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Take a cream puff-like pastry, add cheese, and fry or bake: The result is crisp, light, rich, and cheesy, an almost perfect finger food and the best fritters you can produce. Gougère dough can support any number of ingredients; so, for example, try substituting minced cooked shrimp or other shellfish or sautéed mushrooms for the cheese.
- Contributed by Catsrecipes Y-Group
- Source: How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
- Time: About 30 minutes
- Makes 30 to 40 gougères
- vegetable oil for deep-frying (optional)
- 1 cup water
- 4 tbsp (½ stick) butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ cups (about 7 oz) all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup freshly grated emmenthal, gruyère, cantal, or cheddar cheese
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
- If you plan to fry the gougères, put enough oil in a large, deep saucepan to come to a depth of about 2 inches.
- The broader the saucepan, the more of these you can cook at once, but the more oil you will use. (They cook very quickly, so don't worry if your pan is narrow).
- Turn the heat to medium-high; you want the temperature to be at about 350°F when you start cooking.
- If you plan to bake the gougères, lightly grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan; turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.
- Cook, stirring, until the butter melts, just a minute or two longer.
- Add the flour all at once and cook, stirring constantly, until the dough holds together in a ball, 5 minutes or less.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating hard after each addition (this is a little bit of work; feel free to use an electric mixer) stop beating when the mixture is glossy.
- Stir in the cheeses.
- To fry the gougères, drop teaspoonfuls into the hot oil and cook, turning once if necessary, until lightly brown, just 3 or 4 minutes.
- Don't crowd; you'll probably need to cook in batches.
- Drain on paper towels or paper bags and serve at once, or keep warm in a low oven for up to 30 minutes.
- To bake the gougères, drop teaspoonfuls onto the baking sheet and bake until light brown 10 to 15 minutes.