This is one of Granny Dot’s surprises where with trepidation, I followed the instructions which you will see at the end of this post, altering quantities where necessary, and the end result was so good that I would go as far as to say that I prefer it to the potato gnocchi I am more used to. We have even had it twice, partly because we wanted to, and partly because I was hoping to take a more enticing photograph though I am afraid I did not succeed. So as long as you are okay with the lacklustre appearance of pieces of ‘gnocchi’ when you spoon them into the baking dish, and are satisfied with the bubbley cheesey-topped end result, I 100% recommend them alongside a crisp green salad.
‘Ingredients.- One tablespoonful of margarine, 4 oz. of semolina, 1 oz. of grated cheese, one pint of water, salt. Method. – Boil the water with the margarine and some salt. Drop in the semolina by degrees and stir until the mixture thickens (this will take about a quarter of an hour), add the grated cheese and leave it until it becomes col. Grease a fireproof dish with margarine, and sprinkle if with cheese, and put tablespoonfuls of the semolina mixture all over it. They should stand up roughly like rock cakes; add a few little bits of margarine and bake to a golden brown in a fairly hot oven, which will take about twenty minutes.’
(The Eat-Less-Meat Book, 1917)
Serves 2 hungry people or 4 as a starter
3oz/85g grated cheese – cheddar
Parmesan cheese, grated
1 pint boiling water/568mls
1. Put the water in a pan and let it simmer with 1oz/28g of the butter.
2. Pour the semolina in through your fingers or from a jug, slowly, whisking all the time. Traditionally I believe a wooden spoon is used, but a whisk solves the risk of lumps.
3. Add the cheese and stir it all in until it is like thick double cream in consistency. This should take about 5 minutes.
4. Pour it onto a plate and let it cool completely.
5. Spoon little pieces, as neatly as you can into a buttered dish.
6. Generously grate parmesan on top and dot a little bit of butter in tiny pieces on top of this (just about 20g worth).
7. Put it in a hot oven of about 180 degrees or so until it is bubbly.
8. Serve and enjoy with lots of green salad.