Fresh Rosemary & Thyme Gougeres and the "French" Giveaway……….

Okay, okay, it’s time for the reveal! We’ve been teasing you all week, posting French-inspired recipes here at The Café and sponsoring a guessing game with a giveaway for the Café follower with the closest “Why all the French recipes?” guess. You’ve been giving fabulously, fun, fabricated guesses, many of which I wish were true! No one hit the nail perfectly on the head, but there was one that came close, at least in a general sense………. It went like this ………

Andrea said “Are you celebrating something? A wish come true? I love your cake! and the pictures!! I can taste the caramelized crust just looking at it:)” Yes, it is certainly a wish come true! Congratulations Andrea, you’re the winner of a year’s worth of Maldon Sea Salt, my favorite sea salt.

Many of you don’t know this about me, but my career has been as a registered nurse. A mother-baby nurse, for the last 25 years, to be precise. I love my job, taking care of new moms after they bring their babies into the world, teaching them the ins and outs of newborn care and hopefully sending both mom and dad home ready to embrace this awesome new responsibility.

I’ve also loved to cook for as long as I can remember, though when choosing a career back in the ’70s, a culinary education was not something that even entered my mind. Coming from a small town in the Midwest, culinary school was not conventional choice at that time. I was encouraged to go into something practical, something that would be useful, even when I’d later enter the child-rearing years.

Nursing has served me well and, in turn, I’ve had the opportunity to serve and help others. I’ve been blessed in my occupation in a myriad of ways from getting to know wonderful patients, working with a team of awesome co-workers and having a very flexible schedule. If I could go back, would I have chosen a culinary career instead? Probably not but…..

MY OTHER RECIPES


…… my curiosity and passion for cooking and baking has increased over the years and though I’ve learned a ton through everyday experience, I’ve always wanted to study at a professional institution. I’ve never had aspirations to open a restaurant, catering business or any other business along those lines, just always want to learn more of a subject that fascinates me.

Well, all this to say that I’m super excited to have an amazing opportunity not only to go to culinary school, but to study at one of the finest, most reputable schools in the country; The Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York! woooooooohoooooooo! 🙂

I’ll be spending next week at the CIA studying French cooking. Thus the reason we’ve been cooking “French” all week. I got my “marching orders” a few days ago informing me to report for duty “at 6 a.m. on Monday morning to the East Wing Dining Room of the J. Willard Marriott Continuing Education Center”. Guess what? You’ll be there too ……………cause I’ll be blogging my experience all week so you get to be “a mouse in the house”!

While I’m busy doing my “dream school”, Scott, my husband/photographer, will be attending The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City to study food photography! Scott’s passion for photography will be ignited by professionals at ICE during his weekend course in the Big Apple. He also can’t wait!!

So enough of that, you probably want to know more about these delicious Gougeres (pronounced like this). Gougeres originated in the Burgundy area of France, but are now popular throughout the country. They are made from a pâte à choux dough (the same dough as cream puffs are made from) and almost always have cheese or some combination of cheeses. They are light as a feather and are delicious served either as an appetizer or a yummy dinner roll.

I served these Gougeres at a birthday celebration for my daughter-in-law, Lindsay last night and they flew off the plate. They’re crispy on the outside and melt-in-you-mouth delicious on the inside. I used Gruyere and Parmesan cheese but Cheddar or any other flavorful cheese would be equally delicious. They can be made early in the day and stored in an airtight container and can also be frozen for several weeks. A smear of honey butter on a warm gougere is a slice of pure heaven. Re-warm them right before serving so they’re crisp and hot. Expect gasps of delight when they’re brought to the table!

Oh, there’s another winner! They give-away deal involved 2 prize-winners; one who had the best guess and the other chosen by random. The random winner is ………………. Kim from the lovely Canadian blog Les Adventures Culinaires de Kiki. If Kim and Andrea would please send us their addresses we get their packages, both a years supply of my favorite sea salt, Maldon, in the mail pronto!

Fresh Rosemary & Thyme Gougeres

Ingredients:
1 cup water
8 tablespoons butter, (4ounces) cut into several pieces
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all purpose flour
4 large eggs
1 cup Gruyere cheese, finely grated
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water (glaze), for egg wash
sea salt

Instructions:
1. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. Arrange oven racks near center of oven to accommodate sheet pans with rising gougers Preheat oven to 450˚F.

2. Combine the water, butter, and salt) in a medium size heavy bottom saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil.

3. Remove the pan from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until all flour is incorporated,

4. Return the pan to medium heat and stir for approximately 3 minutes to dry out the dough. The dough is ready when a thin starchy layer coats the bottom of the pan and mixture is thick enough to hold a wooden spoon upright.

5. Transfer the dough to the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the dough for one minute until it stops steaming and is warm to the touch.

6. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat well after each addition till all egg is incorporated and dough becomes smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. After the dough comes together and is very smooth and creamy add the cheeses and the fresh herbs.

7. Using an ice cream scoop (I use a medium size scoop), scoop mounds of dough onto prepared sheet pans, spacing dough 2 inches apart. Gently brush mounds with egg wash. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.

8. Place pans in oven and set timer for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚F and continue baking for 20-25 minutes or until deep golden brown. If your oven bakes unevenly, rotate the pans once or twice during baking.

9. Remove from oven and serve immediately or allow to cool then store in an airtight container. Rewarm in 325˚F oven for 5-10 minutes or until crisp and hot. Serve as a delicious appetizer or a unique delightful dinner roll. I love to serve these for dinner with honey butter (4 ounces of softened butter combined with 2 tablespoons honey).

