Ham and Cream

Gnocchi & Brussels Sprouts

Sometimes the price tag on heavy whipping cream will change my meal plan. This past shopping trip, I passed up the cartons in the dairy case, thinking that Mrs. Beacham’s creamy chicken & tomato soup would have to wait. Another week, the store might put the cream on sale.  Happily, though, I found a new product in the sale aisle: Swanson cream starter. Unhappily, the store is probably not going to continue selling it to me for just 99 cents.

The cream starter is a combination of cream, starches, milk, etc., but does not contain added preservatives, artificial colors or flavors. Think of it as broth; you can use it in a lot of different dishes. I used some in the creamy chicken & tomato soup that I mentioned earlier. Then, yesterday, I mixed some of the cream starter with garlic to produce a sauce for gnocchi.

Gnocchi with Ham and Brussels Sprouts

1/4 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
Brussels sprouts, halved (I used frozen)

1 – 2 T unsalted butter

deli sliced ham, cut into bite-sized squares

1 package of gnocchi

chicken bouillon + water
garlic, minced
Swanson cream starter

Parmesan cheese, shredded

Add the salt and baking soda to a medium-sized pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then add the Brussels sprouts. Let the sprouts cook for 3 to 4  minutes; drain them and set them aside.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add the Brussels sprouts and the ham; stir these ingredients in the butter until they are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, prepare the gnocchi. The package will probably say to boil the gnocchi for 2 minutes, then drain the water off.

After the gnocchi are cooked and drained, add them to the vegetables and ham in the frying pan.

In a separate bowl, combine the chicken bouillon, water, minced garlic, and cream starter. Stir them until you have a smooth consistency. Pour this sauce over the ingredients that are in the frying pan. Stir everything, letting them continue to cook until all is heated through.

Serve the gnocchi sprinkled with shredded Parmesan cheese.

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