Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gougeres (or Cheez Its for Grown Ups)

I love Ina Garten! She really does such a great job of writing clear and precise recipes. Everything that I try from her books just WORKS! And, these little puffs are no exception. They are easy to make, and even better, they taste delicious after they are baked and cooled, then frozen and reheated. What could be better for a snack with wine?

So, here's her recipe. Please try them; they are so easy and delicious. I bet you could mix up the different kinds of cheeses, or add some different spices to kick them up. The recipe is from "Barefoot in Paris" which is so great.


1 cup milk (I don't think the fat content matters much, so I just use 1%)

1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pinch nutmeg (I like nutmeg, so I use probably a bit more than a pinch)

1 cup all purpose flour

4 extra large eggs

1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese (plus extra for sprinkling)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash

1. Preheat oven to 425. Prepare baking sheets by lining with parchment paper.

2. In saucepan, on medium heat milk, butter, nutmeg, salt and pepper until milk is scalded. (Scalded seems to mean just below boiling.) Add the flour all at once, reduce heat to LOW, and stir vigorously for about 2 minutes, until the mixture comes together in sort of a smooth mass.

3. (This is the best part). Take the mixture and dump in the food processer fitted with a steel blade. Immediately dump in eggs and cheese and pulse to incorporate until dough is smooth and thick. I bet you could do this by hand as well, but it would definitely be aerobic cooking, as the dough is on the thicker side.

4. (Ina uses a pastry bag, but I don't have one, and I think they turn out just fine) Scoop teaspoonfuls of the dough onto the prepared parchment paper (leave some space between them because they will spread). Cover with egg wash and sprinkle with reserved Gruyere.

5. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

6. If you make them in advance, cool them thoroughly on racks, before freezing. You can then reheat them on trays in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes.

(If you are reading this and are NOT pregnant, these are so delicious with all kinds of wine...and my favorite - Champagne). They are ok with water or non-alcoholic beverages, but are DELICIOUS with wine. Have a glass for me!

(P.S. The photo above is one I found on wikipedia - mine are more "homeade" looking, but still chic and delicious!)

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