Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocci with Beans, Olives & Tomatoes

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I was recently sent some Knorr products and asked to create some recipes for the holidays using them.  The first recipe I created was this delicious Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Beans, Olives & Tomatoes.   This is not only delicious, with fresh flavours and textures, but pretty and colourful as well!

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I have always wanted to make my own gnocchi from scratch.  I just adore gnocchi.  Today I made Sweet Potato gnocchi . . .  it wasn't all that hard to do and I am wanting to experiment now with other flavours.   You can use store bought ready made gnocchi if you wish however, so never fear.

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I accompanied the Gnocci with a fresh sauce, created using crisp green beans, or haricot verts if you want to use that term of phrase.  I used frozen whole beans . . . but you could also use fresh.  You just need to cook them a bit longer.

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I cooked the beans in a mix of garlic, thyme, ham stock (made using a Knorr Ham Stock Cube) and a splash of white wine.  This was reduced as they cooked until it was quite syrupy and then I added some cream to loosen it a bit along with garlic and herbed pitted green olives and quartered baby
plum tomatoes.

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I also used some Parmesan cheese and black pepper for flavouring.  Once the sauce was finished, and it didn't take longfor that to happen  . . .  I poured it over the sweet potato gnocchi and then scattered more cheese and some parsley on top.  It was delicious!

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*Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Breans, Olives and Tomatoes*
Serves 6
A fabulous entree for the holidays, with fresh flavours, that is not only delicious but bright and colourful!  You can use purchased sweet potato gnocchi or you can make them from scratch. I tell you how.

For the gnocchi:
1 1/2 pounds of sweet potatoes
75g to 140g of plain flour (3/4 cup to 1 cup)
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
45g of freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (1/4 cup)
more flour for rolling, etc.
For the dish:
three large handfuls of frozen whole green beans (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup ham stock
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
splash of white wine
finely grated zest of one unwaxed lemon
1 TBS lemon juice
120ml of double cream (1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
about 12 dry cured green pitted olives (I used the ones with garlic and herbs)
12 baby plum tomatoes, quartered
90g of finely grated Parmesan Cheese (1/2 cup), divided
Freshly ground black pepper
finely chopped fresh parsley

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To make the Sweet Potato Gnocchi, take a really large sweet potato, or several smaller ones to  equal the weight required.  Prick them all over with a fork.   Place them on a plate and cover with paper toweling.  Microwave on high until tender.  This will take six to eight minutes.  Once they are tender, remove and let sit for about a minute or so, then cut in half lengthwise and scoop out all of the flesh into a bowl.  Mash completely  Allow to cool completely before proceeding.  

Once they are totally cold stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, cheese and flour, just to combine.  The dough should be soft and somewhat sticky.  If you need to add a bit more flour you can, but don't overdo it.  Working on a well floured surface, divide the dough into five or six pieces.  Using well floured hands and working with one piece at a time, roll each piece into a long rope about 1 inch in diameter.  Cut into 1 inch pieces with a sharp knife and roll each piece over the tines of a fork to create the ridges which are characteristic of Gnocchi.   Place on a lightly floured baking sheet to dry.

Have ready a large buttered baking dish.  Place it into a low oven to keep warm.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to the boil.  Add the gnocchi a handful at a time.  Make sure the water keeps boiling and only cook a handful at a time.  Once they rise to the surface, scoop them out and into the warmed baking dish, returning it to the oven after.  Repeat until all of the gnocchi are cooked and in the oven, keeping warm.

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To make the sauce, heat the ham stock in a large skillet.  Add the green beans,the garlic, the thyme and a splash of white wine and bring to the boil.  Cook, on high, stirring and tossing together until the sauce becomes a bit syrupy, and the beans are crispy tender.    Stir in the lemon juice and zest, double cream and 3/4 of the cheese, along with the tomatoes and olives.   Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.   Add some black pepper and taste the sauce.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  Pour this over the warm gnocchi.   Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan Cheese on top along with some finely chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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Knorr Ham Cubes come in a pack containing 8 dry cubes, which you can crumble and add to boiling water to make a well flavoured Ham stock.  They contain no artificial preservatives and no msg.

