Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Herb Gougere

Gougere are the savory equivalent of profiteroles (cream puffs). They can be filled with purees, cheese, or any other savory ingredient you can think of. The recipe below is great for a New Years Eve get together, or impromptu cocktails because you don't fill them and the choux pastry must be kept frozen prior to baking; out of the freezer and into the oven. Voila!

Make them larger and served filled with chevre and chive soft scrambled eggs for a fabulous breakfast treat!

1 1/4 cup water
1 1/4 stocks unsalted butter (10 Tbsp)
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
5 fresh eggs
1/4 cup grated good quality Parmesan (not found in canister!!!)
1 cup shredded gruyere
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary

Egg Wash:
1 large fresh egg beaten well with
2 tsp of cold water

In a medium saucepan, bring the water, butter and salt to boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and add in the flour.
Return the pan to the burner on medium-high heat.
Stir immediately until batter pulls away from the sides of the pan.
Next, scrape flour batter into the bowl of a standing mixer, and begin to add the eggs one-by-one. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. (If you don't have a standing mixer, it's okay to add the eggs one-by-one into the sauce pan and incorporate using a hand mixer. You can hand mix as well, but your arm will get tired!)
After all the eggs have been added, add the grated cheese and herbs. Beat until incorporated.
On a parchment-lined sheet pan, using a pastry bag pipe the batter into 2-inch rounds, 2-inches apart. A small melon scoop or table spoon may also be used.
Put your sheet pan with the pastry into the freezer and freeze savory puffs.
To bake, preheat the over to 450 degrees.
Prepare the egg wash.
Egg wash the puffs straight from the freezer.

Back for 20 minutes (rotating the pan once) and then reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake about 30 minutes more until puffed and golden.

Recipe makes 30 small savory puffs

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Emma's Egg Nog

As always, the holidays have snuck up again. This Autumn was a blur that included travel to London, then Singapore and before I knew it temperatures were dropping and it was time for holiday shopping. There has been no shortage of discovering new places to eat, and I promise in the New Year I'll write about the restaurants I visited this fall.
But right now, I want to take a moment during the holiday frenzy to remember Christmas' past by sharing the recipe for Emma's Egg Nog.
The first time I tasted it was after a Christmas morning foxhunt. I had arrived at my best friend's home for her infamous English Christmas Dinner of smoked salmon, roasted potatoes, turkey, Yorkshire pudding, roasted parsnips...oh the menu goes on and on!!! Still dressed in my boots, breeches and hunt coat with my hair mashed down from riding cap, I was handed a punch cup straight away as I walked in the front door. It was full of the fluffy, rich, decadent, dessert goodness I came to know as Emma's Egg Nog. And just like the holidays, this recipe WILL sneak up on you!
1 pint Bourbon
1 pint Dark Rum
6 eggs separated
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 pints whipping cream
1 pint whole milk
nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice
Whisk egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Slowly add alcohol. In a separate blow, whisk egg whites. In another bowl, whisk cream until fluffy. Fold all three bowls together, add spices to taste and milk. Sprinkle top with fresh grated nutmeg and Cinnamon.