After moving to New York from France in the early 1990s. François Payard became executive pastry chef at Manhattan's Le Bernadin, then at Daniel. He opened Payard Pâtisserie & Bistro in 1997. At the restaurant, Payard's executive chef, Philippe Bertineau, prepares individual servings of this gnocchi in small porcelain crocks or copper pans. For the phyllo crust, he quarters the layered dough (Step 1) and tops the dishes with it; as the phyllo bakes, it molds to the sides of the crocks.
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1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
4 sheets of phyllo dough
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons pure olive oil
1 small Idaho potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 small onion, chopped
One 3-ounce Parmesan rind (see Note)
1 quart Basic Chicken Stock or canned low-sodium broth
1/4 pound flat-leaf spinach, large stems removed
How to Make It
In a small bowl, combine the parsley, chives and cilantro. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with one-third of the herbs. Repeat this layering 2 more times. Top with the last sheet of phyllo and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan and the bread crumbs. Refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the potato and onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add the Basic Chicken Stock and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the Parmesan rind and simmer until the stock has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 500°. Strain the broth, discard the solids and return the broth to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Put 40 Potato Gnocchi in a 2-quart soufflé dish and set it on a cookie sheet. Cover the gnocchi with the spinach leaves and ladle the broth on top.
Center the chilled phyllo over the soufflé dish and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the phyllo crust is golden brown, crisp and draped over the sides of the dish. Break the phyllo crust into several large pieces. Ladle the gnocchi and broth into soup plates and serve the phyllo crust on the side.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated overnight.
Parmesan rinds can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months and used to flavor soups, stocks and stews.
Rich, nutty Parmesan marries well with a medium-bodied, fruity Chianti Classico.
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