Monday, November 17, 2014

Gnocchi Gratin with Gruyere and Bacon

Comfort Food Season is Here!

The weather forecast greatly influenced the recipe we chose to make today! Blustery winter weather pairs perfectly with warm, cheesy comfort food like Gnocchi Gratin with Gruyere and Bacon. The aroma of applewood smoked bacon and baking cheese always seems to draw people to the kitchen. Those staff people lucky enough to be there when the gnocchi came out of the oven were very pleased indeed. The Cooking School staff at Jungle Jim's International Market really enjoy recipes that are easy to prepare when returning home from work. Odds are you will add this recipe to your culinary repertoire. Shelf stable gnocchi makes for a less-than-typical but oh-so-delicious ingredient for cheesy comfort food. It can be prepared in a variety of ways and we are happy to introduce you to it!


Gia Russo makes a 16 ounce mini gnocchi, vacuum sealed package that works perfectly for this dish. The mini gnocchi make for just the right size bite. You'll find this gnocchi in the International section in the aisle next to all the dry pastas. Once you open the package, gently break the gnocchi apart. Besides the great taste, the best thing about using this gnocchi  is that you don't have to boil it first - just use it right out of the package! Please note that you can use the gnocchi right out of the package for just this recipe.


Preheat the oven to 400° and grease a 7x11-inch baking dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and sauté 2-3 minutes, until softened.


Whisk in the flour until smooth.


Gradually whisk in the milk, then wine. 


Continue cooking and whisking until the sauce thickens, 3-4 minutes.


Remove from heat, add the Gruyere, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir until the cheese is melted.


Add the cooked, crumbled bacon and mix well. 


Add gnocchi and stir until well mixed.


Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan and sprinkle top lightly with pepper. 


Bake 25-35 minutes, until hot, bubbly and top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to stand 5-10 minutes before serving.


Gnocchi Gratin with Gruyere and Bacon

2 tablespoons butter
3 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons white wine
3 ounces shredded Gruyere cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, divided use
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 thick bacon slices, cooked crisp and crumbled (applewood)
16 ounces mini gnocchi, vacuum sealed package (Gia Russo)


Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a 7x11-inch baking dish.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add scallions and sauté 2-3 minutes, until softened. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually whisk in milk, then wine. Continue cooking and whisking until sauce thickens, 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, add Gruyere, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, stir until cheese is melted. Add bacon and mix well. Add gnocchi and stir until well mixed.

Transfer to prepared dish, sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan and sprinkle top lightly with pepper. Bake 25-35 minutes, until hot, bubbly and top is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to stand 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 as a side dish

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Beef Stroganoff

Elegant Comfort Food

Do the words "beef stroganoff" conjure up the image of a strange concoction served to you as a child? Maybe some chunks of mystery meat swimming in a puddle of thick sauce with mushy noodles on the side? Well, let's dispel the bad memories and allow The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market to introduce you to an elegant rendition of this cold weather classic. Our staff readily admits that we are lucky to have access to a cook's fantasy food world right below our cooking school kitchen, so we would like to share with you the ingredients you can pick up here to make a sensational Beef Stroganoff dinner.


Extra broad egg noodles are a delicious base upon which to serve the stroganoff. Follow the directions on the package to prepare them. 

Demi-glace adds an intense base of flavor to soups and stews. Demi-glace is a rich brown sauce composed of beef stock and Madeira or sherry which has been cooked until it is reduced by half to a thick glaze that coats a spoon. You will find the demi-glace in the French trailer on the shelf. Once you open the container, it must be refrigerated.


A selection of fresh, sliced mushrooms will add a hearty flavor, interesting texture and visual appeal. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and cook the mushrooms until they are browned, about 6-8 minutes. Please note that if you are using shiitake mushrooms, use only the cap and discard the tough stems.


Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and add  the chopped onions. Sauté the onions, adding a drizzle of olive oil if needed, until they begin to soften and brown, about 5-8 minutes.


Return mushrooms to the skillet with the onions and sprinkle with flour, stirring until well blended. 



Slowly add broth, stirring well.  



Then add the tomato paste, stirring constantly until thickened, about 2-3 minutes.



Add the sherry, demi-glace, salt, pepper and tarragon and stir well. 



Return beef to skillet and simmer to heat through. We had cooked beef leftover from another recipe, so this beef stroganoff is an ideal recipe that will highlight a good quality beef. If you don't have leftover beef, you can brown a steak in the skillet first, let it set and then slice it to add at this point in the recipe.



Stir in sour cream and adjust the seasoning to your taste. 



Serve over hot noodles and enjoy this hearty dish for dinner.



Beef Stroganoff

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms, cremini, shiitake, button or a mix
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup dry sherry
1-2 tablespoons “More Than Gourmet” demi-glace, optional
Salt and pepper, to taste
¾ teaspoon dried tarragon
1½ pounds cooked, rare to medium-rare, beef tenderloin or other steak, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons sour cream

Cooked egg noodles, for serving


Heat olive oil in a skillet and cook mushrooms until they are browned, about 6-8 minutes. Remove mushrooms from skillet and add onions. Sauté onions, adding a drizzle of olive oil if needed, until they begin to soften and brown, about 5-8 minutes. Return mushrooms to skillet and sprinkle with flour, stirring until well blended. Slowly add broth, stirring well, then tomato paste, stirring constantly until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Add sherry, demi-glace, salt, pepper and tarragon and stir well. Return beef to skillet and simmer to heat through. Stir in sour cream, adjust seasoning and serve over noodles.


Serves 4