Zamzows Table: Garlic Bechamel with Gnocchi and Poached Eggs
This simple recipe holds a special place in my heart. While it's not flashy or particularly original, the first time I made it was without the aid of an online recipe. I looked at the ingredients I had on hand and created it all on my own. This recipe is perfect for weekdays, as it comes together quickly. It's also highly versatile. You can swap out the gnocchi for pasta, add some chicken or mushrooms, and pair it with a variety of vegetables and even add some parmesean on top. If you've never made poached eggs, don't worry - they're easier than you think and well worth the effort.
Ingredients From the Garden:
- 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
- 4 large eggs
- Half a white onion, diced
Ingredients From the Store
- 1 package premade gnocchi
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup whole milk or heavy cream
- Salt and Pepper
Prepare your Gnocchi:
If you have the time to make fresh gnocchi, you won’t be disappointed. Otherwise, opt for the shelf-stable packs at the supermarket. Season a pot of water generously with salt and bring to a boil. Add your gnocchi and cook until they begin to float. Remove from heat and drain. Pour the drained gnocchi back into your pot, drizzle a small amount of olive oil, and mix to prevent sticking. Cover to keep warm.
Make your Bechamel:
Finely dice your garlic and onions. In a medium saucepan, melt two tablespoons of butter. When the butter begins to froth, add your garlic and sauté until fragrant (about a minute). Add about two tablespoons of flour to your butter and whisk together to form a thick paste or roux. Once incorporated, add a small amount of your milk and mix. Add more milk slowly over a few minutes to avoid rapid cooling. Your bechamel will begin to thin, and you can usually add the last ¼ cup of milk all at once. Continue to whisk until it thickens back up. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set on a back burner on low heat, stirring occasionally.
They may seem daunting at first, but they are very easy to make. Just be gentle. Add water to a tall skillet (ideally 1.5 to 2 inches). Set the heat to medium and watch for tiny bubbles to form at the bottom of your pan. Crack an egg on a flat surface, hold the egg just over the warm water, and gently finish the crack allowing the egg to gently fall into the water. Reduce the heat slightly so the eggs don’t roll around. Use a slotted spoon or fry spatula to skim off any egg bits that accumulate on top of the water. After a few minutes, the egg whites will lose their opacity and you can gently lift them and test for doneness. You want them to be runny, so they should be a little squishy. When the eggs are done, transfer them to a plate and salt and pepper to your preference.
Bring it All Together:
At this point, I like to put a little bit of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. When the oil gets shiny, add your gnocchi to the pan and fry for a few minutes. This will warm them back up and give them a little crunch. Spoon your warmed gnocchi onto a plate, add an egg, and a generous spoonful of your bechamel. Sprinkle with paprika and add freshly grated parmesan. Some roasted asparagus or broccoli will go well with this dish, and a little of your bechamel won’t hurt them either. Enjoy!