October 14, 2013

Oatmeal Gnocchi

Welcome back! I know it's been a while since the last post, but I assure you that this post here will make up for it!

What you are looking at is as simple as the title states. Oatmeal prepared in the fashion of gnocchi. Now, before you completely freak out, let me address a few questions you are probably asking yourself right now.

1. What the fuck is Oatmeal Gnocchi? Be patient and I will show you.

2. Are you fucking kidding me? No, I am not.

3. What in the hell would possess you to make Oatmeal Gnocchi? The simple answer is David Chang. The longer answer is I wanted to play with oatmeal.

Question 3 was actually asked to me by a coworker when I told her that I made this. I won't say her name, but I loved how blunt she was about it. :)

In all honesty, turning oatmeal into gnocchi wasn't my initial goal. My goal was to simply play around with an ingredient that was inexpensive and had sort of a bad reputation. If you think about it, most people only see oats in a couple forms, as either a porridge or in cookie form. But how could something so good be held down to just two ways of preparation? It was that line of thinking that had my mind racing in trying to figure out other ways to use oatmeal.

For some reason, I had it in my head to start with using fully cooked oatmeal. And when I say fully cooked, I mean FULLY FUCKING COOKED AND SEASONED, with butter, brown sugar, and all that good shit!

After cooking the oatmeal, I poured it into the food processor and blended the hell out of it until it was as smooth as it could get.

Now, my first experiment was actually oatmeal pancakes. I used a 50/50 ratio of the blended oatmeal and pancake batter. 

The pancakes came out ok at best. You could get the flavor of the oatmeal, but they were a little on the dense side. Here is a pic of the pancakes:

After remembering how David Chang turned ramen into gnocchi, I figured I could give it a try. I started with roughly 1 cup of the cooked oatmeal. I added 2 egg yolks and approximately 1/4 cup flour and mixed until combined. The amount of the flour may vary. I kept adding flour until the mix turned into a goopy-like state. In other words, it should be thick enough to slowly fall off a wooden spoon, like GOOP!

The amount of flour in the picture above is not 1/4 cup. I added more flour after this pic.

Once combined, I placed the mix in a zip lock bag and let it chill in the fridge for a half hour. When the mix had cooled, I heated a pot of water to a simmer. I then cut off a corner of the zip lock bag and piped in the mix. I used a butter knife to cut the mix into small pieces as it was going into the water.

From here, I cooked the oatmeal like gnocchi. Once they started to float, I cooked them for another 30 seconds and then removed them from the water. I placed the poached gnocchi in a pan with a little vegetable oil to prevent them from sticking.

At this point, I got a saute pan to medium heat. I added a little vegetable oil to the pan and dropped in some of the gnocchi. Once in the pan, I didn't move them around much, to let them develop some color and crunch.

At this point, when the gnocchi were almost done, I dropped in a little butter and brown sugar to give the gnocchi some added sweetness. When all the gnocchi had a nice, sticky glaze, I turned off the heat and removed them from the pan.

I didn't have any crazy ideas for a plate-up, so I just kept things simple. I piled them in the center of plate and drizzled some maple syrup around it. DONE.

There was something really cool about this oatmeal gnocchi. I first tasted them right after I removed them from the pan. They were sticky and sweet, with that tender texture of oatmeal that we all know. Then, as it cooled down, something happened. That sticky and sweet outside began to harden, and created this crispy shell around each gnocchi. They were a little reminiscent of mini french toast sticks, except they were oatmeal. It was really delicious!

Since I still had some gnocchi left over, I figured I would try it without the brown sugar glaze. So, I sauteed the gnocchi on both sides and left it at that. I brushed some blueberry syrup on the plate first. I dusted the gnocchi with powdered sugar on a separate plate before placing them on the plate with the syrup. And that was that.

One more picture, for the road.

Without the brown sugar glaze, they didn't have as much sweetness or the crunchy shell. But, it still had some crunch on each side from the saute. Personally, I liked this approach a little better. I was able to control how much sweetness I wanted with my oatmeal gnocchi. While the stripe on the plate may look nice, I still had a shot glass of syrup on the side to dip my gnocchi in to.

Overall, I felt this oatmeal experiment was a success. I remember telling a coworker that this is the kind of meal you make someone when you are trying to get laid.  It can look beautiful and taste delicious, all the while being cheap and easy to make. Guys, this is the post you want to bookmark!

That's it for this one. I hope you enjoyed it and will give this one a try. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to drop a line at the bottom of the page.

Take care!