UPDATE: January 5, 2013:
Dorie’s Gougères recipe is now published! You can find it here. . but you really need to purchase the cookbook!
So, I have been on a cookbook purchasing rampage. Hey, I have like 20 years to make up for. . and recently did it the old fashioned way and spent some time at a book store. In the cooking/cookbook section. It’s overwhelming to say the least. . but man, was it fun. I can’t express enough how much I love flipping through pages of cookbooks, reading stories, recipes and admiring/drooling over the mouth watering photos. I know every recipe can’t be photographed but I seriously think every recipe in a cookbook should have a photo of what the dish looks like. Again, I know that might be a publishing nightmare (taking the book from 530 pages to God knows what) but – for me- the photo gets me. The photo of the dish is what makes me want to eat it. Makes me want to bake/cook it.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come across a recipe, intrigued by it’s ingredients and preparation but then wonder- what the hell does this thing look like? Anyway, again, I know it’s probably not possible. . but this is just something I think about . . all the time. . when I’m flipping through these cookbooks.
So, every home cook, baker, foodie., etc must own a cookbook from Dorie Greenspan. If you don’t know who she is, read her blog, check her out. She’s pretty legit. I knew I had to have at least one of her cookbooks in my possession immediately. She wrote Baking with Julia, for Julia Child. She has two great cookbooks. The first one is Baking: From My Home to Yours. In this one, Dorie share the “recipes she made and the things she learned for over 30 years of baking at home and in the kitchens of some of the best chefs in America and France.” I’m not the best baker, but I’m putting this one on my Christmas wish-list stat.
And the second is Around My French Table, which is why I am posting today. This book is about Dorie’s other great love: France and its food. From Dorie, “Around My French Table is filled with stories of French life and more than 300 recipes for the elbows-on-the-table food (I freaking LOVE this statement) that my friends and I are making in France today.” As I was flipping through this freaking heavy cookbook- it has over 300 recipes and is a total of 530 pages (this sucker is big), the recipes were jumping out at me, I was falling in love all over again with food, France and everything I was laying my eyes on. I have only been to Paris (for my honeymoon) so this magical city and everything about it, still holds a warm, special place in my heart.
These gougères are the very first recipe in this beautiful cookbook, under “nibbles and hors d’oeuvres”. If you’ve never made gougères before, they are like wonderful cheesy cream puffs and, are in fact, made from the same almost magical dough: choux paste, or pate a choux. The difference is that gougères are cheesy not sweet, and are meant to start a meal, not finish it. When Dorie’s in France, she uses Gruyere for the cheese and when in America, cheddar. I went with the cheddar since we already had some at home but next time, I’m trying the gruyere cheese for sure. I also love that these are fabulous when you’re looking to nibble on something with wine or Champagne. How lovely is that?
So, you must go to Amazon right now (sorry bookstore, I still get a better deal from Amazon.com) and purchase this cookbook. One thing I’ve learned since reading more about Dorie specifically, she has an online group who is cooking their way through Around My French Table and they have asked that no one posts the actual recipes on their blogs. I’m not a part of this group but I see where they are coming from and I simply want to encourage you guys to check out this cookbook. .
I also don’t want to leave you guys hanging. . so here’s a similar recipe (Dorie’s might be better) that is already online for everyone’s viewing pleasure: Gougères: A Recipe for French Cheese Puffs by David Lebovitz. Click here for his recipe. And he’s actually friends with Dorie. . I have NOT tried this recipe but I hear everything David Lebovitz puts out into the world is fabulous.
I hope you enjoy!