Chef Marc McDowell. Photo Courtesy of Makena Beach & Golf Resort.
Molokini Bar & Grille, Makena Beach and Golf Resort
I’m sharing my recipe for homemade potato gnocchi with bacon, caramelized onions, tomato and basil. It’s a great recipe using baked potatoes as opposed to boiled potatoes. I enjoy making at home and it’s possible to use all Maui products as long as you have farmer connections. At Molokini Bar and Grill I like making the Pepper Seared Ahi with Molokai Purple Potatoes, Baby Bok Choy and Sour Cherry Demi Glace. If it’s your first time here you have to order the Molokai Potato Wrapped Lobster Salad. In my kitchen I must have Sherry vinegar because it brings a refined brightness in flavor to almost anything.
When peeling fresh ginger, save the peels and later heat them up in some salad oil until they fry a bit. Then remove them from the heat. When room temp, strain out the cooked skins and you will have a beautiful ginger flavored oil for your salads. If using peanut oil the resulting ginger oil can be used in a stir fry dish.
Gnocchi with pancetta, oven dried tomatoes and basil
For the Gnocci:
2 lbs russet potatoes
1.5 cups all purpose flour
3 each eggs, yolks
1 tsp salt
0.5 cup flour, if needed
Place the scrubbed whole potatoes in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Cook until a skewer can go through with little resistance. Remove to cool a bit.
Peel and put into a food mill onto a cutting board. Make a well in the center of the potato mound and place a half cup flour inside then the raw egg yolks, salt then another half cup flour.
Using a bench scraper chop the flour though the potato mass quickly. Add more flour and continue. Should become a smooth non sticky dough but be careful not to overwork the dough.
Cut off a small quarter cup section and roll into a half inch thick cylinder, cut 1 inch pillows, roll each into a ball and onto the back of a fork making the distinctive impressions that trap sauce and place into slight boiling water until they rise to the top.
Remove with a strainer into an ice bath then onto paper towels. Its now ready to saute or add to your favorite sauce.
1 batch gnocchis
4 roma tomatoes
2 oz olive oil
3 slices pancetta or bacon
1 small diced yellow onion
2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup white wine or pinot noir
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh torn basil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Remove the tomato cores and med chop. Toss gently in a bowl with some olive oil and a pinch of salt.
Place on a sheet tray and place in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes until dried and concentrated. Remove the pan from the oven.
Chop the pancetta and start to render the fat, add the onions and stir, when the onion is almost getting color add the garlic and stir. The mixture will start to brown then add the wine and reduce to half volume, add the chicken stock and reduce to half volume, add the heavy cream and reduce to half volume. Add the tomatoes and fresh basil and season, remove from heat.
Heat remaining olive oil in a saute pan to medium high and brown the gnocchis on both sides, this will take 2 batches to finish.
When all browned add the sauce, turn off the heat and toss well. Enjoy
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About Jen Russo
I write lifestyle and culinary columns for MauiTime. I love being a Maui girl and adore my big family. Dedicated food taster, blogger, internet fanatic, and Maui and Hawaii specialist.