I’ve been missing my mom lately, and comforting myself at times with food that reminds me of her. Do you ever do that? Crave a meal or dish or dessert that reminds you of someone you love?
Food is closely tied to our memories. Almost every time someone mentions, for instance, their grandmother, they’ll say something like, “Oh my grandmother was great. She made the best…” whatever it was that she made. Buttermilk biscuits, dumplings, chicken noodle soup, peach cobbler, or whatever it was that she made.
She made so many good things. She made chicken and dumplings from scratch, and peach cobbler, too; not the dump kind, but the kind with strips of pastry over the fresh peaches. It was fabulous.
One thing she used to make that I’ve never made in my own kitchen is potato pancakes. Jewish moms call them latkes, but mom just called them pancakes. She’d save the leftover mashed potatoes from the previous night’s dinner and use them in potato pancakes the next morning, mixing them with minced onion and some flour and egg. With a thick square of butter melting over the top of them, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and sometimes a little sour cream on the side, it was a savory breakfast that I truly enjoyed.
Well, today I thought I’d try my own spin on those flavors but in much less time. I didn’t want to peel, boil or grate potatoes, and I didn’t want to wait twenty or thirty minutes to put it all together. I just wanted a simple way to get those perfect flavors together in a hurry.
Well, I had a package of gnocchi in my cabinet. Gnocchi are small potato dumplings, basically, and are sold on the pasta aisle in the grocery store in a vacuum sealed pouch.
Here’s what I did to make a sort of deconstructed potato pancake side dish so I could enjoy all the flavor with less of the fuss.
Mama Steph’s Roasted potato dumplings
- 2 TBS olive oil or butter
- 8 oz gnocchi
- 1/4 cup minced onion (you can use green or white)
- 2 tsp parsley flakes
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
In a medium nonstick skillet, drizzle oil or melt butter over medium heat.
Once oil is warm, add the onion, and allow to cook in the oil for a minute, while stirring.
Add the gnocchi, and sprinkle it with the garlic powder, salt, pepper, and parsley flakes.
Cook for about 3 1/2 minutes, stirring a few times, then flip over to the other side of the gnocchi, and cook for another 3 1/2 minutes.
Gnocchi will turn golden brown; taste one for saltiness, and add a sprinkle more, if desired. Yield: about 1 1/2 cups
Serve with a bit of sour cream on the side, or use plain fat-free Greek yogurt.
The gnocchi, when finished, are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and are firm enough to stand up to a hearty meat if you are serving a roast, etc.
This makes a delicious side dish alongside a roasted pork tenderloin, pork chops, or whatever your favorite meat to serve might be. If you have a rotisserie chicken, you could have dinner on the table in ten minutes! It would be so much faster than drive through, and the flavor and nutrition is far, far better. I hope you’ll give it a try!
Today I ate them on their own on a saucer with a teaspoon of sour cream on the side for lunch. They were fabulous!
You might also like: Mama’s green beans with new potatoes
Copyright 2013 Stephanie Hill Frazier. All rights reserved.