Welcome to our second French Fridays with Dorie recipe for January -- Gnocchi a la Parisienne. This was such a new dish to me, I'd never heard of a French Gnocchi, but love the traditional potato gnocchi and ricotta gnocchi so I could not wait to give this French version a try!
First the pâte à choux dough is shaped, either by spoon or by being squeezed out of a bag and cut (which is what I did) -- this method was mentioned on the FFwD site and after a little internet sleuthing, I found this to be a popular way to form Gnocchi a la Parieienne. The dough is then boiled like regular gnocchi, until they float to the surface, and cooked a minute longer...
My five year old daughter had so much fun watching me make these, we both snuck a few before they were baked with the sauce and thought they were great. The texture was softer than I expected, they reminded me a little of ricotta gnocchi. One option was to whip an egg white and fold it into the gnocchi dough to make it even lighter, I did not do this and am kind of glad I didn't, I think the texture would have been way too light for us.
After the gnocchi are boiled, they are gently place in a baking dish that has been dusted with parmesan cheese and has a layer of absolutely delicious bechamel sauce (one of my favorite sauces!) on the bottom.
Finally they come out looking like this, bubbling bechamel, crusty cheese topping, and a few little gnocchi peeking through.
Making this French dish was an enjoyable experience. I made a couple of minor changes, using skim milk instead of whole in the bechamel (since skim is the milk we keep on hand) and leaving off the extra butter dotted on top of the cheese before baking, this was an accidental omission, but I don't think it mattered much since the dish was so rich anyway.
Gnocchi a la Parisienne was such a neat recipe to try, even though my daughter and I are the only ones who finished our servings for dinner. I couldn't help thinking how this would taste extra delicious with some sauteed mushrooms added to it before baking, yum! Picky husband and our two boys only had a bite or two. Picky husband said it was the texture. Oh-well. Can't win them all over all the time, right?