The food! Unbelievable! Even the "complimentary" main dining room was an exquisite affair. The buffet was absolutely ridiculous. Kind of made you feel remorseful as you step foot onto impoverished Caribbean islands. But that's not where I'm going, you see...not today anyhow.
After tasting night after night of amazing dishes, I couldn't help but notice a cook book for sale outside the main dining room, "Carte Du Jour: The Restaurants of the Royal Caribbean International". MINE! Even got it signed by the captain, head chef, and head sous chef.
So I bring you this amazing dish, which after all of my story above, didn't even come from a restaurant that was on the Navigator of the Seas (it was from 150 Central Park Restaurant on an even bigger boat, the Oasis of the Seas). This book is great, however, these are not really recipes for home cooks (at least not of my meager caliber). So I took it upon myself to shorten and change this (originally "Gnocchi with Chanterelles") into something feasible.
Little balls of wonder, these are fantastic! I served this with a 2010 Barbera from our foothills fav, Boeger Winery.
3 lbs pre-made gnocchi
8 oz. bacon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup fresh thyme
2 cups whole parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- Place bacon slices on a parchment-line baking sheet, sprinkle with brown sugar and bake for 15 minutes or until you are drooling over the oven from the incredible smell. Drain on paper towels, and once cool, dice and keep in a dry area and try not to "taste test" all the bits before using in the dish.
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil and saute mushrooms for 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine. Add thyme and sage, and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Cook gnocchi in a large pot of lightly salted water, and cook according to package directions. Drain and gently toss with some melted butter in a large stainless steel bowl.
- Finish thyme sauce by whisking in the remaining butter a little at a time. Incorporate the lemon juice at the last minute.
- Toss all ingredients together with parsley leaves, and serve.
- Enjoy. Thank me later with a kind comment on this post :-).
Gnocchi dough photo courtesy of Tastespotting. Candied bacon photo courtesy of David Lebovitz's colorful food blog. Happy retiree courtesy of Daily Margarita, that's the life, huh?