Representing Small Mozzarellas: Idiazabal Gnocchi in Iberian Ham Broth with Contrasting Herbs

Adapted by
January 2007
Yield: 4 Servings


100 grams Idizabal cheese, medium-aged
300 milliliters mineral water
22 grams kudzu (Japanese Arrowort)
Ham Stock
60 grams pork tail
40 grams aged fat
60 grams ham hock or bone
40 grams lard
½ kilogram fresh pork
30 grams carrot
40 grams leek
60 grams onion
40 grams garbanzo
100 grams potato
1.3 liters water
8 red shisho leaves
8 leaves cilantro
8 stalks dill
8 tarragon leaves
50 milliliters Arbequina olive oil


For the Gnocchi:
Cut the Idiazabal into 1-centimeter by 1-centimeter cubes. Place in a thermomix with water and salt and blend at level 4/130°F for 10 minutes, then strain. Blend 250 milliliters of the liquid with the kudzu. Cook the mixture over low heat until it gellifies, moving it rapidly during the process so the cream becomes cohesive and gummy.
Prepare an ice bath. Remove the cheese mixture from the heat and let cool for a few moments. Place in a pastry bag and squeeze gnocchi-sized drops into the ice bath. Remove from the water and reserve, sprinkled with a few drops of water and covered with plastic wrap.

For the Ham Stock:
Wash the meat, hock and aged fat very well to remove excess salt. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the tail and bone and scald to rid them of any impurities, then wash under running water.
Preheat the oven to 340°F. Rub the pork with a little bit of olive oil and brown in the oven. Once browned, remove from the oven and rid of any extra fat.
Combine the tail, aged fat, bones, lard, garbanzos, onion, carrot, leek, potato, roast pork and water. Let sit for two hours, then cook over a slow flame, without boiling, until reduced by half. Pass through a chinois and then a coffee filter (or other paper) to remove any impurities. Season with salt and reserve.

For the Herbs:
Cut the stems and reserve in ice water. Wash herbs with a properly diluted vegetable disinfectant and reserve in damp paper towels until plating.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat the gnocchi in a low-temp oven or under a salamander. Heat the ham stock in a bain marie. Place the gnocchi in a shallow soup dish. Sprinkle the gnocchi with the ham stock and finish with the herbs. Garnish with a few drops of Arbequina olive oil.

Wine Pairing:
Sancerre Chateau de Sancerre 2005