To freeze, place cooled gougeres on a sheet pan, freeze uncovered for one hour, then place frozen gougers in zippered bags. Will keep in the freezer for up to a month.


38 thoughts on “Fresh Rosemary & Thyme Gougeres and the "French" Giveaway……….”

  • I’ve long considered gougeres the staff of life — and made them with whatever cheese is to hand with delicious results — tossing in herbs though, OH! Why didn’t I think of that before. Thanks — and enjoy school.

  • congratulations chris! i can read how excited you are! i find both of you and scott are so cute..both taking up courses at the same time! Your gougeres looks fantastic, i would love to have one or 2 pop into my mouth right now! going to read about your culinary adventure after this!

  • Chris – I have been excited all day about your trip to New York and your chance to get to do something this fun and this close to your heart. I loved spending time with you and was so sad I didn’t get my comment in on time – I thought since it was Columbus Day week and I believe Columbus was really French – that was it – oh well, I will wait until the next competition and be on time then. Speaking of being on time – that was such a fun class on Wednesday – Can’t wait to attend on at the Cafe and have fun with you and Lindsay – let me know next week – pink or blue. love, geenie

  • Congratulations, it’s fantastic for both of you! I’m looking forward to the posts and the pictures 🙂

  • Congrats to both of you on your lessons next week! This is terrific news – I’m happy for you, and envious! I’ll enjoy reading about your experiences. And Gougeres? A favorite of mine, and something I haven’t made for quite some time. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • So, so exciting for you both! And thanks so much for promising to blog about every detail 🙂 I love gougeres…they are one of my go-to appetizers and I love the idea of your herbs and cheese combo! Beautifully done!

    PS…I’m an RN, too 🙂

  • Hi Chris, this is Andrea (proud Maldon sea salt winner!), I sent you my information yesterday, please let me know if you receive it 🙂
    Again congratulations, and as I said in my email is like we are all going to learn with you to NYC! Such a treat 🙂
    Love the gougeres, and so fun to do with my son, he is almost 4 and enjoys being in the kitchen.
    I would fill them with whipped cheese/Stilton, mini celery dices and chopped walnuts. Flavors from my childhood that I treasure.
    Regards,
    Andrea

  • Chris, we are so excited for you and Scott! This is an amazing opportunity for you two and know that God has gone before you preparing you for this incredible opportunity! Oh, the stories you will tell us…can’t wait to read all about it and create in our own kitchen the masterpieces you have learned!

  • Chris, we are so excited for you and Scott! This is an amazing opportunity for you two and know that God has gone before you preparing you for this incredible opportunity! Oh, the stories you will tell us…can’t wait to read all about it and create in our own kitchen the masterpieces you have learned!

  • Oh my gosh, that’s going to be a life changing experience, and how wonderful that your husband is going too! I can’t wait to hear all about it, but I’ll be bursting with jealousy!! That overhead shot of the single gougere is stunning, I can’t stop looking at it. I guess I better stop looking and get cooking!

  • I’ve been so busy this past week I’ve barely had time to read anyones blog, so I missed all this about french cooking.

    How exciting though that both you and your husband are going to the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park. I wish my husband would have some interest in cooking but he could care less. How nice to do this together. I can’t wait to hear about it.

    How many days is your event – 5 days? Wish I was going. You’ll have a great time!

    Also, I had no idea you were a nurse and for moms with babies – how rewarding!

  • How wonderful for you and how very exciting. (I guess you’ll go to France after school and then you’ll publish your book.) I’ve never made gourgeres; seemed too intimidating. But I’m game.

  • Chris I can’t believe it! I actually typed out a second guess on my answer, that you were going to take French cooking classes, then was embarrassed and deleted it b/c I thought you’d be insulted since you don’t need classes. Darn! Well congratulations, that is WONDERFUL! You will have a blast! I love the sound of your rolls-they sort of remind me of a cross between a popover and a roll by the appearance. Sounds so yummy!

  • Oh, how exciting for you and your husband; most deserving. Isn’t it wonderful when a long time dream/wish finally comes true. Looking forward to seeing your posts and learning something along with you.

  • Congratulations to you both. I love all your recipes and have made many, but I’m also truly amazed at how wonderfully your husband captures the food so scrumptiously! Have fun.

  • First of all, Chris, I have to thank you for this beautiful price I won!!!! As I said in my e-mail, I envy you and your husband for the nice opportunity you have to go in this super culinary school (plus you will spend a beautiful time in NY in the fall)!!!! Gougères are one of my favorite things to eat with a glass of wine… Yummy!!! and thank you AGAIN!

  • Oh my, Oh my, this is beyond exciting, Chris. Have you READ Ruhlman’s books? Do you know how exhausted you are going to be and you are going to Blog about it ALSO? Wow. You go, Girl. I will love every moment of ireading about it and thank you for letting us live it through you (and, your husband). The first recipe we ever made for FFWD was Gourgeres. Yours is such a nice take on it. Bonne Chance, mon amie.

  • Congratulations, Chris! How exciting for you to have this truly amazing experience! I can hardly wait to be the mouse in the house…

    Gougeres are absolutely wonderful…I love the way they melt in your mouth. I am thinking it is time to make some, but after I get back form my trip. 🙂

    Enjoy!!

  • Wow, oh wow, oh wow! Congratulations, Chris! That is truly amazing, wonderful news. I’m looking forward to being one of the mice in your house for the week!

    I saw a photo of Gourgeres in Saveur this month and knew right then that I wanted to make them. This cements my decision. They look amazing.

  • I can’t even comment on this beautiful little morsels! I am so excited for the TWO of you, and we get to go along. Scratch that one off the bucket list!!! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!! Susan

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