One thing I have realized about myself through this blog is that I am not a fan of repetition. I always want to be doing, trying, cooking, or visiting something new. Originally this blog started as a place where I could document all the recipes I was making. So many times I would make something and it would be really good and then of course I would forget where I got the recipe from or just forget about it completely. The idea was that I would post them here and then be able to have them again, any time I wanted. The truth of the matter is that I still don't do that. Some people find comfort in have the same dish every Friday. After years of working in a field (outdoor education) where most of my food was prepared for me, I can tell you I will never eat Pizza on Thursday again. I yearned for my own kitchen during those years. Although some of the places I worked had great food, I still had a hard time with the monotony of a weekly schedule. The only routine we have is Pizza once a week, but it is never on the same day.One of the ways I have avoided cooking monotony is to join a variety of online cooking clubs. Unfortunately for one reason or another...too much baking, time commitment, or difficulty finding ingredients they have all fallen by the wayside. I have enjoyed being part of these online communities, but many never seemed like a good fit. When I heard they were starting a new Dorie Greenspan cooking club called French Fridays with Dorie I thought it sounded like fun. I had already ordered the book, and because it has a variety of side items, main dishes, and desserts it will ensure a more diverse experience. They also don't require you post every week to stay in "the club".
This is the first recipe from the group. Gougeres are the first recipe in the book and I suppose as good a place as any to start. They remind me of a very rich popover. They are light and airy, yet still quite cheesy. These strike me as the kind of thing where the quality of the cheese would make a huge difference. I think they would be great with a Martini or cocktail, or even beer of your choice. I see them more as an appetizer, but I did have them with a light soup. I also followed the directions for freezing them and part of me feels like they are actually better that way. They seemed to puff up just a little more. The next time I will make them smaller, teaspoon sized. That way we can pull them out for a before dinner snack.
After October I will not be sharing the recipes as they would prefer not to have every recipe from the book posted online, therefore encouraging people to buy the book. To encourage people to participate they are posting the first months worth of recipes.So I too will share them here with you.
from Dorie Greenspan
½ cup whole milk
½ cup water
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted
butter, cut into 4 pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1½ cups coarsely grated cheese,
such as Gruyère or cheddar
(about 6 ounces; see above)
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 425
degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment
Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over high heat. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and immediately start stirring energetically with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk. The dough will come together and a light crust will form on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring — with vigor — for another minute or two to dry the dough. The dough should now be very smooth. Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or into a bowl that you can use for mixing with a hand mixer or a wooden spoon and elbow grease. Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one and beat, beat, beat until the dough is thick and shiny. Make sure that each egg
is completely incorporated before you add the next, and don’t be concerned if the dough separates — by the time the last egg goes in, the dough will come together again. Beat in the grated cheese. Once the dough is made, it should be spooned out immediately. Using about 1 tablespoon of dough for each gougère, drop the dough from a spoon onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of puff space between
the mounds. Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the gougères are golden, firm, and, yes, puffed, another 12 to 15 minutes or so. Serve warm, or transfer the pans to racks to cool.
For freezing: The best way to store gougères is to shape the dough, freeze the mounds on a baking sheet, and then, when they’re solid, lift them off the sheet and pack them airtight in plastic bags. Bake them straight from the freezer — no need to defrost — just give them a minute or two more in the oven.