Submitted by Anna Davis
About the cook: I grew up on a farm in Springfield Missouri and have been cooking since I was seven. Although I have not received formal culinary training, I have had some wonderful opportunities to travel across the US and abroad, shadowing at several renown restaurants. This has developed and grown my appreciation and knowledge of different cuisines, and lead me to experiment more with unique flavors and combinations. I love to cook and serve people and hope to do it for the rest of my life!
About the dish: Duck is not something one would normally associate with gnocchi, but this twist on the Italian pasta is full of rich flavors, enhanced with the beer gouda sauce, sautéed apples and spiced walnuts. Don't let the ingredient list overwhelm you, the process is simple and the outcome very worth it!
National Origin: Italian-american
Estimated Time: 30 to 60 Minutes
2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cooked, peeled, and cooled
½ cup mashed butternut squash
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 fudji apple
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
2/3 cup hard cider (the lowest sugar/highest alcohol ratio)
1 cup grated aged gouda
5 oz triple cream brie
1/2 cup cream
Pinch of nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup mashed butternut squash
2 duck breasts, (smoked or plain, whichever you desire)
2 tablespoons honey
1 Fudji apple, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped walnuts
3 sprigs rosemary
¼ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
Pinch of cayenne
⅛ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
To make gnocchi, mash the potatoes. Add the squash, and beat in the egg, nutmeg, and salt. Peel the apple, and grate finely. Place grated apple on two paper towels, folded in half to give four layers. Squeeze as much liquid out of the apple as possible. Mix into the gnocchi dough. Add the flour, in parts, adding more if dough is too sticky.
Place a large pot halfway full of water on the stove at medium high heat.
On a generously floured surface, divide into 4 sections and roll into long ropes. Cut into small pieces and imprint with a fork or finger if desired. Once water is boiling, add gnocchi in portions into the water. Cook until they float to the top. Remove, drain, and drizzle with a little oil to keep from sticking. Repeat until all is cooked. Cover and set aside.
For sauce, in a large skillet, caramelize the onion in the butter until lightly browned. Add the hard cider, cream, nutmeg, and salt. Let simmer 2 minutes. Add the cheeses. Stir until all is melted. Add the butternut squash and let simmer until thickened. Reduce heat and stir in 5-6 cups of gnocchi. Cover and set aside.
In a cold frying pan, place duck breasts fat side down. Drizzle with honey. Place apple slices around the duck breasts and on top. Chop rosemary leaves and sprinkle over duck and apples. Cover and cook at medium heat until skin has a nice dark color. Turn over and cook until duck is cooked to desired doneness. Remove from the skillet and let rest before slicing thinly.
In another skillet on medium heat, place nuts. Sprinkle with seasoning and sugar. Drizzle honey over all the nuts. Let the mixture begin to bubble and melt. Once everything is melted, remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble, heap gnocchi on a plate. Top with sliced duck breast and lay apple slices around the sides. Sprinkle with candied walnuts.