Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Creamy Cajun Gnocchi with Shrimp and Mushrooms

The first time I tasted gnocchi was while my husband and I were living in Germany in the early 90's, when he was serving with 3rd Infantry Division. We had driven to Austria for a ski weekend and ended up at an amazing restaurant for dinner where we had some mouthwatering gnocchi gorgonzola. It was simply delicious and I vowed to learn how to cook this new pasta-like discovery called gnocchi.

For this recipe, I decided to combine another culinary love, Cajun food, with my gnocchi addiction. I was inspired to use Slap Ya Mama seasoning to give a spicy cajun flavor to the gnocchi dish along with shrimp standing in for crayfish. The result was fantastic and my whole family said this was one dish they definitely wanted to help cook and will enjoy eating again.

Creamy Cajun Gnocchi with Shrimp and Mushrooms
by Lori

1 pound russet potatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg (beaten, using 3 Tablespoons)
2 Tablespoons bacon drippings
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 large clove garlic, pressed
2 1/2 Tablespoons Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Mix
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup 2% milk
1 large egg (beaten) for thickening
Salt and pepper to taste
20- 25 medium deveined shrimp
6 baby shitaki mushrooms coarse sliced
1 Tablespoon parsley (garnish)
Pecorino Romano (garnish)

Begin by baking potatoes (prick with fork and wrap in foil) in a 400°F degree oven for 60 minutes. Let potatoes cool, peel skins and put through a ricer into a medium bowl.

Add ground pepper and salt to riced potatoes, gently mix. Add sifted flour, 3 Tablespoons of beaten egg and mix until it comes together. Turn out on work surface and knead for 1-2 minutes until no longer flaky...not too much. Shape dough into a disc and cut into quarters. Roll each piece into a 1/2-inch thick rope. Lay all four ropes side by side and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Roll each piece over a gnocchi board, or over the tines of a fork to make the grooves (grooves help the sauce stick to your gnocchi.) Set a side and make the sauce.

Heat bacon drippings and butter in a cast iron skillet. Add onions, garlic and parsley and sauté. Add cream and Slap Ya Mama Gumbo, slowly heating until it begins to thicken. Add milk, stir and continue to thicken.

Beat egg in a 2-cup measuring cup and temper by slowly whisking 2 cups of heated sauce into the beaten egg. Slowly pour tempered egg mixture back into your sauce and thicken until it nicely coats the back of a wooden spoon.

On high heat, quickly sear shrimp and add to finished sauce. Sauté mushrooms and add to sauce.

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add gnocchi and gently stir once. Once gnocchi float to the surface, let them cook another 2 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon.

Pour sauce over pasta and gently toss, adding freshly chopped parsley, Pecorino Romano and a bit of pepper for garnish. Serve with a salad and steamed veggies. Enjoy!

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