and gruyere. Dorie's recipe called for 2 tablespoons of butter dotted over the top which I omitted; not by choice I just forgot it and it was fine. This is a very rich dish and holds its own without the addition of more butter.
The bechamel! I was happy to learn on the french friday website that I wasn't the only one having trouble with the sauce. The roux was way too tight and I knew it would not make a creamy sauce but followed the recipe anyhow. I ended up quite irritated......ranting and raving while I waved my wooden spoon. My husband walked in on this scene, poured me a glass of wine and exited!
All was well with the addition of more liquid and straining the sauce but I was annoyed at myself for not trusting my experience and knowledge and blindly following a recipe that was not working for me! When it was put together and safely in the oven I pulled out my Larousse. I learned the classic assumption of equal parts butter and flour for making a bechamel means equal by weight. 40 grams of butter and 40 grams of flour for 17 ounces of liquid. In my kitchen that means 3 tablespoons of butter and just over 5 tablespoons of flour to 2 cups liquid. Weights are much more accurate and I hope some day recipes will get away from cups and spoons.
We shared our dinner with a good friend and it was agreed this is a keeper! Add a crisp green salad dressed with a tart vinaigrette and we had a fabulous meal.
Check out the experiences of all the french friday cooks at www.frenchfridayswithdorie.com/?p=491 Next week its chocolate cake!!!