I wanted to title this post "IDEAS IN BALLS." However, I promised a new friend at the Food Media Forum this weekend I would pay more attention to SEO this week, so I refrained. So, yea, Food Media Forum... I will be writing about it for awhile because it was SUPER NEAT, and I am so proud to be a part of it.
|Always Be Creating.|
|Science! Fun with xanthan gum.|
|Signed book! Now to question everything...|
Our keynote speakers were Alex and Aki from Ideas In Food. If you have not heard of Ideas in Food... get with it!! They have a blog and a book filled to the brim with food science and inspiration. Alex (above) held a small, hands-on workshop prior to the forum which I had the privilege of attending. The workshop focused mostly on hydro colloids... yeah, I had to google it, too. Basically, thickeners. My balls skillz will definitely benefit from this knowledge.
While researching how to work Ideas in Food into a ball, I discovered they already had a ball of their own right on their blog... Gluten Free Gnocchi. 3 ingredients! SIMPLE! However, they do all of their ingredients in weights. I almost got thrown out of the workshop when I admitted I had yet to invest in a kitchen scale. I'm just more into the creativity and intuition of cooking. I've never enjoyed math. But the workshop brought me back to high school lab science classes, which I did really enjoy. And I do realize the importance of measuring by weight for certain types of recipes, particularly baking, sauces, and foods that are dependent on being a certain texture.
Gnocchi are one of my favorite things. Texture is important for them, though, and using Ideas In Food's method for this gnocchi was eye-opening. By weighing everything, I was able to halve the recipe easily, and the texture was perfect. It didn't take much more time (probably even less). So, yeah, go getchu a kitchen scale (there are some super-cute ones out there... lookit mine! adorbs!) Get the recipe for these gluten free, vegan gnocchi balls here on Ideas In Food's blog. These are so easy, and the result is so... potato-y. I don't know how else to describe them... it's like they took broke the potato down and built it back into the perfect potato... the texture was almost fluffy like a perfectly-cooked baked potato, with the flavor of not-overly-buttered mashed potatoes. Basically, just do it.
As far as serving them, I put the scale away. I simply cooked up some bacon, corn and tomatoes and added the cooked gnocchi... the sugary sweet summer corn and juicy tomatoes embodied the summer, complimented by the salty bacon and gnocchi. Fresh basil added even more summer charm. This can easily be made vegan, using olive oil and omitting the bacon... yum!!
Gluten Free Gnocchi with Corn, Tomatoes and Bacon
-1/2 recipe of Ideas In Food Gluten Free Gnocchi, cooked-4 slices of bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
-1 shallot, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-2 ears of corn, shucked and cut from ear
-2 medium tomatoes, diced
-handful of basil, chiffinade
-pepper and Parmesan cheese to serve
Cook the bacon in a skillet, until just crispy. Add the shallots and garlic and gnocchi and cook until the gnocchi starts to brown. Add the corn and tomatoes and cook until just heated through. Turn off the heat and toss in the basil. Serve with fresh pepper and Parmesan cheese.
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