We had to go to Chicago this weekend for a wedding and we got to have dinner one night with our oldest son, Barry, who goes to school there. I've always wanted to try "Quince", the restaurant which occupies the space where the famous five star "Trio" and Grant Achatz used to be. We had a great dinner there. The menu had me stumped because I wanted to try almost every single thing on it. And I was so disappointed in myself because I did not have the guts to take decent photos of the food - just these lousy low light ones. But I was way too conscientious to use my flash in such a nice place. Just what they need - another food blogger taking pictures of the food. But that food really deserved serious photos. If you want to see real photos of how the food was presented, go to their website. The dishes are real works of art.
It's gotten cold outside and so it's time to make gnocchi. I hardly ever make this in the summer, but in the winter, this is such great comfort food. Gnocchi is a lot of fun to make - it's like playing with Playdough. I've included a video in this post to show you how easy they are to roll out and cut. You can make them when you don't have anything else around for dinner because the ingredients are all things you have on hand anyway - flour, potatoes and eggs. And now it takes me even less time to make them. Most cooks think you have to run the finished gnocchi over a fork or grater to get those ridges that will catch the sauce. That's how my mom and I used to make it. However, when I have gone to Italy and ordered gnocchi, it is very often made without those ridges. They are just nice fluffy little pillows. I know that Todd English makes them this way, also. And I have come to actually prefer the texture of the gnocchi without the ridges.
For those of you who are tired of the same old lasagna, try making this "white" lasagna. It has no meat and you can really use whatever vegetables you like. The vegetables are roasted, giving them a deeper flavor and the lasagna is assembled with a simple, rich bechamel sauce. Learning how to make a bechamel sauce is easy - you just whisk and cook!