It was an important evening. We were celebrating the joy of life with friends and family. The dinner – cassoulet ( three days in the creation of that rich French dish of beans, lamb and pork) with a green salad and for dessert crème brûlée. The challenge – the perfect appetizer to compliment this very French dinner. It’s a fine balance. I wanted to serve an appetizer that would not distract from the main course or heaven forbid – the dessert.
Gougères were the answer to this menu dilemma. My favorite way to serve gougères is adding cheese to the mixture. You simply grate any hard or semi-hard cheese into your batter then spoon the mixture onto parchment lined baking sheets. You can bake them immediately but a better choice is freezing them. Once frozen scoop them into freezer bags and store until needed. No thawing necessary. Simply follow the baking instructions and add a couple of minutes to the baking time. Then tumble these delectable morsels onto a gorgeous serving plate and watch them disappear.
You can bake the classic gougères and fill the delicate little darlings with a flavourful filling. Think wild mushrooms in a creamy sauce. Or finely chopped shrimp spiked with wasbi. The choice is limitless. Filled gougères freeze beautifully – simply reheat in a 400F oven for about 15 minutes.
Join me MRS. BUTTERFINGERS in my kitchen and create magic with GOUGÈRES.