This recipe was contributed by Nick Fitch <email@example.com>. Nick is English, and therefore gives most amounts in metric measurements. Phooey. If God had meant us to use the metric system, He would have given us ten fingers.
Nick also mentions that what we in America call "heavy whipping cream" is only called "single cream" in Britain. Apparently they have something called "double cream", good heavens ...
I said I'd post my recipe for my favorite gougere a few days back, and then forgot about it. I've had a couple of requests, so here it is. Gougère is a filled ring of savory choux pastry flavored with Gruyère cheese. The fillings can vary enormously butmy favorite is the creamed mushroom recipe given below. It makes a very tasty supper dish and is quite filling. Typically I serve it with a salad, some crusty French or Italian-style bread and a bottle of wine as the main course of a dinner party. If you are serving it without a prior appetizer you may want to include a side-dish or two of vegetables. Cauliflower cheese also makes a good filling, though use a mild cheese to counterpoint the strongly-flavored Gruyere in the pastry.
For the gougère:
Cut up the butter into small pieces and add to the milk and salt & pepper to taste in a largish non-stick pan. Bring to the boil and add all the flour at once, stirring continuously until the mixture forms a smooth, thick, rather rubbery paste or ball which comes away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before adding the eggs, one at a time, thoroughly mixing each one into the paste before adding the next. When thick and glossy, add the diced cheese and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool.
- 50g salted butter + extra for greasing
- 300ml milk + extra for glazing
- 100g plain, white, all-purpose flour
- 4 medium eggs
- 75g Gruyere cheese diced into small cubes (you can substitute some other strongly flavored hard cheese but it won't taste nearly as good)
- salt & ground white pepper to taste
Form a ring by placing tablespoonfulls of the mixture on a well-greased baking sheet (or better yet, an ovenproof serving plate) in a circle about 8-10" or so in diameter. Each spoonful (or spoonsful, typically about 1.5 spoonsful per mound) shouldn't quite touch the ones next to it. Brush with milk and bake for 45 minutes in the upper third of a preheated oven at 375F until the ring is puffed and golden.
Creamed mushroom filling:
Saute the onions in the butter and oil until soft but not brown and add the diced mushrooms, stir until the mushrooms start to soften. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside while making the roux.
- 500g diced button mushrooms
- 1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (spring onions) or finely shredded ordinary onion
- 1 tablespoon each of butter and olive oil for sauteeing
- 60g butter
- 3 tablespoons white flour
- 1 cup (8fl oz) of milk
- 1/4 cup (2 fl oz) of single, or "heavy" cream ("Heavy cream" being something of a contradiction in terms in California)
In another saucepan, melt the butter, add the flour and cook with constant stirring over a medium heat for about a minute. Still stirring, add the milk and cream and continue stirring constantly until the roux thickens and begins to boil, becoming a smooth sauce. Remove from heat, add salt and white pepper to taste and stir in the mushrooms. Return to a low heat to keep the mixture warm while the gougere bakes.
To serve, remove the risen gougere from the oven, pile the creamed mushrooms into the hole in the center of the ring and serve immediately.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)