CURDS + WHEY | SWEET POTATO GNOCCHINI18.8.16
A few months ago, I had a conversation with my husband about a babyfood catering service that focuses on healthy posh-nosh (fancy foods) for children from the time they are being weaned to the time they start (or end) primary school. A few days ago I spoke with one of my friends who would like to take her passion for baking for her nine month old and turn it into a business in her city of Manchester. Great minds think alike, right?
In my quest to test whether this is viable, I have started Curds+Whey, which is meant to be my market-research arm of the blog for this very concept. Here, ingredients are sourced through one, some or all of the following ways: locally, organically, seasonally, or home grown--then recipes are tested on my little Polpettino.
Today's meal is sweet potato gnocchi, with a kale and sweet potato puree, sweet potato chips and radishes. I chose gnocchi, as it is reminiscent of pasta, promotes dexterity as is easy to pick up and munch, and is packed with flavour and goodness. Sweet potatoes, kale and radishes are in season (although peak season for these tend to be in September, but I think the heat wave has sped this up) and are in abundance at supermarkets and my local green grocers, which means they are inadvertently in abundance in my veggie box. Hence, it was only natural that I come up with something from these ingredients for mon petit enfant.
Ingredients for Gnocchi
one large sweet potato
one clove of garlic, crushed
00 or gluten-free flour
half teaspoon of finely chopped fresh herbs
(I used tarragon, which I threw in first)
one egg yolk [you do not need egg to bind,
but I like to add a bit of protein to dish for Polpettino]
[In this image it shows that I also used dried herbs as well,
which came in the form of my own spice mix of black pepper,
garlic, nutmeg, dried parsley and dried paprika]
Ingredients for Kale and Sweet Potato Puree
handful of kale, washed with stalks removed
one sweet potato
one clove of garlic
quarter of a small white onion, finely chopped
(this will go into a processor so you do not have to be too diligent)
one parsnip, chopped
one small carrot, chopped
one teaspoon of fresh herbs, chopped (I used parsley and tarragon)
one teaspoon of dried spice mix (above)
1. Preheat oven to 180 C
2. Bake Sweet Potatoes until cooked (approx 1hr)
3. Whilst Sweet potatoes are baking, sautee onions in a small knob of unsalted butter until soft, then add garlic, chopped parsnip and carrot, kale and dried spice mix to pan.
4. After two minutes, or before garlic turns brown, add half a cup of water (I have also done this with whole milk and formula, depending on age) to mixture and simmer until carrots and parsnips are soft. Keep adding water until desired results.
5. When carrots and parsnips are cooked, drain excess water and add fresh herbs.
6. Blitz until desired texture in a food processor or blender
7. Remove sweet potatoes from oven
8. Remove skin of one sweet potato then add to the kale, carrot, and parsnip mixture. Blitz again or mix by hand.
9. In a medium bowl, mix the other sweet potato once cooled, dried herbs, crushed garlic, and fresh herbs
10. Slowly sift flour into mixture until a soft dough is formed.
11. Add egg yolk and mix well.
12. On floured surface, roll dough into logs (I made Polpettino's smaller than I would my own), then cut into little pillows.
13. Gently push down on each with a fork or honey dipper or leave as is.
14. Bring water to boil in a pot
15. Drop gnocchi into boiling water for about 2 mins, or until they float to the top and remove.
To serve you can mix gnocchi with sweet potato and kale puree serve them seperately, or get a little artistic with your plating and see how your petit enfant reacts--look, we have to get our creative juices going otherwise we become stagnant as do they.
Polpettino liked dipping the gnocchi into the puree, which made the dining process even slower, as he takes the tiniest bites. He ate almost all, as I think he was either full or fed up after thirty minutes of feeding.