Cheesy Poofs!

One of our favorite appetizers are these delightfully light cheesy dough poofs. This savory cousin of the cream puff is surprisingly easy to make and a great accompaniment to cocktails or meals.

Gougères

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, stir together over medium heat milk, butter, salt and pepper until just before the milk boils. Dump the flour into the mixture and mix vigorously with a wooden spoon until it comes together. Cook on low heat for two minutes while stirring. The mixture will form into a ball and come away from the sides of the pan. Put the hot dough in a food processor and pulse in 4 eggs and grated gruyere and parmesan cheese until incorporated and dough is thick and smooth. Put the dough into a pastry bag or plastic bag with a corner cut off, and pipe onto a parchment lined baking sheet. We like our poofs about 1 inch in diameter. Use a wet finger to round out the tops. Brush tops with an egg wash and sprinkle grated cheese on top.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Potatoes Dauphinoise

Potatoes rock! They are cheap, filling and you can mash, boil, saute, bake, and FRY them. Personally, any fried potato product is a friend of mine. Last fall, while driving across the country with Little Miss, I ate 10 McDonald’s hash browns in 5 days and loved every single one of those salty, crunchy, greasy potato yumminess……drool. I digress. This post is about my current obsession with the french classic potatoes dauphinoise. My mom got me a potato cookbook with 50 potato recipes from various culinary traditions. I saw this French classic and remembered how I liked it even when I found it crammed next to some mystery meat in a plastic airplane meal container back when they served those.

I found this potato dish to be an easy accompaniment to many dishes. It’s a great dish for dinner parties because of its long oven baking time which frees you up to cook the rest of your dinner.

Potatoes Dauphinoise

Grate 3 cloves of garlic in a saucepan with 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup heavy cream. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Slice up 1-2 lbs of peeled, floury potatoes (I use Yukon golds) into 1/4 in thick round slices. Butter a casserole dish and layer potato slices in dish sprinkling salt and white pepper over each of the layers.

Pour the garlic cream mixture over the potatoes and bake in the oven at 325-350 degrees for 1-2 hours gently pressing down on the potatoes with a spatula every 30 min. Bake until golden brown on top and test to make sure potatoes are cooked using a knife. Allow to cool for 10 min before serving.