Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mistakes that Work

By Brianne Harrison

Over the years, I’ve found that mistakes can frequently lead to interesting culinary discoveries and creations, both good and bad. Luckily, this time it was a good one. The mistake was: I forgot to take the salmon out of the freezer to defrost, which meant I had to completely reassess my dinner plans. I reached into the fridge and came out with a few leaves of kale that desperately needed to be used, a cup of pre-made potato gnocchi, and a couple of strips of bacon. The resulting dish was a surprising play of textures and flavors: the smoky bacon worked nicely off the slightly bitter kale, adding a hint of sweetness to the dish, and the soft gnocchi offset the crispy bacon.

Potato Gnocchi with Kale and Crispy Bacon
1 cup potato gnocchi
A few leaves of kale, chopped (you can also substitute spinach or broccoli rabe)
3 slices of bacon, chopped
Fresh-ground pepper

Cook the gnocchi according to package directions and drain when done.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and fry until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate to drain. Drain excess bacon grease from the pan, reserving about 1/2T in the pan.

Return the pan to the heat and add the kale. Saute until wilted. Add the gnocchi and toss until the gnocchi colors slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the bacon, remove from the heat, add ground black pepper to taste, and serve.

You can easily replace the gnocchi with pasta in this recipe, and you can also use pancetta if you don’t have any bacon.

How about you, readers? Do you have any kitchen mistakes that worked?

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