Friday, October 22, 2010

Gnocchi, Meatballs and a Veal Madeira Sauce

It's back to the freezer tonight to renovate a couple of goodies from the past.  My freezer is at the same time a treasure trove and a black hole.  There are several items I purposefully stock in the freezer and derive a certain comfort from just knowing they are in there.  Then there are the occasional items that I know will freeze well, of which I make extra when preparing it the first time.  And then, there are bits of this and that which are forgotten about or disappear in the abyss until they are discovered much too late to salvage or were never going to be eaten anyway.  Why am I compelled to put them in the freezer in the first place?  I can't stop myself.  It is, of course, out of hope and not wanting to waste.  

So, tonight, gnocchi and meatballs with a little veal stock, madeira and fresh sage.
I defrosted the meatballs in the refrigerator last night.  Cook the meatballs in a large skillet with a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Brown them slowly to make sure they are cooked through.  Covering the skillet with a lid between flipping the meatballs will help.
The gnocchi can remain frozen until you are ready to boil them.  Account for maybe an additional minute in cooking time because they are frozen.  But the same procedure works... once they float, boil for another 10 seconds or so and they are ready.
For the all important sauce, bring veal stock to a simmer.  I had about a cup and a half in the freezer.  Add in 3 tbsp of madeira and bring back to a simmer.  Add in 5 tbsp of unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time until all is incorporated.  Make sure heat is turned down so that you do not boil the sauce as the fat from the butter will separate.  Finish with a little chiffonade of fresh sage.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Never underestimate the power of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano on top.  
So very good.  The sauce, oh the sauce!  Meatballs were just as good as the first time around.  Gnocchi light and fluffy.  

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