Kachemak Cuisine: Cold and snowy days offer perfect time to try new recipes

Winter is full on here with all the snow and cold temperatures, so I am indoors spending time in the kitchen and trying new recipes. I highly recommend both of these yummy dishes.

Crisp Gnocchi and Brussels Sprouts in Brown Butter

(From my friend Sam Sifton at the New York Times )

The key to this recipe is how you cook the store-bought gnocchi: No need to boil. Just sear them until they are crisp and golden on the outside, and their insides will stay chewy. Feel free to add in a handful of toasted pine nuts, crispy bacon bits or fried prosciutto, maybe a bit of pan roasted sliced shallot or all three, like I did!


1 pound brussels sprouts

1 lemon

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and black pepper

½ teaspoon red-pepper flakes

1 (18-ounce) package shelf-stable potato gnocchi

6 tablespoons butter, sliced into 6 pieces

½ teaspoon honey

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


1. Trim and halve the brussels sprouts. Using a vegetable peeler, peel thick strips of lemon zest, then coarsely chop. (You should have about 2 teaspoons chopped zest.)

2: In a large (preferably 12-inch) skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high. Add the brussels sprouts, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, then arrange the brussels sprouts in an even layer, cut-side down. Scatter the lemon zest over the top and cook, undisturbed, until the brussels sprouts are well browned underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red-pepper flakes, stir and cook until the brussels sprouts are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.

3: In the same skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high. Break up any gnocchi that are stuck together, add them to the pan and cook, covered and undisturbed, until golden brown on one side, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the butter and honey, season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the butter is golden, nutty smelling and foaming, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the brussels sprouts until warmed through. Serve with grated Parmesan.

This savory slab pie from Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen is a great way to serve a homemade breakfast to guests. It reheats beautifully, serves a crowd, and has an easy, serve-yourself vibe to give the host a little break. It would also be a great breakfast to eat during the week before leaving for work or school, or even taking with you.

Breakfast Slab Pie



4 cups (482 g) All Purpose Flour (or half all-purpose and half whole wheat flour)

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cups cold butter

3/4 cup cold water


2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

10 ounces fresh spinach

1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt plus more, to taste

freshly ground black pepper

4 scallions, thinly sliced

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

11 large eggs plus 1 egg white (reserve the yolk for the glaze)

2 teaspoons hot sauce

* cooked sausage, bacon or ham


To make the crust: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour(s) and salt. Work the butter into the flour until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Stir in the water until a craggy mass forms.

1. Knead the dough with your hands two or three times to form a ball or use a bowl scraper to fold the dough over on itself until it comes together. Divide the dough into two pieces, with one slightly larger than the other.

2. Pat each piece into a rectangle about 1/2” thick, then wrap and chill for 1 hour or as long as 2 days.

3. To make the filling: Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 7 to 10 minutes, until the potatoes are easily pierced with a paring knife. Remove from the heat, drain, and let cool.

4. Wash the spinach, then cook the wet leaves in a large skillet over high heat until they just collapse. Drain in a colander, squeezing out as much liquid as possible; there should be about 2 cups spinach when you’re done.

5. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 10” x 15” x 1” jelly roll pan with parchment.

6. To assemble: On a floured piece of parchment, roll the larger of the two dough pieces to an 18” x 13” rectangle. Use the parchment to help you transfer thedough to the prepared pan, flipping it over and peeling off the paper. Tuck the dough into the bottom of the pan and leave 3/4” overhanging the edges.

7. Cut the potatoes in 3/8” slices and arrange in the pastry-lined pan. Sprinkle potatoes with seasoned salt. Roughly chop the spinach and distribute over the potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the scallions and cheddar over all. Beat the eggs briefly, then slowly pour them over the filling in the pan. Add the hot sauce to the beaten eggs.

8. Roll the remaining dough into a 16” x 11” rectangle. Drape over the filling, trim the edges to line up with the edge of the pan, and fold the overhang from the bottom crust up and over to seal the pie. Pinch the edges and cut a few 1/2” slits in the lid to act as vents (too many or too big and the eggs will leak out).

Beat the remaining egg yolk with water and brush it over the top crust.

9. Bake the pie until the crust is golden and the filling is set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

10. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for several days.

*Note: The addition of cooked breakfast sausage, bacon or diced ham added to the filling is tasty. Use approximately 2 cups of bulk cooked sausage, 1 cup cooked diced bacon, or 1 1/2 cups diced ham.

Reach Teri Robl at easthood.queen@gmail.com.

This recipe of gnochi and brussels sprouts in brown butter might be just the thing to warm you up on a cold winter day, as seen here on Feb. 17, 2020, in Teri Robl’s kitchen in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Teri Robl)

This recipe of gnochi and brussels sprouts in brown butter might be just the thing to warm you up on a cold winter day, as seen here on Feb. 17, 2020, in Teri Robl’s kitchen in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Teri Robl)

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