Anybody know how to make "cornbread gnocchi"?

I had some at a restaurant last night that was awesome. Been googling for a recipe, but not luck. I'm not sure if what I had was truly proper "gnocchi" that it seemed to be cubes of actual cornbread that had been soaked, boiled, then fried. In other words, I don't think they made a dough (as in standard gnocchi) and then just boiled it. But I could be wrong. Any ideas?



stuvjordan November 9, 2015
Alright y'all, finally got around to messing with this...reporting back.

Made a pan of cornbread...cooled it...cut it up into cubes about the size of casino dice...soaked these overnight in fridge in buttermilk, one egg and a handful of whole wheat flour. Tonight I tried two alternatives. First just straight up pan fried a few pieces in veg oil. Second, took a few pieces, dropped them in boiling water for about 4 minutes, drained them, then browned those in a bit of veg oil ( would do it in butter for company). Pretty sure the latter aporoach---i.e., boil then fry, resulted in what I had at the restaurant. Anyway, pretty damn good. Will make a sauce with tomatoes and roasted poblanos and a bit of feta and serve as an app one of these days.
QueenSashy November 10, 2015
stuvjordan, many thanks for reporting back. I am so going to give it a try!
Susan W. November 10, 2015
I'm looking forward to trying this. When you settle on a definite method and recipe (I have a feeling you'll tweak it more next time), I think it would be great if you'd post it.
Nan November 10, 2015
Question did you mix the buttermilk, egg & flour together & then soaked overnight
hardlikearmour November 1, 2015
I'm probably off base, but I wonder what would happen if you boiled spoonfuls of thick hush puppy batter. Would it hold together and form what you're looking for?
hardlikearmour November 1, 2015
What happens is you get a corn meal mush floating atop the water -- definitely not what you're looking for. ;-)
sexyLAMBCHOPx November 1, 2015
Any chance the restaurant has a website with a description of the gnocchi dish? If yes, you could get more information. Otherwise, couldn't hurt to call before dinner service and ask.
stuvjordan November 1, 2015
Here's the menu with the dish:

I'mean making a pan of cornbread tonight. Will soak it in buttermilk, eggs and flour after it cools...then mess with it and see what happens. Will let y'all know.
702551 November 1, 2015
The menu description provides no insight into how it was made.
Nancy November 2, 2015
Two possible directions for you.
1) These so-called gnocchi might reflect the South Carolina origins of the owner & the claim of a Southern menu. Hush puppies are basically a deep-fried fritter of cornmeal batter. In this case, they boosted them with bacon and chard (yes Southern), goat cheese, & smoky tomato (not so Southern).
2) Other option is that these are deep-fried variations on Mexican cornbread, as they sell lots of Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes on a menu called From the Deeper South.
3) But if either of these guesses is right, why call the dish gnocchi, which has a different history, composition, method...
702551 November 2, 2015
That's nice, but gnocchi are dumplings cooked in water (or stock), not fritters (fritti) deep fried in oil.

My guess is that the restaurant chef has taken artistic liberty in the naming of the dish, and not made anything that is faithful to the traditional "gnocchi" definition.
amysarah November 2, 2015
It seems pretty clear the chef is simply using the term ‘gnocchi’ in a very loose way – perhaps his dish resembles gnocchi in a very broad sense, or he was inspired by it when creating his idiosyncratic Southern-inflected spin. Happens all the time on menus/recipes – chocolate ‘salami’, zucchini 'noodles,' 'samosas' made with puff pastry, etc., etc.

Btw, gnocchi is not categorically cooked in water. Classic semolina Gnocchi alla Romana is baked, and some version of it is believed to well predate potato/boiled varieties. (Potatoes didn't arrive in Europe until late 16th C.) These definitions are rarely as rigid as we often propose.
KimmyV November 1, 2015
Interesting! Never heard of cornbread gnocchi. Is that what the restaurant called them? Have you ever had semolina gnocchi? Was it similar to that?
amysarah November 1, 2015
Classic semolina gnocchi - Gnocchi alla Romana - is baked in the oven with butter & pecorino romano/parm cheese, not boiled (my recipe is on this site.)

Maybe what you had was made with that cooking method, but with polenta - i.e., cornmeal - instead of semolina? Though that wouldn't have the airy texture of cornbread. (Btw, pretty sure the Gourmet column was called "You Asked for It.")
QueenSashy November 1, 2015
I too thought of semolina gnocchi, but based on stuvjordan's description it appears that the texture of the gnocchi was not uniform. I remember seeing a recipe for bread gnocchi long time ago (something along these lines I wonder if that can be pulled off with cornbread or baked polenta?
Nancy October 31, 2015
I don't recognize these cornbread thingies (which sound very tasty).
But why not ask the restaurant (owner and/or chef) for the recipe?
One of the food magazines (I think the late lamented Gourmet) used to have a feature where it published those restaurant recipes that had so impressed the guests that they wanted to make them at home.
I've even gotten them myself, as an average consumer, by asking the restaurant...e.g. an excellent Ancho Chocolate Crème Brulee from The Church Restaurant in Stratford, Ontario.
Susan W. October 31, 2015
I remember that column in Gourmet. I loved it.
stuvjordan October 31, 2015
one thing I forgot to add...the reason I think the "gnocchis" were in fact pieces of cornbread was that they had internal structure...they weren't just unorganized mush inside like potato or ricotta gnocchi.
stuvjordan October 31, 2015
one thing I forgot to add...the reason I think the "gnocchis" were in fact pieces of cornbread was that they had internal structure...they weren't just unorganized mush inside like potato or ricotta gnocchi.
Recommended by Food52