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Maggie Beer

Potato Gnocchi with Prawns

This is my take on a dish from the wonderful Alex Herbert of Bird, Cow, Fish who was such an integral member of the Pheasant Farm team in its last 6 months in 1993.

Method

Step 1: Preheat oven to 230C.

Step 2: Place the potatoes into a steamer basket and place over a pot of boiling water. Steam unpeeled potatoes for 30 minutes or until cooked through but not falling apart. Set aside until just cool enough to handle, then peel.

Step 3: Press hot potatoes through a mouli or potato ricer into the flour that is spread out on the bench.

Step 4: Add the eggs and the sea salt to the potato, and quickly mix the eggs, potato and flour with a pastry scraper until it just comes together to form a dough. Do not over work the dough to prevent the gnocchi becoming tough.

Step 5: Divide dough into quarters, then shape each quarter into a long 2.5 centimetre wide sausage, rolling on the bench. Cut off 1.5 centimetre pieces, and then gently press the tops with the back of a fork to leave an indentation which will help the gnocchi to pick up more sauce.

Step 6: Bring salted water to the boil in a large deep frying pan and cook gnocchi in batches until they float to the surface (if just made, this could take as little as 30 seconds).

Step 7: Drain well and transfer to a flat dish.

Step 8: Place 150 grams of the butter and the sage leaves in a flat dish (32 x 28 x 3 cm) spreading butter and sage evenly. Bake for 5 minutes or until sage is crisp.

Step 9: Transfer poached gnocchi to a baking dish with butter and sage, then bake for 5 minutes.

Step 10: Toss the dish to flip the gnocchi or turn each over with a pair of tongs, then drizzle with 1/4 cup of the Verjuice and return to the oven for another 3 minutes.

Step 11: Meanwhile, heat remaining butter and a splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a frying pan over high heat and sauté prawns until pink and just cooked through. Season prawns to taste with sea salt and pepper and deglaze with remaining Verjuice.

Step 12: Transfer prawns and pan juices to gnocchi and gently combine.

Step 13: Divide gnocchi and prawn mixture among bowls bowls then serve immediately.

Ingredients

  1. 750g nicola potatoes scrubbed
  2. 118g 2 free range eggs lightly beaten
  3. 13g 2 1/2 tspn salt flakes
  4. 170g unsalted butter cold and chopped into small squares
  5. 60 (around 2 bunches) sage leaves
  6. 80ml 1/3 cup Verjuice
  7. 600g 12 green king prawns peeled, cleaned and halved lengthways
  8. To taste salt flakes

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