Wish Upon A Dish: Kimchi & Gnocchi Haluski w/Pork Schnitzel

March 17, 2013

Kimchi & Gnocchi Haluski w/Pork Schnitzel

Last year I bought my first container of homemade kimchi at our local Korean market last year. I think I was going to use it on a burger or something and then Sandy came by and I had to throw it out. Recently I noticed this sneak-up-on-you obsession happening again with kimchi, and when I saw a jar I bought it. Not sure what I was going to do with it but I knew I had time to decide. This was sealed and preserved so even if Sandy's cousin  made an appearance I would still have my kimchi. And they say you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

My BFF growing up had Ukranian immigrant parents and when I was asked if I wanted to stay for dinner, I never said no. I enjoyed foods that, as diverse as was my diet growing up, was never anything like what Lynn's mom cooked.
She introduced me to stuffed cabbage (holubchi), split pea soup, halushky, homemade pirogi and borscht. I was in love. Another Ukranian dish I adored was Kasha Varnishkas which was buckwheat groats in a brown gravy served over farfalle. I will have to put that on the menu soon.
Since some recipes have the same ingredients weaving into other familiar dishes, it can be confusing as to why people call one dish something you would call another. Sort of like a bolognese sauce, there are many versions. She made these small potato filled dumplings and then sauteed them with cabbage, onions and caraway seeds. Probably the Ukranian version of a pirogi. I am going to make it Italian (gnocchi) with a side trip to Austria (pork schnitzel) right after a fly by in Korea (kimchi).
I hoped this was not going to be another miss in this years hit parade of failed attempts to rework a classic. I have mangled a potato gratin, destroyed a chicken cannelloni dish and blew up a souffle, and it's only the second month of 2013.

Potato gnocchi is probably my favorite gnocchi, second only to ricotta and then there's polenta. Let's see, after that the squash are good and the blue cheese ones are unique and spinach is in there too. Oh, let's face it, I am a gnocchi junkie. My Nana used to make potato dumplings that were really good but they hit your stomach like a lead balloon. Gnocchi is a much better option, a spoonful satisfies and totally lead-free.

Potato Gnocchi
makes approximately 8 dozen

* 1 1/4 cups mashed potatoes
* 1 cup AP flour
* 1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 3/4 cup Romano cheese, grated

Mix everything in a laarge bowl, using a spoon. Scrape the mixture onto a large wooden board that has been covered with flour and pat and roll the dough into a disk. Cover with the bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes.

Simple and easy way: Make long ropes and cut into 1" logs. Lay them on a kitchen towel and repeat until there is no more dough.

Traditional way: Follow easy way but roll each log off the back of a fork or off a butter paddle. The grooves hold more sauce. Those Italians think of everything.

Pork Schnitzel
makes 6 (5") scallopini

* 1 pound pork tenderloin or pork loin, cut into 3/4" slices, pounded thin
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1/2 cup panko crumbs
* 1/2 cup flavored dried breadcrumbs
* salt & pepper

Make a breading station. One bowl is the egg, the second bowl is for both crumbs mixed together.
Season cutlets with salt & pepper on both sides.

Dip seasoned pork cutlets into egg and then into crumbs to coat on both sides.
Heat 1/2" of vegetable oil  in a large skillet. Saute on both sides until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

Gnocchi & Kimchi Saute
makes 4-6 servings

* 6-8 gnocchi per person
* 6oz kimchi
* 3 slices bacon cut into 1/4" strips
* 1/4 white onion chopped
* 1 glove garlic, minced
* 1/4 cup brown gravy
* 1 tablespoon olive oil

Put a large pot of salted water to boil.
Heat oil in fry pan and saute onions and bacon until bacon is cooked. Add garlic and gravy and stir in kimchi. Drain gnocchi and add to pan.

To serve: Place pork cutlets on a platter and top with haluski.
Review: This was excellent. We liked our first taste of kimchi. As a matter of fact, it will be soon a topping on my hot dogs. Say goodbye to sauerkraut.

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