I had my heart set on an entirely different post for today but the cold, rainy weather stomped on my plans. Who wants to read about a cold salad, no matter how good it is or how interesting the background story may be (at least in my mind), when it’s wet outside and all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire. I’ll save that post for another day.
I decided to make something warm but leftovers in the refrigerator took dessert, a big pot of soup or a hearty main dish out of the equation. Instead, I opted for these gougéres. Cheese puffs are easy to make (so I say after conquering my gougére fear) and they are a nice accompaniment to wine before dinner.
But I tried something different today. In addition to gruyére cheese, I also threw in some chopped olives and anchovies for a more savory punch. I realize that the inclusion of anchovies may not earn these a spot on your must-try list but I assure you, they’re quite good. After being teased by the cheesy, anchovy aromas coming out of the oven, the first bite will not disappoint.
The crispy puffs lead the way for the sharp nuttiness of the gruyére then take your taste buds for a salty spin. Not too salty, though. Just enough to get a hint of the marinated olives and anchovies. The two don’t overpower at all but you know you’re enjoying a different kind of gougére when you bite into these.
So would you try them? I encourage you to. If not, omitting the anchovies and substituting sun-dried tomatoes would work, too.
By the way, you still have a chance to win my giveaway here. It’s been good to learn what people like (or dislike) about this blog. Someone recommended no more anchovy recipes and that made me smile. I think that would be a hopeless goal for me, don’t you think? Still, I have appreciated everyone’s comments and suggestions. My request for your input was not meant to be a catalyst for a major shift in my blogging style but more to find out how to better organize my recipe lineup.
Positive feedback and constructive criticism will always be welcome here and I want you to know that having you for an audience has been the best part about having this blog. So drop by my giveaway while there’s still time! I’ll be accepting comments until October 24.
Olive and Anchovy Gougéres
Adapted from: Williams-Sonoma’s Savoring Appetizers
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons finely diced gruyére (won’t hurt to add 1 tbsp more if omitting other additions)
- 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained, patted dry and diced
- 5 oil-cured black olives, pitted and chopped (I used more)
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
For the choux pastry, sift the flour into a bowl and set aside. Pour water into a medium saucepan, add butter and bring to a boil. Stir to make sure the butter has melted before the mixture comes to a boil.
Reduce your heat to medium and add the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour stops clinging to the sides of the pan and starts to form a ball around the spatula. This will take 30-40 seconds. The goal is also to evaporate as much water as possible without scorching the pastry. Remove from heat, transfer the pastry to another bowl and allow to cool for three minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time to the pastry. Stir the mixture until the egg has blended completely with the pastry before adding the next one.
Fold the cheese, olives, anchovies, and garlic into the pastry. Use two spoons to form about 1 1/4 inch round balls and drop on the parchment-lined baking sheet. You will get between 25-30 puffs.
Bake the puffs for about twenty minutes or until golden brown. Turn off the heat and leave the oven door ajar for 5-10 minutes to finish the puffs. This will help to avoid soft puffs.
Transfer the puffs to a basket and serve at once.