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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gougere with Ham and Mushsrooms

A Facebook friend posted recently about having gougere for the first time--someone brought cheese-filled gougere puffs to a party She had never heard of it or tasted it but was enchanted and determined to try. Gougere is actually the French pate a choux and can be used lots of ways, not just for cheese-filled puffs (the puffs are also good just on their own--kind of like a popover).
The post reminded me that I used to fix a gougere ring filled with ham and mushrooms. It's perfect this time of year when many of us serve ham for Christmas or New Year's dinner and have leftovers to deal with.
So, Laurie Moore, here's another gougere suggestions for you.

Gougere with ham and mushrooms

Bake at 400 for 40 minutes

Six servings

 For the paté à choux:
 1 c. sifted all purpose flour
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1 cup water
½ cup butter, (one stick), cut up
4 eggs
1/8 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, diced or grated

4 Tbsp. butter
2 medium onions chopped, about 1 cup
½ lb. mushrooms sliced
1-1/2 Tbsp. flour
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 envelope or tsp. instant chicken broth
1 cup hot water
(This is an old recipe I’ve had for years—now days I’d substitute 1 c. good chicken broth for the water and inst. broth)
2 large tomatoes, peeled, quarter, and seeded (about 2 cups)
6 oz. cooked ham, cut into thin strips (1-1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp. sharp cheddar
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

To make the paté à choux:
Sift the flour, salt and pepper onto a  sheet of wax paper. Heat the water and butter in a large saucepan until the butter melts. Turn up the heat and bring to boiling. Add the flour mixture all at once and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball in the center of the pan—this will take about a minute.
Allow the mixture to cool for at least five minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating very well after each addition. (This beating is important if you want your gougere to puff). Stir in the diced cheese.

To make the filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet; sauté onion until soft but not browned. Add the mushrooms and cook for two minutes. Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper; mix and cook an additional two minutes.  Add the chicken broth and simmer about five minutes.
Remove from heat. Cut tomato quarters into strips and add with ham. Taste and add additional seasoning as you wish.

Butter a 10” or 11” skillet, pie pan, etc. Spoon paté à choux around outside edge, leaving center for the filling.  Sprinkle all over with cheddar. Bake until gougere is puffed and brown and filling is bubbling. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve, cut into wedges.


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