SCREAM!!! It's less than 2 months until Blue White! We are seriously behind in our food planning/preparations - okay, maybe not seriously behind - but it's definitely time to break out the "freezes beautifully" recipes and get to work!
One such recipe is one for gougeres (rhymes with "oooh Cher!" not "booger") - cheesy cream puffs (minus the cream) really.
Traditionally, you use gruyere cheese when making these - but I had some Mimolette cheese (yay Trader Joes!) - so I used that (a substitution I have, successfully, made before) and some Pecorino Romano. Generally, you want to use a hard, somewhat pungent cheese - to counterbalance the eggy richness of the choux paste (okay that's the last of the french - I promise, maybe).
ANYWAY - these little critters freeze, you guessed it, beautifully and are easily re-crisped in the oven after thawing.
1 cup skim milk, room temperature (or 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup milk)
8 Tbsp butter (1 stick)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup flour
1 cup grated cheese (see above), reserving 1/4 cup
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup milk (any variety)
- Add milk and butter to a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
- Heat on medium.
- Add seasonings.
- Heat until butter is fully melted.
- Remove pan from heat.
- Add flour - stir (with wooden spoon) vigorously 1-2 minutes.
- Return pan to heat - stir another 1 (or so) minute - until light film appears on bottom of pan.
- Remove from heat - allow to cool 10 - 15 minutes (this is a good time to grate the cheese).
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Once dough is cooler add eggs - ONE at a time - stirring each egg until fully incorporated.
- Add 3/4 cup grated cheese - or however much you want - stir.
- Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet - leave 1"-2" between each.
- With a pastry brush, brush each gougere with milk and top with reserved grated cheese.
- Bake, ONE sheet at a time, for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
After cooling, I stored these in ziptop bags and threw them in the freezer - I'll see you in April!
I had some left over cheese, so I decided to make cheese tuiles (okay, more french, but this is really just crunchy melted cheese so forgive)...
which turn out looking something like this...
And, since the first rule of good cooking is to taste - I set aside a few cheese puffs to have with dinner.