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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

MKT Restaurant And Bar San Francisco

Another hot spot in the Bay Area is the MKT Restaurant and Bar. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel at 757 Market Street. San Francisco, CA. 94103. My daughter, Melissa, recently had the opportunity to dine at this restaurant. She was really impressed. She sent me a couple of picture of what she ordered.

She had the potato soup, and for her main course, the gnocchi.  As you can see the presentation is awesome! Here’s a peek at the menu.

You can just click on the menu to enlarge the page. Here’s a couple of pictures from the inside.

If you visiting the Bay area, and want to be pampered with all the goes along with dining out, make this one of your destinations. For more information visit www.mktrestaurantandbar.com

 

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Gnocchi With Italian Sausage And Porcini Ragu

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Whenever I talk about a “ragu”  it’s usually a meat based sauce served with some type of pasta. In this case, I thought that the soft billowy texture of a potato Gnocchi, would be perfect. Let’s start with the ragu.

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Most likely than not, Porcini mushrooms come in dried form. First, the rehydration process of the mushrooms. I like to use low sodium beef broth for soaking the Porcini mushrooms. On the stove, I add the 1 package ( usually about 4-5 ounces in a package) of dried Porcini mushrooms to a small sauce pan. I then cover the mushrooms with the beef broth. On med high heat, I bring the mushrooms in the broth up to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the mushrooms have plumped up. I don’t throw away the broth, because that has a lot of flavor. Using a slotted spoon I remove the mushrooms from the liquid. Next, I chop the mushrooms up pretty finely and set them aside with the cooking liquid.

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In a non-stick saute pan on med high heat, I added a pound of sweet Italian sausage that I just broke that up with the back on my wooden spatula. I really love the fennel taste that’s in sausage, so to reinforce that anise flavor,  I added in 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional) to the sausage while it’s browning. I let that saute until all the sausage was caramelized and brown. That took about 10-12 minutes. In the mean time I diced up a large sweet onion and minced up 3 cloves of garlic. After the sausage was done browning, I removed it from the pan using a slotted spoon to allow some of the excess fat to drain off. I placed the browned sausage into a bowl until I was ready for it. I’m using a deep sided saute pan for this recipe. It really works well for making any type of ragu. I have the pan on the stove on getting hot on med heat. First I add in the olive oil, then, the diced onions and let those soften for about 2-3 minutes. Next, I add in the chopped Porcini mushrooms to the pan along with 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, Kosher salt, and black pepper. I let those saute for another 2 minutes. Remember the mushroom liquid that I reserved from re-hydrating the mushrooms?  Well, I use 1 cup of that mushroom stock and add that right into the pan with the mushrooms and onions. I wait for that to come up to a bubble and reduce it to a simmer, scraping all those good bits off the bottom of the pan with my wooden spatula. Once most of the mushroom liquid has reduced to a couple of tablespoons, which really reinforces that mushroom flavor,  I add the sweet Italian sausage back into the pan.

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Still having the pan on med heat, I toss the sausage through with the mushrooms and let that cook together for another couple of minutes while I get some crushed tomatoes ready to add in. This is the time when I check the seasoning again. If it needs a sprinkling of salt and pepper at this point than I add it. but because I seasoned it earlier, it’s perfect.  I add the minced garlic into the pan.This insures me that garlic will become sweet and tender and not burn. Now I add the crushed tomatoes and stir that through. I cook the tomatoes with the sausage and mushroom mixture for another 3-5 minutes. This gives the sauce a chance to cook down and flavor the other ingredients. At this point, I turn the heat down to low and stir in some heavy cream. This gives the ragu have a luxurious texture. Once the cream is stirred through, I have the burner set on warm while I wait on the Gnocchi to cook. This takes really no time at all. I have to say that I’ve made homemade Gnocchi before and it’s terrific. but they have some really great store bought ones today.

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On another burner I add some salted boiling water boiling away. This way while I was finishing up the ragu, all I needed to do, was to throw the Gnocchi into the water. They cook really fast. Once they float to the top they’re done. Using a large colander spoon, I scoop out the Gnocchi and place it right into the ragu. Toss the Gnocchi through gently. Don’t worry if some of the pasta cooking water gets into the sauce that’s fine. The Gnocchi will absorb any extra starchy cooking liquid that gets into the ragu. This ragu is so delicious and hearty. The ragu clings to the Gnocchi. I turn the heat completely off now before adding in the Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese. Finally garnish with fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsely.

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Yields:  4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes (re-hydrating mushrooms)
Cooking Time: 35-40 minutes ( this estimation allows for the cooking time of browning sausage)
Ingredients:
1 pound of sweet Italian sausage
1- 4-5 ounce package of dried Porcini mushroom
2 cups of low sodium beef broth
1 cup of mushroom stock ( the liquid from re-hydrating the mushrooms)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 large sweet onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds (optional)
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1 package of potato Gnocchi
1-1/4 cups of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of heavy cream
flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese (more for topping each serving)

