It’s local lore that in Canberra, the ANZAC Day holiday heralds the start of the cold of winter. As if on cue, the air was chilly and the sky overcast. Time to break out the comfort food. Dan and I were fortunate enough to be invited to the home of Geoff and Angela for a hearty and warm dumpling meal.
Sweet potato gnocchi
Recipe received via Geoff Skellams
- 3 large sweet potatoes, steamed then mashed (not boiled)
- 2+ cups of flour
- Add 2 cups of flour to the mashed sweet potato. Keep adding flour until the dough is the consistency of Play-Doh.
- Roll the dough into the shape of a snake the width of a ten-cent piece, then cut into 2 cm bits.
- Boil the dumplings until they float. Test one and if the centre is still really dense, leave the dumplings to boil for another minute or two.
- “Add whatever sauce, and then BAM! Gnocchi!” Geoff topped the gnocchi with his famous chicken, bacon and tarragon pasta sauce.
Chicken, bacon and tarragon sauce
By Geoff Skellams
- 4 rashers of bacon, finely chopped
- 1 chicken breast fillet, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves FRESH garlic, finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons FRESH tarragon, finely chopped (or more or less to taste)
- 2-3 tablespoons FRESH chives, finely chopped (or more or less to taste)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (typically a cheap Aussie Chardonnay)
- 300 mL fresh cream
- 1/4-1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- (Optional) In a frying pan on medium heat, fry the rind from the bacon up, then remove it from pan, reserving the bacon fat at the end.
- Fry the chopped chicken breast until it looses the pink colour. Remove from pan.
- Fry the chopped bacon until it starts to turn brown.
- Add the garlic and stir for a couple of minutes, until the garlic starts to get aromatic.
- Throw in the chicken, tarragon and chives and stir for a couple of minutes.
- Add the white wine and stir for a few minutes. (Optional: if following the Keith Floyd school of cooking, add at least half a glass of white wine to the chef.)
- Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Add the cream, and stir to mix.
- Reduce the heat and cook until the sauce starts to thicken slightly.
- Put in the grated Parmesan cheese, stir through and cook for several minutes to let the flavours mingle properly.
Serve immediately over freshly cooked gnocchi – or any other pasta.