22 May 2010

5/22 Chef in the Market Demo: Amelia Hard and Allison Bader, In Good Taste

May 22, 2010 Chef in the Market demonstration by:

Amelia Hard and Allsion Bader, In Good Taste


Gnudi- Gnocchi Made with Ricotta and Greens

Crèpes with Strawberries and Crème Fraîche

Gnudi- Gnocchi Made with Ricotta and Greens

“Gnudi” are so called because one of the traditional stuffings for ravioli is a mixture of ricotta and greens – without the pasta envelope, the mixture is “nude.” These are easy to make, delicious, and a wonderful way to make use of the great fresh ricotta, seasonal greens, grating cheese, and eggs sold at the Portland Farmers Market. Choose greens that have relatively tender leaves, not the tougher kales and collards.


1½ pounds fresh seasonal greens (preferably a mixture of spinach, chard, mustard greens, etc.)

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup very finely chopped onion (or a mixture of onion and green garlic)

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1½ cups fresh ricotta (use one from the Farmers Market without added gums or other stabilizers)

¾ cup freshly grated Juniper Grove Redmondo or Parmigiano Reggiano

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 large egg yolk

freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

½ cup freshly grated Juniper Grove Redmondo or Parmigiano Reggiano

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you can’t find ricotta at the Farmers Market and are using ricotta that contains stabilizers (gums), you will need to drain it In the refrigerator, place it in a fine sieve or in a cheesecloth-lined coarse sieve, place a weight on it, and let it drain for 24 hours before proceeding with the recipe.


  • Remove the stems and tough central ribs from the greens and rinse them well.
  • Without drying them, place them in a saucepan, turn up the heat to medium, and steam, turning frequently with tongs, until all the leaves have wilted down.
  • Remove from the heat and let cool enough to handle comfortably. Squeeze in handfuls to get out as much water as possible, then chop as finely as you can.
  • Place 3 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium heat, and add the onions.
  • Sauté until the onions are translucent but not browned.
  • Add the chopped wilted greens, season lightly with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, turn up the heat, and sauté until the greens are completely dry.
  • Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  • When the greens mixture is cool, stir in the ricotta, grated cheese, eggs, and egg yolk.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  • When well-blended, gently but thoroughly stir in the flour, then taste again for seasoning. The mixture should be highly seasoned.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  • Set out two baking sheets, one lined with paper towels; set a skimmer or slotted spoon nearby.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  • Meanwhile, form the dough into walnut-size balls and place them on the unlined baking sheet.
  • When the water is boiling, add enough salt so that you can taste it, then add about a quarter of the gnudi to the boiling water.
  • Stir gently once or twice to make sure that they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. As the gnudi finish cooking, they will rise to the surface.
  • Lift them out with the skimmer or slotted spoon and place them on the paper towels to drain. Cook the rest of the gnudi in the same manner.
  • Brush some of the melted butter on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold all the gnudi in one layer.
  • Place the drained gnudi in the baking dish, drizzle them with the remaining melted butter, and sprinkle with the grated cheese. (At this point, the gnudi can be refrigerated again and held for up to 24 hours before final baking.)
  • When you are within half an hour of serving the gnudi, heat the oven to 400°.
  • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake the gnudi until the cheese on top is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
  • Serve piping hot on warmed plates.

Crèpes with Strawberries and Crème Fraîche

Makes about 20 six-inch crèpes

This is Julia Child’s no-fail crèpe recipe, made in a blender. Be sure to add the ingredients to the blender jar in the exact order called for!


1 cup cold water

1 cup cold milk (whole milk or 2%)

4 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

canola oil

1 quart fresh Oregon strawberries

2 cups crème fraîche

1/4 cup superfine sugar

confectioners’ sugar for garnish


  • Put the water, milk, eggs, and salt into the jar of a blender. Add the flour, then the melted butter. Cover and blend at top speed for a full minute (use a timer!).
  • If bits of flour adhere to the sides of the jar, dislodge them with a rubber scraper and blend for a few seconds more.
  • Pour into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

NOTE: The batter should be the texture of light cream, just thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. If, after making your first crèpe, it seems too heavy, beat in a little water, a spoonful at a time. Your cooked crèpe should be about 1/16 inch thick.

  • Making the crèpes: The first crèpe is a trial one to test out the consistency of your batter, the exact amount you need for the pan, and the heat.
  • Put the crèpe batter in a large measuring cup or a pitcher with a pouring lip.
  • Choose a crèpe pan or small nonstick skillet with a 6” to 7” bottom diameter, and brush it lightly with canola oil.
  • Set it over medium high heat until the oil is almost smoking.
  • Immediately remove it from the heat and, holding the pan in your dominant hand, pour with your other hand enough batter to barely cover the bottom of the pan, quickly tilting the pan in all directions to run the batter evenly to the edges of the pan in a thin film. This whole operation should take no more than 2 or 3 seconds.
  • Return the pan to the heat for a minute or two. Then carefully lift one edge of the crèpe with a spatula or with your fingers, and if the underside is a nice light brown, turn the crèpe with the spatula or with your fingers.
  • Brown the underside of the crèpe lightly for about 30 seconds; it won’t get more than a spotty brown and will be the inside of the filled crèpe.
  • Slide the cooked crèpe onto a plate and continue cooking the remainder of the batter.
  • If you’re not serving the crèpes immediately, separate them with plastic wrap, cover the stack, and refrigerate them for up to 24 hours.
  • Up to 90 minutes before serving, rinse, core, and slice the strawberries.
  • Mix the crème fraîche and sugar.
  • Lay out one crèpe with the spotty underside facing up. Spread about 1½ tablespoons of the sweetened crème fraìche on the top half, then place a scant quarter cup of sliced strawberries over the crème fraìche and roll the crèpe around the berries. (Roll from the top down, enclosing the berries first.)
  • Repeat with the remaining crèpes.
  • Place on plates. (At this point, the crèpes may be held for 1 hour before serving.)
  • Just before serving, garnish with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar shaken through a fine sieve.