Sunday, January 2, 2011

Gougeres - Around My French Table

French cooking has always intimidated me. It's the sauces, there are always sauces, and the giant tomes of French Cookbooks. And the lack of vegetables. Do I sound like I'm complaining? It isn't intentional, but I find that the feeling of intimidation - no matter the subject matter - includes an element of desire, of longing to be a part of something and yet fearful of rejection or exclusion. Well, now I feel welcome to the French Cooking party, merci a Dorie Greenspan.

Such a French name, Dorie Greenspan (wink!) and yet her latest cookbook makes it all seem so doable, approachable, almost inviting. Definitely the opposite of intimidating!

Around My French Table was at the top of my Christmas list because it was topping everyone's favorite new cookbook list and the blogspere seemed inundated with her take on all things French. Happily, it did not disappoint. While the descriptions of the recipe procedures looks long at first glance, Dorie is telling you all of the important side tidbits that lead to a successful dish; things that are often left out of other cookbooks misleadingly claiming to provide "simple" "quick" or "easy" recipes.

My first foray were these delightful morsels, which of course, I always thought looked intimidating. Utterly simple and very similar to the hot water pastry I made a few months ago. The best part is that the raw dough can be frozen and then baked straight for the freezer for a quick treat whenever you are in the mood. I recommend doubling the batch when you make them for providing such a frozen stash of these lovelies!


1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 stick butter
1/2 salt
1 cup flour, all purpose
5 large eggs
1 1/2 cups grated cheese (gruyere, swiss)

Place milk, water, salt and butter in a sauce pan and bring to rapid boil. Add flour all at once and beat to combine quickly. Cook another minute or two until dough becomes dry. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove dough from stove and add 1 egg at a time, beating each egg into the dough vigorously until completely combined. Add in cheese and drop onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a teaspoon to drop a tablespoon of dough, spacing at least 2 inches apart. When all the dough is portioned out, turn oven down to 375 degrees and cook for 12 minutes. Turn pan halfway around to cook evenly and bake another 12 minutes until browned and puffed up. Serve immediately

The raw dough will freeze really well. Portion out the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for at least 2 hours. Remove frozen dough and place in a plastic freezer bag. To bake, simply bake straight from the freezer but allow an extra few minutes for baking.


Recipes currently inspiring me: 

Belgian Pot Roast with Onions and Mushrooms at Blue Kitchen
Grasshopper Bars at Eats Well With Others
Creamy Asparagus Soup at Very Culinary

1 comment:

Joanne said...

I'm usually not such a fan of the French either but Dorie is one of my exceptions. That woman makes everything taste amazing. Gorgeous gougeres!