Ina First Fridays: Gougeres

This month, we're concentrating on appetizers. I make Ina's gougeres all the time, couldn't be simpler and everyone loves them. This photo is an old one, taken in a hurry before everyone grabbed them off the plate LOL. Don't they look light, puffy and cheesy?
You can shape the little gougeres and freeze them for up to 2 months before you bake them. There's no need to defrost the frozen puffs, just bake them a couple of minutes more. How easy is that?

From Barefoot in Paris, 2004

 1 cup milk
1/4-pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup grated Gruyere, plus extra for sprinkling
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water, for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg over medium heat, until scalded. Add the flour all at once and beat it vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 2 minutes. The flour will begin to coat the bottom of the pan. Dump the hot mixture into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Immediately add the eggs, Gruyere, and Parmesan and pulse until the eggs are incorporated and the dough is smooth and thick.

Spoon the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe in mounds 1 1/4 inches wide and 3/4-inch high onto the baking sheets. With a wet finger, lightly press down the swirl at the top of each puff. (You can also use 2 spoons to scoop out the mixture and shape the puffs with damp fingers.) Brush the top of each puff lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a pinch of Gruyere. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown outside but still soft inside.

Ina Fridays participants:


Potato Galette with Sautéed Asparagus and Fresh Peas

How perfect for a quick dinner! Just a simple potato pancake but topped with fresh veggies from your garden or farmer's market. 

Potato Galette with Sautéed Asparagus and Fresh Peas
From Mimi at her Manger blog

4 large potatoes 
3 small shallots, finely chopped
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
4 tbsp plain flour
Coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper
A bunch of asparagus (3-4 per person) (I used white asparagus)
1 cup fresh peas, shelled
A small piece of Cheddar cheese 
A dash of piment d’espelette
A few sprigs of fresh chives
A dash of freshly grated lemon zest
A tablespoon of crème fraîche per serving
Butter & olive oil for frying

Peel the potatoes and grate them into a large bowl. Add the chopped shallots, nutmeg, egg and egg yolk, flour. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a sauté pan until sizzling hot, scoop about a tablespoon or one and a half tablespoon (depending on how large you want the galettes), flatten them with a spatula. Cook them on both sides until golden. Grate a teaspoon of cheddar cheese on top. Place them on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil.
Peel the asparagus and cut off the stiff ends. Slice the asparagus in half. Sauté the asparagus in a pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, stiring gently. After 5 minutes add the peas. Season with salt & pepper. Add a few tablespoons of water and continue to cook until absorbed and asparagus and peas are tender yet al dente.
To serve:
Place the potato galette on a serving plate, place the asparagus and peas on top, add a tablespoon of crème fraîche, season with salt & pepper and a dash of piment d’espelette. Sprinkle with lemon zest and finely chopped chives.
Makes about 8 galettes, depending on size.


Peach Slab Pie

Slab pies seem to be all the rage, not least because you don't have to fuss with the crust. Well, I fussed a little with the lattice, but you can just cover the peaches with a single crust and prick it with a fork if you really want easy. 
I combined several recipes to come up with this one...a little juicier than than an apple slab pie, which I have every intention of making this fall, but totally delicious and not too sweet, either. You can get lots of servings from a slab pie, another reason they're so popular.
Think ice cream would be fabulous on top? Oh yes.

Peach Slab Pie

Your recipe for crust, pate brisee, or use ready made
4 peaches, skinned by immersing in boiling water for a minute or so, peel, remove pit and slice somewhat thinly
3/4 cup sugar
scant 1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch salt
fresh lemon juice, about a tablespoon

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with nonstick foil, using 2 pieces so you have some overlap hanging over all sides. (The juice still seeps out and gets sticky, even with non stick foil...I'd spray the foil with Pam the next time. Can't hurt.) On a lightly floured surface, roll out a piece of dough to an 8 1/2 inch square and fit into the square baking pan, pressing into corners and a bit up the sides. Fold back the pastry on the sides, forming a container for the peaches. Chill while assembling filling. 
In a large bowl, stir together fruit, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and salt. Spread mixture over chilled pie shell. 
Chill again while you roll out the top crust. 
Roll out another piece of dough to the same size and either form a lattice top or lay the entire piece on top of the peaches. If you do the latter, be sure to vent the crust. Fold edge of bottom dough over top dough. Crimp if desired.  
Brush entire surface of pie with cream or an egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. 
Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, 40 to 55 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting.


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