2/1/2017 February is for Potato Lovers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 1, 2017
Contact:    Wendy White, (303) 869-9174, Wendy.White@state.co.us  
 
February is for Potato Lovers
 
BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Each month, the Colorado Department of Agriculture features a different product to highlight the variety and quality of products grown, raised or processed in the state. February is Potato Lover’s Month! From well-known varieties such as Russet and Yukon Gold to specialty potatoes like Purple Majesty and French Fingerling, Colorado grows over 70 different varieties of potatoes. Colorado produces more than 2 billion pounds of potatoes annually, making the state the fifth largest producer in the nation. Avoid potatoes with wrinkled skins, soft dark spots, cut surfaces or a green appearance. All varieties should be uniformly sized, fairly clean, firm, and smooth. Potatoes are gluten free, fat free, sodium free and are high in potassium and Vitamin C. Look for Colorado potatoes at your local grocery store or at restaurants across the state.
 
Smokey Gnocchi
Chef Jason K. Morse, C.E.C., 5280 Culinary, LLC and Ace Hardware Grill Expert
 
2 Lbs. Russet Potatoes         
1 2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Eggs
Kosher Salt to Taste 
White Ground Pepper to Taste         
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil      
6 Pieces Bacon, diced
1 Cup Crimini Mushrooms, sliced   
Seasoning Blend to Taste     
Fresh Chopped Thyme Leaves to Taste
1/2 Cup Smoked Gouda Cheese, shredded  
 
In a large stock pot bring 1.5 gallons of water to a boil. Peel all the potatoes, rinse and add to the water. Boil potatoes for 45-55 minutes or until soft. Drain stock pot and refill with water. While potatoes are hot, pass through a potato ricer, onto a plastic wrapped cutting board   . Make well in center of potatoes and sift the flour over the potatoes, using the exact measured flour first. Add the eggs, salt and white pepper to the well. With a fork, stir flour and potatoes, then break the eggs and mix in, forming a dough. Knead the dough until a ball is formed. Knead for another 4-6 minutes or until ball is dry to touch. Add extra flour during kneading if needed. Bring fresh water back to a boil. Make an ice bath with 50/50 ice/water and set aside. Roll the dough into 3/4 inch diameter rods and cut into ¾”-1" pieces. Roll off the end of a fork to get the gnocchi look, and let dry for 5-10 minutes. Place gnocchi into the boiling water and cook for 1-2 minutes or until they float. Remove from the water and shock in the ice bath until fully cooled. Once all gnocchi are cooled, toss with olive oil and allow to dry on a cookie sheet. Place the cooled gnocchi onto a perforated grill rack and cold smoke in smoker for 10-15 minutes or until desired smoke level is reached. Remove from the smoker and let pan rest on the counter. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the diced bacon and cook until about 50% of the fat has rendered. Add the sliced mushrooms, seasoning blend and thyme and sauté until mushrooms are golden in color, or about 5 minutes. Add the gnocchi to the pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until gnocchi are hot. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Once gnocchi are hot, remove from the pan and transfer to a serving dish. Top with the smoked Gouda and serve hot.
 
Enjoy with a glass of Colorado wine such as Cabernet Franc from Bookcliff Vineyards in Boulder, Colorado.
 
Visit www.coloradoagriculture.com for a complete list of recipes.
 
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