Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

Well, I want to start out this post by saying that my photography for this post is far from my best work. The reason? I was having too much fun eating, drinking and cooking to get serious with my camera. That said - I'm sharing this recipe because it was THAT good. This was the meal my S.O. and I made for Valentines day.  It was an awesome evening and my most memorable Valentines Day to date. No gifts or elaborate date. Just two people cooking, learning, eating and laughing.  So, here, for the first time ever on Bake, Braise & Broil:  a recipe AND date night suggestion. 

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

First up: da sawce. This sauce was a KILLER. We (literally) licked our plates. It's cheesy and savoury and meaty. You're going to love it. It starts with cooking italian sausage filling in your trusty cast iron pan. 

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

Added to that, leeks (if you haven't sensed a trend yet - yes, I love leeks). They add a mild onion flavour and are slightly sweet. They pair amazing with the sausage. After creating a roux with the sausage fat and flour, a basic white sauce is made with milk. And added to that? CHEESE OF COURSE. Lots of it. We opted for Gorgonzola (a sharp blue cheese) and Parmesan. You're left with this:

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

IT WAS SO TASTY. Creamy and rich, full of cheesiness and meatiness. I will be making this sauce again and again and serving it on just about anything. Got pasta? Toss it in. Left over sauce? Pour it over a biscuit and top it with a poached egg. BAM, a brunch you'll remember.  But the best way I can think of to use this sauce? Homemade gnocchi.  

This is where Anthony & I had the most fun. Neither of us had made gnocchi before.  I think we were both a little intimidated - but after throwing back a couple glasses of wine and eating a delicious appetizer we were up for the challenge. So for those planning on making this a date night, a snack right about now is highly recommended. Anthony surprised me with this delicious creation. Simple but darn tasty, they were jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped in prosciutto and baked until bubbly and warm. They were perfect. 

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

Satiated and brave, we moved on to the main event: homemade gnocchi. For those who haven't made them before: they were really, REALLY easy. AND they taste about 1,000,000,000 times better than that stuff you buy in the store.  A simple dough is made from potato, flour and egg - it is briefly kneaded - and then you roll it out and cut it up. Seriously. That's it. And, it's kinda fun! 

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

(Handome, eh?) 

You're left with these little pillows of deliciousness. Of course, you can get as fancy as you'd like. We were getting hungry so we cut these in a frenzy. 

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

With the gnocchi made, you're practically done. Throw them in boiling water for 3-4 minutes and dump in the sauce. Toss to coat, and dish up. 

Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce
Gnocchi with Italian Sausage, Leek & Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

 

 

This was a totally delicious meal and an awesome way to spend a night. Hope you guys enjoy! Until next week... 

James Ede Signature


Jalapeño-Chili-Corn Cream Cheese Puffs

jalapeno-chili-corn cream cheese puffs

 

I love the tilde over the "n" in jalapeño. It makes me say it with such enthusiasm. Jalapennnnnnnnnyo! I also love these little delectable morsels. Your friends aren't going to be able to stop throwing them back (preferably with a great beer).  And seeing as this blog is a 'how-to guide on making your friends fat' they'll be rotund soooooon. 

The filling is a cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise base that I was inspired by from Ree Drummond's hot corn dip recipe. Loaded with southern flavours like roasted corn, poblano peppers and jalapeñnnnnnnno it's an awesome appetizer.  And it all starts with roasting corn...

Roasted Corn Jalapeno Chili Corn Cheese Dip

Of course, you could do this any number of ways and if it wasn't freezing here in the Canadian north I'd do this on the BBQ. Since I want to stay warm, my trusty cast-iron does a great job. Once you've got your corn with a nice caramelization on it, throw in some green chili's and set aside. Up next into that cast iron is onion, garlic, jalapeñnnnno and red pepper. After browning all over you're left with the next layer of flava:

jalapeno chili corn cream cheese puffs recipe

To bring this all together, that lovely combo I mentioned earlier is whisked with minced poblano pepper and then all three are added together, from this point I think it's easy to see there is no way this will taste bad. Just look at it: 

jalapeno chili corn cream cheese puffs recipe

Up next is adding some cheese, and baking it to get an oooooey gooey filling. Ready for the oven:

jalapeno chili corn cheese poppers recipe

While that is baking, time to make the vessel that will allow you to shovel mounds of that filling to your food hole. Puff pastry is the answer and I decided to make mini-cups. You can do any variation you prefer. Make a stuffed loaf of puff pastry! Mini-tarts for a side to a salad! It all will taste great. 

To make mini-cups, I rolled out the puff pastry then cut it into squares and folded them over the back of a mini muffin tin. After baking they come out looking damn delectable.

Jalapeno chili corn cream cheese puffs recipe
Jalapeno Chili Corn Cheese Puffs Recipe

Last step, as you might imagine, is filling these to the brim with our jalapeñnnnno-corn-cream cheese mixture and doing a quick final bake. You're left with this:

jalapeno chili corn cream cheese puffs

And as I mentioned, there are limitless ways to make these, I tried out two alternatives as well: 

1. Jalapeno-Chili-Corn Cream Cheese Braided Loaf

jalapeno chili corn cheese puffs recipe

2. Jalapeno-Chili-Corn Cream Cheese Tarts

jalapeno chili corn cheese puffs

 

Verdicts still out on which version people preferred. We ate them all. Enjoy guys!

James Signature