I know – a little ridiculous, isn’t it? Lobster? Me? On a Tuesday of no real consequence? I don’t think I’ve ever bought and cooked a lobster tail before, but found myself picking up a frozen one yesterday in order to address the issue of a glut of last year’s frozen lobster in the Maritimes (which doesn’t seem to be affecting prices on the prairies at all) on the show this morning. Marketers are calling it the new bologna. (Which, I can’t resist saying, is baloney. Bologna is selling for $2-$4 per pound, lobster is still around $30+ for the frozen stuff.)
If a couple weeks ago I went through a cake phase, I’m now tripping through a sort of dumpling phase; these food themes seem to come out of nowhere. I never plan them; if I do, they hardly ever pan out.
This week I have made peroghies, two kinds of ravioli, pork wontons, spinach pasta (I suppose that doesn’t technically count, although it was doughy) and sourdough dumplings. Am I missing something? Oh yes, my waist. Not that I had one before.
To top it off, this morning I made lobster gnocchi. Or rather I made the actual gnocchi last night, in between shifts searching in the cold, windy dark for a lost dog. I mixed the dough, rolled it into ropes, cut and rolled the pieces on the tines of a fork while talking on the phone (to a friend who kindly went out in search of said dog. No, it wasn’t Lou – have I mentioned I’m dogsitting, and currently have three in my charge? Does inhaled dog hair count as fiber intake?) It is due to this circumstance I can attest making gnocchi by hand is neither time consuming nor requires a particular degree of focus. The idea came from one of my favourite dishes at Brava Bistro. You can find the recipe on their website, but it was altogether too complicated for my level of motivation. I decided to dumb it down a little, and wing it.
I was going to make ricotta gnocchi, but the ricotta was used up in that lasagna, so I ended up throwing a few russet potatoes into the oven to make plain old potato gnocchi instead. I thought I was settling. I was not.
My biggest problem with gnocchi has always been that it’s just a little too much – too heavy, too gummy. Something I can’t eat an entire bowl of, even when I have no problem downing that much pasta. It just tends to sit in a lump in my stomach. But these were ethereal little dumplings, even eaten plain, straight out of the pot. They were even better tossed with melted butter, which is how W ate his. (After much protest, let me tell you.) But with the lobster stock, simmered down a bit and whizzed with butter? There are no words.
Seriously, I thought this would be a nice sort of thing to make for a special occasion. And it would, but it isn’t nearly as fussy as I imagined it would be.
Have I expressed strongly enough how excited I am to be sharing my starter with you? And that no one (who identified themselves, anyway) thought I was crazy? I am frantically cutting and feeding bits of it in jars that are quickly taking over my fridge like a giant science experiment. I will come up with the logistics of distribution (and try drying some) soon!
One Year Ago: Homemade Mozzarella