Potato Gnocchi with Mushrooms, Sweet Corn and Thyme Brown Butter Sauce
My wife and I were out for an event this weekend and my oldest daughter Nell prepared this Blue Apron recipe for gnocchi and maitake mushrooms for her sister and herself. When we came home from our event, I gave the gnocchi a try and it was delicious.
Hen of the Woods Mushrooms
Also called ram’s head and sheep’s head as well as by its Japanese name, maitake, this mushroom grows in clusters at the base of trees and is also prized as a medicinal mushroom in Chinese and Japanese cultures.
Even the American Cancer Society talks about this mushroom and its chemistry on their website – “Beta glucan is believed to stimulate the immune system and activate certain cells and proteins that attack cancer. In laboratory studies, it appears to slow the growth of cancer in some cell cultures and in mice.”
This recipe calls for potato gnocchi and my daughter said they cooked extremely fast. You’ll know when the gnocchi are done when they float to the top of the pot. The sauce is a simple brown butter sauce and I would be temped to add some sage for additional flavor.
Gnocchi and Hen of the Woods Mushroom Recipe
- 4 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 10 ounces Hen of the Woods mushrooms
- 1 bunch thyme
- 2 ears fresh corn
- 2 shallots
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 20 ounces fresh potato gnocchi
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Prep the Ingredients
- Clean and dry the mushrooms and then cut them into bite sized pieces. Remove the leaves off the thyme and discard the stems. Chop the thyme leaves roughly.
- Peel the corn and cut the corn kernels off the cob and reserve. Peel and thinly slice the shallots.
- While the water is coming to a boil, heat a large fry pan over medium heat until the pan is hot.
- Add the olive oil and when hot but not smoking, add the Hen of the Woods mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes. Be sure to stir frequently so they don't burn.
- To make the brown butter sauce, push the mushrooms to one side of the pan, add the butter and cook for about 30 seconds until the butter starts foaming.
- When the foaming stops, swirl the butter in the pan for a couple - 3 minutes or until golden brown with a wonderful nutty fragrance."Don't Burn the Butter"
- Add the shallots and cook for a minute until softened and fragrant.
- Add the corn kernels and thyme and stir everything together.
- Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 4 minutes until the corn softens.
- When the water is boiling, add the gnocchi to the pot and cook for a couple of minutes.The gnocchi will float to the top of the water when done.
- Reserve 1 cup of the gnocchi water and remove the rest of the gnocchi with slotted spoon or one of those Chinese deep fryer skimmers.
- Transfer the cooked gnocchi to the pan with the brown butter, mushrooms and corn.
- To finish the dish, add most of the Parmesan cheese and ½ cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir to combine. If the sauce is to thick, you can add some more of the reserved gnocchi water to thin it out.
- Remove the pan from the heat, taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Plate the meal by dividing the gnocchi between 4 plates (bowls) and garnish with the remaining Parmesan cheese.