Gnocchi With Mushroom Consommé, Beetroot & Roast Tomatoes

Leftover Mondays – always a good thing. I cooked far too many baked potatoes this weekend for post-fireworks food so I needed something to do with them. I was thinking mashed potato but then a friend of mine suggested gnocchi – great idea. To serve with the gnocchi – more ingredients that need using up – beetroot, tomatoes, mushrooms and a few other bits and bobs.

Here’s what you’ll need

For the gnocchi

  • Leftover baked potatoes
  • Enough type 00 flour to form a dough with the potato
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A handful of grated parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Salt & black pepper.

For the beetroot

  • 1 beetroot should be enough for 2 – 3 people.

For the consommé

  • 150g button mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3-4 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt & black pepper
  • 1 egg white.

For the roast tomato

  • 2-3 tomatoes quartered
  • olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper.

Make the gnocchi – Scoop the contents of the potatoes out with a spoon (the skins can be roast in the oven – they make a great snack). Using a potato ricer, mash the potato into a bowl. Add a tablespoon of flour and mix with the egg yolk, cheese, nutmeg and seasoning. The mixture needs to bind but not be too rigid. It should form a nice, firm dough – not too wet but not too dry.
Roll the mixture out into a long line of dough about 1-2cm thick. Cut into rectangular pieces and, if you want to, press lines into the gnocchi with the back of a fork.
Place the gnocchi into the fridge.
Make the consommé – Gently sweat the shallot and celery in a little oil until it becomes translucent. Add the button mushroom and allow a little colour to develop. Add a pint or so of salted boiling water. Add the herbs and  bring to a light simmer for 20 minutes.
Now add the dried porcini and allow to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Strain the stock and allow to completely cool down.
Put the stock back onto a low heat and add the egg white. Gradually warm the stock – the egg white will gradually form on the surface collecting the sediment along the way. Once all the egg white has formed a crust, skim it off the surface of the consommé. To further clarify the consommé strain through muslin into a pan and reheat.
Make the beetroot – boil in water until tender. When cooked, slide the skins off and slice into thin cross-sections.
Make the tomatoes – rub oil and seasoning over the tomato quarters and roast in a preheated oven at 140c – keep checking them – you don’t them to end up as a pulp, just to develop a little colour and concentrate the flavour. You can go lower and slower with these tomatoes but 140c makes this manageable on a week night.
When you’re ready to serve, boil the gnocchi for a couple of minutes and then gently sauté them in batches in hot, bubbling butter.
Arrange the gnocchi in a dish, pour in the consommé and add the tomato and beetroot.
Finish with some watercress.