Here's last night's mushroom gougere. Someone requested the recipe a while back, so I'll post it below.
Tonight I'll be making my first potato gnocchi with a gorgonzola cream sauce. After that lovely chicken cacciatore recipe from my latest Italian cookbook, I decided I wanted to try more of her recipes and try some things I've never made. Since it's definitely not gardening weather, other than the care and feeding of houseplants and seedlings, it's been a good time to do more cooking.I've been on an Italian kick - made an escarole, potato, turkey sausage soup the other night which we loved. It's a recipe I created by taking the best of a few other recipes. It's definitely one that is going in the recipe box.
Jim and I went to Asheville the other day and bought a new bed - a Tempurpedic, which we hope will allow him to get out of the recliner and sleep in a bed again! He drove both ways and didn't seem the worse for wear. We even had dinner out Friday night and he made it through all three courses without much more than feeling a bit tight in his back.
Yesterday I got my potato seeds, but it looks like potato planting is going to have to wait till the end of the month when, hopefully, the weather will be more cooperative and that will fit planting during the waning moon, which my local friends and neighbors tell me is the time to plant potatoes. Supposed if you don't plant at the right time you get a lot of leafy tops and only a few potatoes. Who am I to disagree with people who have learned to garden this way, through observing nature, for centuries!
Here's the Mushroom Gougere recipe: Serves 4 with a salad or a side vegetable like steamed asparagus, or broccoli.
1 small onion, peeled, halved and sliced
1 carrot, grated coarsely
8 oz button mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 tsp tikka or mild curry paste (if you can't find either, you can use a mild curry powder to taste; but only add a little at a time till you reach the taste you want)
2T all purpose flour
1 1/4 C milk
2T fine chopped Italian parsley
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2T flaked almonds
For the gougere(choux pastry part of the recipe):
3/4 C cold water
1/2C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 C diced Gruyere or aged Gouda cheese (I use Gruyere)
Preheat oven 400F. Grease a shallow, round, ovenproof dish, about 9"
Make the choux pastry: First sift the flour and salt onto a large sheet of waxed paper.
Next, in a large saucepan, heat the butter and water until the butter just melts (don't let the water boil!). Then fold the paper holding the flour and dump the whole thing, at once, into the water, melted butter mix. Keep the heat under the mix and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mix is no longer lumpy, and starts to pull away from the sides of the saucepan. Once it reaches that stage, set it aside to cool for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime make the filling: Sautee the prepared carrot, onion and mushrooms in the butter for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then stir in the curry paste or tikka, then the flour. Stir well, then add the milk, mix and stir and cook until it thickens. Lastly, add the chopped parsley.
While the filling is cooking, when the choux is cooled enough, beat the eggs and little by little, add to the choux pastry mix, beating well to incorporated. You may not need to use all the beaten egg. You want the mixture to pretty stiff. Then fold the cubed cheese into this choux mix and then pour the mix into the baking dish, forming what will look like a wide, donut ring on the inside of the dish. Then pour the filling in the center; and bake 35 -45 minutes until it has risen and is golden brown. About 5 minutes before it looks done, sprinkle the almond slices and bake another 5 minutes.
This is a delicious and very rich dish. A tossed salad goes well with it. Enjoy!