Talk Food Festival: John Besh

Posted on Dec 3, 2013 10:45am

Author, chef and restaurateur John Besh joined the ladies in the kitchen for The Talk Food Festival.  He showed the ladies how to make delicious dishes from his cookbook, "Cooking from the Heart."  Here are the recipes!

Recipes Courtesy of Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way by John Besh/Andrews McMeel Publishing

Basic Potato Gnocchi 

Makes about 50 gnocchi, serving 6


1 pound medium

Yukon Gold or yellow potatoes, peeled and quartered

4 egg yolks

½ cup flour, plus more for rolling

Pinch freshly ground nutmeg


1. Put the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and, while they are still hot, pass through a food mill or potato ricer into a large bowl.

2. Add the egg yolks, flour, and nutmeg and season with salt. Working quickly and gently, combine the ingredients with your hands until the mixture forms a ball and

pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add a bit more flour if the dough feels

too sticky.

3. Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface, pat gently and divide. One

at a time, roll each part into a long rope about ¾ inch thick. Cut the ropes into 1-inch pieces. Dust with more flour and roll each piece over a ribbed gnocchi board or over the tines of a fork to make their signature ridges.

4. To cook the gnocchi, bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Drop in the gnocchi and once they float to the surface, cook for another 30 seconds. Scoop them

out with a slotted spoon. If using immediately, add them to a pan with sauce. If you're making them in advance, shock them in a bowl of ice water for a minute, then remove with a slotted spoon. Toss with a dash or two of oil, lay on a baking pan, and place in the freezer. When frozen, transfer to a resealable plastic bag and store in the freezer.


Mushroom Sauté with Gnocchi & Parmesan

Serves 6


4 tablespoons butter

2 cloves garlic, sliced

Leaves from 4 sprigs fresh thyme

4 ounces wild mushrooms, such as porcinis and chanterelles, chopped

1 cup Basic Chicken Stock


Freshly ground black pepper

Basic Potato Gnocchi

Parmesan cheese, for shaving

1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until brown and nutty. Add the garlic, thyme, and mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are brown and soft, about 10 minutes. Add the Chicken Stock and cook until the broth is reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the gnocchi according to the recipe. When done, scoop them right into the pan with the mushrooms. Toss until the gnocchi are well coated with sauce. Shave Parmesan over the gnocchi and serve.


Mâche Salad with Pumpkin Oil Vinaigrette

Serves 6


4 slices thick bacon, cut into lardons

4 slices country bread, roughly cubed


½ shallot, finely chopped

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons pumpkin seed oil

Freshly ground black pepper

8 handfuls mâche

1. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Scatter the bread cubes in the same skillet and toss to evenly coat with the bacon fat. Cook until the croutons are crunchy and golden, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and drain on

paper towels. Return to the pan to crisp.

2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, and oils in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Put the mâche in a large salad bowl, drizzle with the vinaigrette, and toss gently. Sprinkle with the bacon pieces and croutons and serve.

The Apéritif Tradition – Kir Royale


Crème de cassis liqueur


Pour 1 teaspoon of cassis into a champagne flute and top with champagne.

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