Chef Gide Merriman, Executive Chef at Café SelMarie

Café SelMarie

4729 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60625

http://www.cafeselmarie.com

Event:

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Restaurant Week

Sunday, February 27th through Friday, March 4th

https://www.lincolnsquare.org/lsr-restaurant-week

http://www.lincolnsquare.org

Recipe:

Parisian Gnocchi with Boursin Béchamel (Serves 6)

Ingredients

Gnocchi

-1/2 cup kosher salt (for blanching water)

-3 cups water

-1/3 cups unsalted butter

-1 bunch Italian parsley, finely diced (reserve 1 tablespoon for garnish)

-4 cups all-purpose flour

-6 large farm eggs

-3 teaspoons kosher salt

Boursin Béchamel

-2 quarts whole milk

-1/2 pound unsalted butter

-2 cups all-purpose flour

-5.2-oz. wheel of Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs cheese

-1/2 cup whole crushed peeled garlic cloves (about 10 cloves)

-1 bunch fresh thyme

-1 teaspoon herbs de Provence seasoning

-1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

-4 bay leaves

-3 teaspoons kosher salt

Roasted Mushrooms

-8 oz. whole cremini mushrooms

-4 sprigs fresh thyme

-4 peeled garlic cloves, crushed

-2 oz. canola oil

-Salt and black pepper (to taste)

Roasted Kale

Ingredients

-2 heads fresh kale

-2 oz. canola oil

-Salt and black pepper (to taste)

Cherry Tomatoes

-8 oz. cherry tomatoes

Finishing and Plating the Boursin Gnocchi

-1/2 cup canola oil

-4 tablespoons butter

-Kosher salt to taste

-Reserved parsley for garnish

Equipment

Gnocchi

-Plastic piping bags (one 21-inch bag or two or more smaller bags)

-Butcher’s twine

-Kitchen scissors

-6-quart sauce pot for blanching gnocchi

-6-quart sauce pot for preparing gnocchi dough

-Kitchen Aid mixer with paddle attachment

-A pot or container that is roughly the same height as the 6-quart sauce pot (this will be inverted and used as your arm rest when piping)

-Flat palette knife or butter knife

-Spatula

-Slotted spoon

-Two half-sheet baking pans 

-Parchment paper

Boursin Béchamel

-Approximately 12” x 12” piece of cheesecloth

-Butcher’s twine

-4-quart sauce pot

-2-quart sauce pot

-6-quart sauce pot

-Chinois or mesh strainer

-2 oz. ladle

-Whisk

Roasted Mushrooms

-Chef’s knife

-Mixing bowl

-Two half-sheet baking pans

Roasted Kale

-Chef’s knife

-Mixing bowl

-Two half-sheet baking pans

Cherry Tomatoes

-Chef’s knife

Finishing and Plating the Gnocchi with Boursin Béchamel

-4 large sauté pans

-6 large pasta bowls for serving

-Large spoon for serving

Process

To Make the Gnocchi

  1. Fill 6-quart sauce pot with water and ½ cup kosher salt; heat on medium-high and keep just below boiling.
  2. In the other 6-quart sauce pot, make the gnocchi dough by heating 3 cups water, butter, and 3 teaspoons salt on high heat.
  3. When the mixture reaches a boil and the butter is fully melted, quickly add the flour and parsley, and stir vigorously with a spatula until incorporated.
  4. Transfer the dough to the Kitchen Aid mixer with a paddle attachment and mix to fully incorporate the flour into the dough.
  5. Slowly add the eggs to the dough one by one, waiting until each one becomes incorporated before adding the next.
  6. Transfer the dough into piping bag(s) and tie the open ends very tightly with butcher’s twine. With scissors, cut the tips of the piping bags to the desired thickness of the gnocchi (about ½ an inch).
  7. Invert the container that is the same size as your blanching pot, and set it directly next to the blanching pot. Line your sheet tray with parchment paper and place it within reach.
  8. To pipe the gnocchi dough: place the piping bag on top of the inverted pot and apply pressure to the wide end of the bag with your elbow or hand, squeezing dough through the tip of the bag. With the palette knife, use your other hand to slice the dough into ¾ inch cylinders as the dough falls into the water.
  9. When the gnocchi are fully cooked, they will rise to the top of the blanching pot—it only takes a minute or two. Use a slotted spoon to remove the gnocchi and place them in a single layer on the parchment paper.
  10. If you plan to sauté them now, make sure they are dry before you add them to the sauté pan (moisture from the blanching water will prevent them from getting nicely browned)
  11. If you are not using immediately, refrigerate until fully cool. The gnocchi can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days.

To Make the Boursin Béchamel

  1. Open the cheesecloth and place the garlic, bay leaves, black peppercorns, thyme, and herbs de Provence in the center. Fold the top and bottom of the cheesecloth towards the center, and roll the cheesecloth into a bundle. Tie securely with butcher’s twine to create a sachet.
  2. In 4-quart sauce pot, heat the sachet, milk, and salt on low heat for 20 minutes in order to “steep” the sachet.
  3. While your sachet is steeping, melt the butter in 2-quart sauce pot over medium heat. Once butter is fully melted, add the flour and stir frequently for 5 minutes to create a roux.
  4. Remove the sachet from the milk. Keeping the milk on low heat, slowly incorporate the roux into the milk, whisking constantly.
  5. Once the roux is fully incorporated and the sauce has thickened, remove from heat and strain it through a chinois or mesh strainer into a 6-quart sauce pot, using a ladle to push the mixture through. Without returning to heat, add the whole wheel of Boursin cheese to the warm béchamel and whisk until fully incorporated.

To Make the Roasted Mushrooms

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Slice the mushrooms in half or in quarters, depending on size. Place in the mixing bowl with the thyme, garlic, canola oil, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. Pour the mushroom mixture onto baking pans in a single layer and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool on baking pans.
  4. Once cool, remove the thyme and garlic and discard, and reserve the mushrooms.

To Make the Roasted Kale

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a chef’s knife, remove the ribs from each leaf of kale. Cut the leaves into a ½-inch dice.
  3. Place diced kale in a mixing bowl and add the canola oil, salt and pepper. Toss to coat and place in an even layer on baking pans.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until the kale is crispy, and reserve.

To Prep the Cherry Tomatoes

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and reserve.

Finishing and Plating the Gnocchi with Boursin Béchamel

  1. Heat the sauté pans over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil.
  2. Once the canola oil reaches its smoking point, add the gnocchi, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Sauté and toss until the gnocchi is golden brown. Add the butter and the kale and toss until the butter is melted.
  4. Remove sauté pans from heat and add the Boursin béchamel sauce evenly to each sauté pan.  Toss until fully coated.
  5. Using a large spoon, carefully transfer the finished gnocchi to the 6 serving bowls and garnish with reserved parsley. Bon appetit!