During this week, I found myself talking to my friend who asked me quite a general question: “Have you ever tried cooking nioki?” To my surprise, I have answered: “No, they escaped my attention.” But the sound of that word have not left my head since. I was so fascinated to try something new. It was truly exciting. My friend promised me, in her words, to change the situation. Little did I know that nioki would come to me this weekend. I have to say, she showed me real master class. I can definitely say that I have learned something new and opened up my horizons. Once again, I am assured that cooking brings people closer together. Maybe Madonna, when singing that music brings people together, should also sing the same thing about cooking.
I want to say BIG THANKS to my dearest and beloved friend for a great day! Thanks, hon.
Ingredients: (for about a box of nioki)
Potato puree from 4 potatoes, flour – several table spoons, spices, salt, pepper, 1 egg. For the sauce: a handful of mushrooms (can be any kind of them, but ideally – dried ones, the ones that before cooking you put in water for several minutes), greens (onion, parsley), milk – about half a liter, again, a little bit of flour – 1 table spoon, salt, 4 cloves of garlic.
Nioki: Make potato puree from 4 potatoes. Simply boil them in water, until they are soft and later, squish them together in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, and any other spices to the mix (like oregano, rosemary, etc.) Anything that you like. * While you are making the puree, if you have dried mushrooms, put them into a bowl of water and let them soak in it for several minutes. If you, however, use regular mushrooms, you do not need to go through the process. When all the spices are added, add an egg and mix it all together. Get a mixer, put in the flour gradually, mixing after every table spoon. You should add about 10-12 table spoons of flour. The texture you get supposed to be even, and turn into a viscous dough. *Put some water into a saucepan and let it boil on the stove. Get a small bowl and pour some cold water in it. Make small round balls from the dough you got and put them into a boiling water on the stove. * You know they are ready when they start to come up. Put nioki into a separate bowl.
The Sauce: Dice mushrooms, put them into a frying pan, add the garlic. Stir together for several minutes. * I have to say that the smells you get from this are simply marvelous. Especially, if you are using good olive oil. Put these guys into a separate bowl afterwards. Then, pour milk into the same frying pan, add all the greens you like, let it boil. Add the mushrooms with the garlic, mix together. Last but not least, mix in a little bit of flour. * My advice, if you don’t want to get stuck with small chunks of flour floating in your milk, mix the flour separately with a little bit of water in a small cup, and then add to the milk. Again, let the mixture come to its senses for several minutes. * According to my friend, it is also very tasty if you add fresh basil leaves into the mixture. I did not have any, but if you like you can definitely try it out and report back=)
Final step, pour the sauce into the bowl with nioki, *Here, some say it is wonderful to add cheese, makes the sauce even more delicious. As the cheese melts, what you get is a totally different rainbow of taste. Let them cool a little bit, and serve!
Have to say, it really was an interesting and delightful meal.