Habanero Gourgeres

May 27, 2009

The Lady does not like to bake. To mis-quote Rachel Ray, she says, “If I wanted to be a baker, I would have gotten a science degree.” But every-once-in-a-while, she breaks down and makes a dish that requires precise measuring and preparation. To the delight of this feline foodie, tonight was the night…

On her recent trip to Foster and Dobbs, in addition to the Jamon Iberico, The Lady also purchased a small container of habanero-flavored salt. She does love her spicy food… and slowly, she is converting The Man as well; however, he resists…The Lady pushes; The Man pushes back…ahhh, the joys of marriage…30 years and they still “negotiate”…

A few months back she made Gourgeres (mini cheese puffs) and tonight she decided to make them again. She used a recipe she found in Saveur Magazine and added her new favorite habanero salt.

Ingredients:

5 tbsp. Vermont Butter and Cheese Company Sea Salt Butter 

3/4 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. habanero-flavored salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup grated Roth Kase Grand Cru Gruyere cheese (This is one of the cheeses The Lady made when she attended Cheesemaking 101 at Roth Kase last month)

5 large eggs, at room temperature (VERY IMPORTANT)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Add butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to one cup water in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When butter melts, reduce heat to low.

3. Add flour to butter-water mixture all at once and cook over low heat, beating with a wooden spoon, for one minute, until mixture pulls away from side of pan. Remove pan from heat.

4. Add cheese to pan and beat in with a wooden spoon until well incorporated. Add four of the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg into the batter until thoroughly absorbed. Continue beating mixture until it is smooth, shiny, and firm. (The Lady complained throughout this part of the recipe; tedious and not much fun…)

5. Drop batter in small spoonfuls onto lightly EVOO-greased parchment paper on a pizza pan (with holes) to form Gourgeres. Beat remaining egg with 1/2 tbsp. water, then brush tops of uncooked Gougeres with egg wash. The egg wash makes them shiny and adds crowd-pleasing beauty to the final product.

6. Bake in upper third of over for 15-20 minutes until Gougeres are golden and doubled in size. Remove from over and serve hot, or allow to cool to room temperature. The Lady discovered that 18 minutes is perfect in her oven.

These babies are good hot or cold. The Man shared one of his with me…the habanero was noticable but not over-powering; even The Man loved the flavor. The Lady would have liked more kick…next time…

Adapted from SAVEUR Magazine

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