Directions:
First you need to re-hydrate the mushrooms in low sodium beef broth. ?Remove the mushrooms, chop them up, and reserve the mushroom liquid. Next, brown off the sausage with the fennel seeds,. While the sausage is browning, dice up the onion and mince the garlic.  When the sausage is done about 10- 12 minutes, drain the fat, and set the sausage in a bowl to the side. Have a pot of water on stand- by for cooking the Gnocchi on the back burner while you start the ragu. In a large deep side saute pan that’s been heating up on med heat,.add in the olive oil, then the diced onion.Season the onions with Kosher salt and pepper, and let that soften for 2-3 minutes. To that add in the chopped Porcini mushrooms ,and the fresh thyme leaves and toss that through with the onions. Add the cup of mushroom stock and reduce to a couple of tablespoons left in the pan. Next, add the browned of sausage back in with the minced garlic. Stir that through. Taste for seasoning again. Because I seasoned earlier in the making of the sauce, I find it doesn’t need any more salt and pepper. At this point turn the water on high to boil for the Gnocchi. Let this simmer for about 3-5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and add in the heavy cream.. Stir the cream through and turn the stove down again to “warm” while you add the Gnocchi into the boiling salted water. The Gnochhi cooks really fast. When it the Gnocchi floats it’s done. Using a colander spoon transfer the Gnocchi right into the pan with the ragu. Toss it through gently. Turn the heat off completely before adding in the cheese, and toss that through. Garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.

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Pan Seared Gnocchi

 

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Potato #gnocchi is a great side dish, but what about as the main dish. I wanted to rethink how I could make these delicious billowy cloud- like dumplings into something with a little more texture. I thought about changing the cooking process to a more Asian style technique.

The traditional way to cook them is to drop them into boiling salted water. when they float to the surface they’re done.  When you cook with Asian dumplings they are sometimes pan- fried, first to give that crunchy exterior, then a splash of water is added, the lid is placed on, and they finish by steaming. This allows for the inside to have a creamy texture.

I decided to give this technique a try with gnocchi.  For this challenge, rather than making the gnocchi from scratch, I decided to buy a good store- bought brand. It turns out, my grocery carries fresh potato gnocchi.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time Total: 12 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1/4 each of red and yellow bell pepper, small dice.
2 grated garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes ( more if you like it spicy)
1 package of potato gnocchi
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (more if you like)
Flat leaf Italian parsley for garnish

Directions:
In a preheated sauté pan add olive oil. On medium heat, cook the bell peppers for 2-3 minutes.  Season with Kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Add in the grated garlic and continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes, stirring ocassionally. This next stage goes pretty fast. In another large sauté pan, on medium heat, melt the butter. Add the entire package of gnocchi to the pan. Brown the gnocchi on the one side for 2-3 minutes. Don’t disturb them. The gnocchi needs a chance to brown and caramelize. Once that’s happens, using a spatula,  flip them and saute for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.

Next, add the water. The gnocchi will start to steam. Immediately place on a tight fitting lid (preferably a glass lid). Once all the water evaporates  about 2 minutes, remove the gnocchi from the heat.

Transfer the gnocchi to a large serving bowl. Then grate the cheese over the top and garnish with Italian flat leaf parsley. Serve hot.

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Gnocchi With Peas In A Brown Butter, Sage And Lemon Sauce

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Every region has it’s own version of a dumpling. Well, the Gnocchi is the Italian dumpling. This one, made from potatoes, and is like a little pillows of goodness in every bite. Now of course, you could make Gnocchi from scratch, and they would be so delicious.  For a weeknight meal, the grocery store has some great choices where the work is done for you. I promise that this recipe can be on the table in 15 minutes.

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Here I have the zest of a lemon, chopped fresh sage leaves, 1 stick of unsalted butter melting in a large saute pan, water starting to boil for the Gnocchi, and thawed frozen peas. As soon as the water boils, throw a good amount of Kosher salt into the water. I have the stove set on med heat. To make the brown butter, first wait for the butter to melt and produce its milky foam all around, Then it will some what disappear, and the butter will then turn a brown and have a nutty smell.
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At this point the salted water is ready for the Gnocchi. Drop the Gnocchi and follow the directions on the package. The butter has now started to turn brown in color, so this is when I toss in the chopped sage leaves, ( Don’t be alarmed if the chopped sage leaves turn brown in color, they are delicious)  the Kosher salt, black pepper, and the juice of that lemon. I let the herbs and lemon juice perfume the butter for a minute. Once the Gnocchi floats to the top, and this only takes a minute or two. I use a slotted spoon to add the Gnocchi into the brown butter. I toss the Gnocchi through so the butter coats all the dumplings. Then I turn off the heat and add in my thawed peas and lemon zest and toss those through as well. Now I take the pan off the heat before adding in my grated Parmiagiano- Reggiano cheese.

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Now this dish is finished and ready to serve. All done within 15 minutes. By just having, the few ingredients for this recipe prepped in advance, after that, making this dish goes really quickly.

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Once I dish it up into the bowl I’m going to serve it in, I add a pinch or two of finely minced Italian flat leaf parsley, and some more of that delicious grated cheese right on top, and as you can see, it melts in right away.

Prep Time: Less than 5 minutes
Yields 2 adult servings
Cooking Time: Under 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 package of store bought Gnocchi (17 ounces package)
2 cups of thawed frozen peas
1 lemon ( the juice and the zest)
1 tablespoon of fresh chopped sage leaves.
1 stick of unsalted butter
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 a teaspoon of black pepper ( if you like it a little spicier, add in some crushed red pepper flakes)
1 cup of freshly grated Parmiagiano- Reggiano cheese ( add a little more to top the finished dish)

Directions: Have the salted water for the dumpling boiling and ready for the dumplings.  Also have the sage leaves chopped and lemon zest ready. On the other burner, set on med heat, melt the butter and let it get to the brown butter stage before adding in the sage leaves, lemon juice, salt and pepper. At this point the dumpling should be floating to the top of the water. Add them to the brown butter then the peas and lemon zest. Turn the heat off and stir everything through so the dumplings and peas all get coated with the brown butter sage sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the cheese.

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