Gougères- croque monsieur-style

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We’ve not ordered much since Christmas from the usual, Overstock.com, amazon, AllModern, ToysRUs or Lego.com as we are on a strict budget, so it was a big surprise seeing the UPS truck pull into my drive-way. I was wondering if I had ordered something by accident when pretend shopping. My pretend shopping is basically virtual window shopping where I fill my online basket with dreamy things I really don’t need, but just want. Luckily, I didn’t accidentally hit “one click buy” as it was a nice surprise gift from my mom. She sent me a beautiful cookbook written by the infamous, Jaques Pepin. I leafed through it immediately and found so many tempting recipes to try. The gougeres especially peeked my interest especially when I read that they could be cooked, filled and frozen, I thought it was perfect for our upcoming parties, not to mention inexpensive. I was a bit nervous as I’ve never made them before and always assumed it was difficult.  It really wasn’t, you just have to follow the steps.  I changed the recipe when it came for the filling.  I made the “croque monsieur-style”  with bechamel, gruyere and ham.  These little puff balls are so versatile-you could fill them with anything.

I think next time I will do a few different versions… I want to try

Blue-cheese and walnuts with a drop of honey

Goat cheese with chopped dates

Spicy jam with cream cheese

The list goes on….

Please look at this video for a little demo 🙂 and remember you can freeze these for up to a month and just heat at 350 for maybe 15-20 minutes in the oven.  Just place them in a ziplock and freeze-it’s perfect for an impromptu get-together.

For the pastry recipe from Jaques Pepin:

1 cup milk

8 tablespoons-(1 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup all purpose flour

4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with racks in the middle.

Bring the milk, butter, sugar, salt and cayenne to a boil.

Remove pan from heat and add the flour in one stroke mixing as fast as possible.

Return mixture to the stove and stir for 1 minute more.

Place dough in a food processor or mixer for 10 seconds to cool slighting.  Break the eggs into a bowl and beat well.  Set aside about two tablespoons of the eggs in a small bowl to brush on the choux before baking.  Mis the egss and dough together until smooth.

Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil.  Using a teaspoon scoop about 1/2 teaspoon of dough  for each choux. Place them 1 inch apart.  you will have about 60 choux.  Brush each with the reserved beaten egg.

Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven to 350 and bake for another 15 minutes. cool in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes.

Transfer to cooking rack. Once cool cut horizontally and fill them with your favorite.  Try my croque monsieur style, it was super yummy.

 

For the Croque Monsieur filling:

3 tbsp flour

4 cups warm milk

3 tbsp butter

1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup gruyere

1/2 cup chopped ham

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter with 3 tablespoons of flour.  Stir constantly until golden brown. Slowly add the warm milk and constantly whisk… add the salt and nutmeg and mix until it gets to the consistency of a smooth pureed soup or a thin gravy.Add the gruyere and chopped ham. Add a dollop in each opened profiteroles/choux. Place the top on and either heat up or place them in a zip lock to freeze. I had extra béchamel mixture and made croque monsieur… this is a treat too..recipe for that is easy. Next blog entry 🙂

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