Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bacon and Cheddar Gougeres

Finally, a day to play in the kitchen. It feels like forever since I've had the opportunity to just mess around and cook.

It's weird how you get into a routine with things, like writing a food blog, and then when something happens to knock you out of the routine your life feels very off balance. In my brain, I shouldn't be putting this post up since it's a Tuesday and I normally post Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But I figure the best way to get back in the swing of things is to just grab the rope, tarzan yell, and jump.

So, today I jumped into a big plate of Gougeres. I love Gougeres. They are essentially just little pastry puffs. They are made with gruyere normally which is a harder cheese, and I still feel that the classic take is best, but I wanted to play with the idea of making them with ingredients you are more likely to have on hand, like cheddar and bacon. I pretty much always have cheddar and bacon in the house. That and eggs. Without eggs, I would be lost.

So I whipped up these little beauties and I certainly like them. I had five in the first sitting, three more while taking a picture, and another three while putting them into tupperware. They are so little you can just pop them into your mouth. It's easy to lose track.

These would be great for a party, or nice to just have on hand as a snack. They don't get as much height as a normal gougere would, but they still work nicely in my opinion.

Bacon and Cheddar Gougeres

2 Slices of Bacon, cooked crispy
1/2 Cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 Cup Flour
2 Eggs
1/4 Teaspoon Mustard Powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
10 Grinds Black Pepper
3oz Cheddar, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Cook your two slices of bacon until they are crispy, then mince them up after they have cooled a little.

Put the milk, butter, mustard, salt and pepper in a saucepan and heat up until the butter has melted. Do not boil. Set aside and grate the cheese finely. You'll probably want to use a Microplane Grater if you have one so the cheese will incorporate better.

Once the cheese is grated, you'll want to move fairly quickly. Take your liquid and dump in all the flour at once. Beat firmly with a spoon, it will form a heavy paste. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well, then add in the bacon and three quarters or more of the cheese. You'll want to reserve a little to top the gougeres with.

On a baking lined with either Sil-Pat or parchment, spoon out 30 rounds of the mix, just over a teaspoon each. You can pipe them out with a pastry bag if you like. Try and coax them into little peaks if you can, but don't worry if it doesn't happen. Sprinkle over the extra cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes until they are golden brown.

Eat one or two every time you walk past the plate in the kitchen. Try not to count.

Makes 30.