Recipe: Bacon Gougères
Kathy Casey, owner of Kathy Casey Food Studios, offers this holiday recipe for Bacon Gougères.
Makes about 45 to 50 puffs
1/2 cup minced raw bacon (about 4 strips)
4 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup flour
4 large eggs
3/4 cup grated high-quality Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large sauté pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain, and measure out 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat into a medium-sized saucepan. (Note: you should get 2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the bacon — if there is not enough bacon fat, add additional butter to make 2 tablespoons).
3. To the saucepan with the bacon fat, add the butter, water, milk and garlic and cooked bacon, and bring to a slow simmer over medium-high heat.
4. All at once, add the flour, stirring it in quickly with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring — the mixture will come away from the sides of the pan and become thick and stiff. Keep stirring and turning over for about 1 minute. (You want to dry it out a bit.)
5. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and, with an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed. Add 1 egg and, as soon as it is partially incorporated, increase mixer speed to high. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, when the previous egg is well-incorporated. The mixture should be smooth. Then mix in the cheese until just combined
6. Let the dough cool for about 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare your pans.
7. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. You will need 2 or 3 baking sheets, or work in batches. (If you don't have parchment, lightly spray baking sheets with nonstick vegetable spray and watch the bottoms of the puffs closely to prevent overbrowning.)
8. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls — they should be the size of a walnut — onto the parchment. Or you can pipe the dough from a bag with a plain 18 mm tip. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 14 minutes, or until puffs are golden, rotating pan halfway through baking. Serve warm.
9. You can make these a few hours in advance, keep at room temperature, then reheat in a hot oven for a few minutes.
Note: If you're making lots of these puffs, you'll want to invest in a tiny commercial #70 scoop, available at restaurant-supply stores. When using it, dip the scoop in cool water each time so dough balls release easily. If you're short of baking sheets, have more dough balls ready on sheets of parchment. When a batch of puffs is done, remove the baking sheet from the oven, pull off the parchment filled with cooked puffs and quickly place a waiting parchment sheet of dough balls onto the baking sheet.
From (c) Kathy Casey Food Studios (www.kathycasey.com).
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.