Guest Blogger: Vegiterra – Crunchy Sweet Potato Gnocchi

5 Aug

Hello everyone! I’m always so happy to share new vegan bloggers and this blog happens to be from my province of Ontario. Please meet Kristofir and Christopher who are the brains behind Vegiterra. What is their blog about? Here they are in their own words.

Vegiterra is a vegan recipe blog and a pop-up vegan restaurant that offers creative worldly vegan flavours at events in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. It was started just this year by Kristofir (the culinary mastermind) and Christopher (the operations guru), with wonderful support from family and friends.”

Check out Vegiterra on their blog, Facebook, and Twitter. Welcome Kristofir and Christopher!

 

 

Gnocchi is a childhood favourite of mine.  My brother and I would spend an entire morning with my Nonna (Italian grandmother) preparing the dough and rolling out enough gnocchi to feed an army of hungry cats.  It is a serious comfort food for many Italians and you don’t have to eat that many to become full.  It must expand in your stomach like a science experiment or something!  

The dough is usually made from potato and egg, but sweet potato gnocchi is also a tasty option which adds another dimension of flavour. (Of course, when making this at home you will omit the egg if you are vegan.) I made this dish last night, and a raccoon disliked the softness of the gnocchi and asked if I could do something to make them crispy.  An experiment was born!  I had a bag of panko bread crumbs and I eagerly breaded and deep fried the entire batch.   What a glorious treat!  
They turned out amazingly, crunchy, chewy, delicately spiced.  Ahhhh mmmmmm. 
Homemade gnocchi takes a few hours to prepare, and if you want the shortcut recipe, buy premade gnocchi and skip ahead to step three the recipe. 
For four servings
  • 2 giant sweet potatoes, cut into thin chunks
  • water for steaming and boiling 
  • 3 cups wheat flour
  • 2 tsp nutmeg 
  • Panko breadcrumbs 
  • Salt to taste 
Step one: Steam the sweet potatoes.  
  1. Steam the sweet potatoes over boiling water for approximately 10 minutes, or until the sweeties are soft.  Tip* to add an extra boost of flavour, add a few star anise pods, lime leaves, or cinnamon sticks while steaming.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  2. Once cooled, mash the sweet potato into a paste.  
Step two: Preparing the dough 
  1. In a large bowl, mix sweet potato paste, flour, nutmeg and salt and kneed into a smooth ball of dough.  If the dough is still sticky, add more flour.  
  2. Chill for one hour. Chilling dough makes it easier to work with. 
Step three:  Boil the gnocchi
  1. Boil a large pot of salted water.  
  2. Roll small pieces of dough in your hands and drop them into the water.  
  3. Boil for a few minutes until they float to the surface.  
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to cool so that you can handle them.  
Step four: Breading 
  1. Toss the gnocchi in panko bread crumbs so they are evenly coated.  
Step five: Fry them up!
  1. In a large frying pan, or deep fryer, heat some vegetable oil and gently place each breaded gnocchi in the oil.
  2. Cook until golden brown.
 
You may eat these on their own or in your favourite sauce.   I like them with vegan garlic and cilantro aioli but you do what you like. 
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