Ladies We Love: Chef Tiffany Derry (and a holiday recipe!)

December 16, 2011 at 12:38 pm , by

Chef Tiffany Derry's Gnudi with Brown Butter, Peas and Mushrooms

How does chef Tiffany Derry (of Top Chef fan-favorite fame) handle holiday parties for her 70-person (!) family?

“My grandmother is really the only one who can wrangle all of us,” she says. “But I know you also need to plan ahead and make as much as you can the day before. That’s why I love my gnudi pasta dish—you can roll the balls and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook. Then all you need to do is boil some water, grab a sauté pan, and you’re good to go.”

If you’ve never heard of gnudi, it’s an addicting “naked ravioli” dish (click here for the recipe). Tiffany serves a variation with oxtails at her new restaurant in Dallas, Private Social, but for for the home cook, she’s created a recipe that swaps in easy-to-use mushrooms to complement the savory, gotta-have-it brown butter, and of course, lots of cheese. That’s why she’s teamed up with Sargento—the makers of the natural, unprocessed cheeses Tiffany likes cook with—this holiday season. When the cheese is the star of your dish, quality and flavor matter!

“When you cut into it and you see the melting cheese, you think, ‘Oh yeah, it’s going to be good!’ ” Tiffany says.

Cheese bites not enough to cure your Tiffany fix?  We also asked the chef to spill some of her hopes and dreams with our Ladies We Love questions:

What makes me a lady:
My southern hospitality charm.

Favorite guilty pleasure:
Foie gras. I’m not a big dessert or chocolate fan, but if you give me some foie gras … oh my gosh. I tell people in my group, if we order it for the table, it’s okay if you don’t want any!

Three things on my life list:
I want to visit Thailand—I love Asian cuisine. In fact, I’d also like to go back to China and study their food for two months. And, if I ever slow down, I would love to have a child.

I could have a super power, it would be:
I would have twin so that I could be everywhere. I’d have one that stays at my restaurant, and one that travels the world and does all of the events. I would have the best of both worlds, and nothing would be lacking.

A lady I admire:
Oprah Winfrey. How can you not? She is the ultimate woman. I love that with hard work and just going after her dreams, she made it happen. And now she has her own network. Are you kidding me? How many people have their own network?

GNUDI WITH BROWN BUTTER, PEAS AND MUSHROOMS

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) container whole milk ricotta cheese
2 ½ cups (10 oz.) shredded parmesan cheese, divided
4 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. nutmeg
¼ cup chives
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 cup semolina flour, divided
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup peas, blanched
2 cups chanterelle mushrooms

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, combine Ricotta, Parmesan, eggs, nutmeg, chives and oil. Mix well, then add 1/2 cup of flour using all of the all-purpose and approximately 2 cups semolina, 1/2 cup at a time until it can form a ball without being too sticky.
  • Roll gnudi into 1-inch balls. Using floured hands, roll in remaining semolina flour to coat.
  • In a medium large pot, heat to a rolling boil. Place gnudi in water for 1 minute or until they float to the surface.
  • In a small sauté pan, melt butter until slightly brown; add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add peas and lightly toss with butter.
  • Place gnudi on plate and spoon mushroom mixture over; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

Tips:

  • Gnudi can be described as the filling for ravioli without the pasta, i.e., “nude.”  They are similar to gnocchi made with Ricotta cheese instead of mashed potato.
  • Frozen peas can be used; cook according to package directions using the minimum time specified.
  • If fresh chanterelle mushrooms are not available, rehydrate dried chanterelles according to package directions. 2 oz. dried = 2 cups rehydrated.
  • Other fresh, woodsy mushrooms can be used instead of chanterelles, such as crimini or shitake.

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