I have no idea where October and November went. October was an abnormally beautiful month in Seattle and I was thrilled that so much of our garden was still productive during official Fall. We spent lots of time outside, so I will attribute the lack of posts in October to being sun drunk. Some very dear friends moved to Hawaii just as I was returning from an amazing month in Maui. Another very dear friend recruited me to serve on the Board of a brand new creative arts non-profit and event space in Georgetown called The Trap. I had a bunch of dental work done. I made a ton of jam and chutney. We put in an offer for an investment property after months of searching for just the right place and having the first one fall through. The annual Casa Latina (I serve on the Board) gala was a smashing success and great time–we had a little bidding war with a nearby table and won a trip to Costa Rica! My dear friend Pierre paid us a visit and we had a ridiculously silly good time. November brought history-making elections. We acquired two new hens and had to end up butchering one of them; it was our first time doing it and quite the learning experience. I’m still an omnivore. Some good friends got married. We closed on the house the night before we left for New Mexico for ten days. Hanging out with my family and some great old-school friends was just what I needed to refresh. My mom and I made 13 dozen tamales after Thanksgiving, which I’ll post soon. I hunted down red and green chile like a crazed drug addict and finally got to spend some time in Santa Fé.
So now we are well into December and the holiday buzz and consumer rush and fears of the Mayan calendar ending brings us to Gougeres. These little French cheese puffs are like small popovers that disappear entirely too quickly…they are truly addictive and melt in your mouth. Perfect and easy little hors d’oeuvre, laced with gruyere and begging to be paired with some savory tomato jam or more cheese. An accompanying glass of sparkling wine is strongly recommended. These will get you into the holiday spirit while you think about all the happy mouths at your next party. Happy Holidays to you and yours!
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk
4 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, diced
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp grated Gruyere cheese
Dash of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together water, milk, butter, pepper, salt and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil.
2. Add flour and immediately stir mixture with a wooden spoon until dough forms a ball that pulls away from sides of saucepan.
3. Remove dough from heat and let cool for a couple minutes. Add the eggs and beat until well mixed. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese.
4. Spoon dough in 1 or 2-inch mounds on your prepared baking sheet, depending on how big you want each gougere to be. Sprinkle each with the remaining cheese.
5. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.
6. Try not to eat them all while they cool down.
7. Serve immediately.