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I used some of the chicken stock to make my bread stuffing.    I love this bread stuffing.   Well, if I am being honest, I love stuffing full stop!

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This is so easy to make.  You don't need the best bread for this and actually bread that is a bit stale is best.  I picked up the bread to make this in the reduced aisle so I got it for 53p a loaf.  You will want to tear it up or cut it into cubes and leave it to dry overnight in a large bowl, giving it a stir every now and again, so it drys out a bit more.  I add plenty of onions and celery that I have sauteed in plenty of butter.a mix of herbs and seasonings and then a well flavoured chicken stock to moisten it.

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The mix then gets spread into a buttered baking pan, dotted with butter . . .  and baked until the flavours all meld together beautifully, and you get some delicious crispy edges.

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It's then ready to serve, either cut into slabs and placed beneath your slices of turkey, or scooped out . . .  whichever you prefer.  This is the perfect stuffing to use in leftover turkey sandwiches.  You can also add chopped apple or dried cranberries for a bit of a fruity addition.  It's all a matter of taste!  You can also play with the amount of herbs.  Taste and add according to what you prefer.

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*Bread Stuffing*
Makes about 12 servings
This is delicious.  I've been making this for years.  Generally speaking I bake this outside the turkey, however you are always free to bake it inside the turkey if you wish. 

125g of butter (1/2 cup)
5 stalks of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp powdered dried sage
675ml of chicken stock (3 cups)
2 loaves of firm white bread, cubed and left over night
to dry in the open (give it a stir every now and then)
1 bunch of parsley, chopped
butter to dot 

Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. 

Melt the 1/2 cup of butter in a large skillet.  Add the celery and onion.   Cook, over medium heat, until softened without browning.   Put the bread cubes into a large bowl.  Toss together with the butter/celery/onion mixture.   Add all of the seasonings and toss together to combine well.   Add the chicken stock, only adding enough so that you have an evenly moist mixture.  You may not need it all.  Have ready a 9 by 15 inch baking dish.  Butter the baking dish.  Put the stuffing mixture into the buttered dish.  Don't pack it in too tightly.   Dot all over with butter.   Cover tightly with a buttered sheet of aluminium foil, buttered side down.  Place into the preheated oven.   Cook for 34 to 40 minutes, uncover and cookfor 5 to 10 minutes longer.  Cut into squares to serve, or scoop out.  Serve hot.   

Note - Leftovers are great sliced into thin slabs and put into turkey sandwiches!

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When I am wanting Chicken Stock to use in a dish where the flavour of the chicken stock really matters, I always like to use Knorr Touch of Taste Chicken concentrated liquid stock.  I use this in soups and gravies and stews.   It does need to be refrigerated once opened.

Knorr products are available near the spice section of most major grocery shops in the UK.  For more information about their products and more recipes do check out their website.

Tune in tomorrow to see what I did with the other ingredients they sent!


  1. I think Blogger ate my comment, but if this is a duplicate, just delete it.

    What a really clever dish. It looks so fresh, colourful, inviting and ideal for the festive season. I make plain potato gnocchi regularly, but have never thought of using sweet potato. This is yet another of your recipes that I will be bookmarking to try in the coming week.

    Thank you also for the bread stuffing recipe. I'll be making a turkey crown for New Year's Eve and I was hunting around for a good stuffing recipe. Problem solved! I know that if it is one of your recipes, then it is bound to be fabulous. Sometimes I feel as though you are here in the kitchen with me when I cook and I really wish that we lived closer!

    1. So lovely to see your comment Marie!! This was really delicious. I know it sounds like a strange combination, but it was really good. YOu will love sweet potato gnocchi. They are so tasty! I could have eaten them all on their own with just some browned butter and sage. Yummy! The stuffing is a good recipe. Pretty basic, but you can dress it up as you wish. I wish we lived closer also! xoxo

  2. Never even thought of SP gnochi..good job!

  3. Delicious Marie, as always.!!
    Thanks again for sharing.


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