Friday, August 15, 2014

Food Adventure with Blue Apron's Fresh Gnocchi & Maitake Mushrooms with Sweet Corn & Thyme Brown Butter

   Last night we made the third meal that was shipped to us this week by Blue Apron!  It's the Fresh Gnocchi & Maitake Mushrooms with Sweet Corn & Thyme Brown Butter!  WOW was it great!  I'm already a fan of Gnocchi since as I said before I lived in Italy as a kid because my Dad was stationed there.  I remember the first time I ate Gnocchi I was being picky at a restaurant where my Dad had taken me with him to go to lunch with someone.  I was a difficult one, being picky, I knew what I liked and didn't like, but he convinced me somehow to trust him and try the Gnocchi.  So I received a shallow bowl of little white oblong things with a bright red tomato sauce over it!  Now I LOVED tomato sauce so I figured I would like it...maybe that's how he convinced me to try it in the first place!  LOL  I tentatively took a bite and YUM!!!  Soft and pillowy!  And the tomato sauce was so fresh and simple, I still try and recreate that simple beautiful tomato sauce it's hard to come by!  One day I will hit upon how to make that sauce, or find one that will be a great day!  So over the years I've tried various store bought Gnocchi and they are never as good as what I remember in Italy, hardly anything is...LOL!  I've also made my own a couple of times and it's kind of tricky but I have made some that came pretty close.  This one being the closest!  I think with practice I could make them perfect, the only trouble is they are very time consuming!
    That leads me back to this delicious little bite!!!  I really loved the buttery, nutty flavors, with a light sweetness!  I tell you the bright thyme flavor played so well with the sweet creamy flavors too, I really enjoyed this dish and I want to make it again!  If there was a downside I would say it was the actual Gnocchi they sent.  While it WAS impressively fresh, they were a bit gummy to me, still better than most store bought kinds so I enjoyed them still.  Just not how I remember the perfect Italian Gnocchi tasting like.  I believe it was the use of egg in them, an authentic Gnocchi doesn't use egg at all.  I think if I made my own and then used them in this recipe it would be even more out of this world than it already was!  And what you see that looks a lot like Roast Beef is Maitake Mushrooms!  This is my first time having them and cooking them and I REALLY loved them!  I am wanting to see if my local grocer can stock them because I think these, if I can get my hands on them, will become a regular part of my diet!!!
   Another first for me was taking corn on the cob and cutting the kernels off.  I would normally just buy frozen corn to add in the recipe instead but I figured why not give it a try and see what difference it makes.  Not sure it makes that much of a difference, especially if you use a very good frozen kind that tastes the same as fresh, but it's more convenient than cutting the corn off the cob yourself.  I enjoy eating the corn ON the cob the best when I get it in cob form!
   Lastly, but definitely not least!  The wine paring!  We chose a nice toasty Dark Earth Chardonnay, that has a wonderful buttery note that plays so well with all things buttery!  (We found it at our Local Stater Bros.) When we first tasted this wine we loved the creamy toasty flavors and then Hubby stated "You know what, I think this would go well with?  CORN!" and at once I replied "YES, it totally would!" so we did what any sane wine pairing connoisseurs would do and whipped out a fresh Corn On The Cob we had in the fridge, cooked it up, split it between us and slathered it with butter and a sprinkle of salt and WOW does that pairing work spectacularly!!!  The buttery corn just sang with the creamy-toasty-buttery chardonnay!  It was food and wine synergy at it's best!  It's worth hunting down this chardonnay just to try it out with with buttered corn on the cob!
   Now that you've heard the background story, you can see why we chose this wine to pair with this meal, and it certainly worked really nicely with the browned butter and sweet corn as well as the mushrooms and potato gnocchi!  I also think that the Toasted Head Chardonnay would also pair well since it's also very toasty and creamy.

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