Sweet potato gnocchi with duck confit

Sweet potato gnocchi with Liberty duck confit, brown clamshell mushrooms and chard
Serves 8 (with leftover gnocchi for your freezer)

For the sweet potato gnocchi:

  • 3 lbs. sweet potatoes, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, add sweet potatoes, oil and salt. Mix to combine and coat potatoes. Place potatoes on small sheet tray and roast in the oven until each potato is soft through the center. Allow to cool just enough so that they can be handled. Slice potatoes lengthwise with a sharp knife and scoop pulp from skins using a spoon. Pass pulp through a food mill and set aside to cool completely. Discard skins.

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 2 gallons water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

Place sweet potato puree in medium mixing bowl and add eggs, nutmeg and 1 Tbsp. salt. Fold ingredients together using a rubber spatula. Once combined, add flour to potato mixture and gently incorporate until all flour is incorporated into the gnocchi batter. Place batter into a large pastry bag and refrigerate.

Place a large saucepot over high heat and add water. Season with 1 cup salt and bring water to a boil. Using kitchen shears, remove tip from pastry bag until open end diameter is about the size of a dime. Directly above the surface of the boiling water, gently squeeze small amount of batter from the bag and snip off with scissors once gnocchi is 1 to 1½ -inches long. The dumpling will safely drop into the water. Repeat quickly to make ten gnocchi. Once the gnocchi float, allow to cook one minute then remove with a slotted spoon. Repeat until all batter is prepared in gnocchi form. Transfer to a pan sprayed with vegetable spray to keep from sticking. Gnocchi can be frozen for future use at this point.

For the swiss chard:

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard

Remove leaf from stem and rip into 1-inch pieces. In a sauce pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Heavily salt the water. Drop chard into the water until lightly wilted, approximately 30 seconds. Remove from boiling water and immediately place chard into ice water. Drain chard and squeeze out any additional liquid.

For the mushroom swiss chard:
Serves 4 appetizers

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 24 gnocchi
  • 10 medium sage leaves, torn
  • 6 oz. duck confit
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 4 oz. brown clamshell mushrooms
  • Swiss chard (prepared)
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup toasted pecans, crushed
  • 4 Tbsp. grated Carmody cheese

In a small non-stick sauté pan, brown 1Tbsp. butter. Add gnocchi and sage and gently brown gnocchi on both sides over medium heat. Add the duck confit and cook until the gnocchi become golden brown and crisp. Remove from heat and reserve.

In a separate 12-inch non-stick sauté pan, brown 1 Tbsp. of butter on medium-high heat. Add shallots and mushrooms and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chard and cook for 1 minute. Add the water and maple syrup and cook until nicely glazed. Season the mixture with salt and toss with pecans.

To serve: Place mushroom Swiss chard in a bowl and garnish with gnocchi and duck confit top with grated carmody cheese.

Meal will be paired with the Kendall-Jackson 2006 Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir

Product ideas for a family meal:

-Kendall-Jackson Winery; Santa Rosa, Calif.: http://www.kj.com/ (Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Pinot Noir)

-Bellwether Farms Artisan Creamery; Sonoma County, Calif.: www.bellwethercheese.com (Carmody cheese)

-Gourmet Mushrooms; Sebastopol, Calif.: mycopia.com (brown clamshell mushrooms)

-Arnold Farms; Atwater, Calif. (sweet potatoes)

About Kendall Jackson Winery:
One of the "truths" we live by here at the winery is that outstanding wines can only be made from exceptional fruit. Our Kendall-Jackson Estate Vineyards are found atop cool coastal mountains, rocky ridge tops and rolling hillsides - places where the climate, soil and vine come together to create remarkable grapes. In each glass, you will taste our family's commitment to crafting extraordinary wines from California's best vineyards. Enjoy.
>> Web site: www.kj.com

About Chef Justin Wangler:
Under the direction of Chef Justin Wangler, Kendall-Jackson has taken "wine country" cuisine to a new level. Given Sonoma County's abundant selection locally grown farm-fresh meats and produce, not to mention the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center's on-site culinary gardens, it's easy to understand Wangler's enthusiasm for creating innovative combinations of textures and flavors.

Justin Wangler grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, where he began working in restaurants before attending A. B. Tech Culinary School. During his culinary school training, he participated in several American Culinary Federation Hot Food Competitions on a regional and national level, winning gold medals on several occasions.

Wangler's gained a new appreciation for food and wine pairing while testing recipes with David Rosengarten for his cookbook, It's All American Food (Little, Brown & Company).

Wangler relocated to the California Wine Country in 1999, accepting a job at Napa Valley's Culinary Institute of America. In 2000, he moved to Saddleback Cellars in Napa Valley where his understanding of pairing food with wine was enhanced. After Saddleback Cellars, Wangler spent three years working with chef/owner Josh Silvers at Santa Rosa's Syrah restaurant. These experiences helped pave the way for his present position as Chef at the renowned Kendall-Jackson Wine Center.

Wangler and the Kendall-Jackson culinary team provide wholesome food and wine connections to hundreds of trade and specially invited guests who visit the winery each year. At the heart of Kendall-Jackson's Culinary Services is recipe development and culinary research, a luxury that is made possible by Kendall-Jackson's commitment to promoting the marriage of wine with food.

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