Blog: Ashley Blom’s (from Forking Up) Gnocchi & Cheese

Featured in BoxMac 76: Homemade Gnocchi & Cheese Pt. 2


2 medium onions, sliced
1 tbsp butter
salt (~1 tbsp)
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms

3 packages pre-made gnocchi
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cups whole milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about two 8oz blocks)
1 egg, room temp
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 cup breadcrumbs
3 tbsp butter

-Prepare the mix-ins:
Caramelize the onions. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 1 tbsp butter. Add a handful of onions and sprinkle with salt. Continue adding handfuls of onions and sprinkling with salt with remaining onions. Cover pan and let the onions sweat. Check every few minutes for burning, and mix with a spatula. Once the onions have halved in size, raise the heat. Keep an eye on them–the process goes quickly once they begin to brown. Continue stirring every few minutes until the onions are a caramel color, then take off heat.
Prepare the bacon and mushrooms: Cook the bacon pieces over medium heat in a deep frying pan until the edges just begin to brown. Push the bacon to the edges of the pan and pour the mushrooms into the center. Stir the mushrooms until the bacon grease has saturated them, and cook until soft. Drain the pan and set aside.

-Prepare the sauce:
Create a roux by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until a thick paste forms. If the paste is too oily, add more flour. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly, and let the milk simmer until thick.
Temper in the egg by whisking in a small bowl and slowly adding the hot cream mixture. Once you’ve added enough cream to heat the egg, slowly pour it into the rest of the cream mix, whisking constantly. At this point the cream should be very thick. Add the garlic, mustard, and cayenne.
Add the cheese in handfuls, letting it melt between each one. Reserve some cheese for topping. Stir until incorporated and remove from heat.

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

Boil the gnocchi according to the instructions on the package. When gnocchi is done, drain and fold in the cheese and mix-ins. Pour into a baking dish.

Prepare the topping by tossing the breadcrumbs with the melted butter. They should be crumbly, not sticky. If needed, add more breadcrumbs. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the gnocchi in the baking dish and add the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is crispy and the breadcrumbs have browned.

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