Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gougere with Wild Mushroom Duxelles

                                                                                                                                 Photography by Rachel Horesovsky

Doug has been having fun teasing me about the name of this dish.  He has been mincing around saying, "for Thanksgiving we are having faw faw faugh faw faw " in an affected, cartoonish french accent.  What can I say?  I could call these Cheese Puffs with Mushroom Paste, but that really wouldn't do this dish justice. 

These were a huge hit at our Thanksgiving dinner this year.  I like to serve the hot gougere (cheese puffs) on a large platter and put a bowl of the hot duxelles (mushroom paste) next to it.  The Gougere are crispy and light and scream of gruyere cheese, and are wonderful eaten on their own.  Or tear the top of them and fill them with Duxelles for an out of this world flavor explosion of cheese and wild mushrooms.  Faw faw faw indeed! 

Everyone loves crispy cheesey Gougere!

This is one of those dishes that is really pretty simple to make, looks very rustic, but is the essence of autumnal elegance.  The Gougere dough is simply a pate choux with milk and cheese.  As far as the mushrooms go, I think patience is key in slowly sauteing them, and when you are using such amazing mushrooms as Morels and Chanterelles, less is more when it comes to seasonings. While Duxelle is usually made with ground mushrooms, I prefer a more chunky duxelles and just chopped them finely.

Beautiful fresh chanterelles!

Gougere with Wild Mushroom Duxelles
makes 2 dozen bite-size appetizers


1 cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter (4 oz.)
1 tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
4 eggs plus one egg, separated
1/2 lb grated gruyere cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium sized pot, combine milk, butter and salt over high heat.  Cook until butter is melted and milk comes to a boil.  Remove from heat, and add flour.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until mixture pulls together in a ball.  Let dough rest 15 minutes off heat to cool.

Add eggs to dough, one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon after each adition until egg is completely incorporated.  After all 4 eggs have been added, add reserved egg white to dough and mix in.  Add gruyere cheese and stir into dough.

Drop spoonfulls of dough onto parchment lines baking sheets, about an inch apart.  In a small bowl, mix reserved egg yolk with 1 tsp water, and then brush egg glaze on top of dough.  Sprinkle glazed gougere with grated parmesan cheese.

Cheesey pate choux ready for the oven...

Freshly baked, crispy gougere!

Bake 30 minutes until gougere are puffed and very golden.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

Wild Mushroom Duxelles

1 pound fresh wild mushrooms (I used chanterelles), finely chopped
1/2 oz. dried morel mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 shallot finely minced
1/4 cup tawny port
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled)
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt

Combine dried morels and 1 cup boiling water, allow to steep 30 minutes.  Remove morels from liquid and chop finely, reserving mushroom soaking liquid.  Strain grit out of reserved mushroom soaking liquid by pouring liquid through 2 layers of cheesecloth in a sieve.  Reserve liquid.

Strain the steeping liquid through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth

Have everything ready to go before cooking!

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium high heat.  When butter is melted add garlic and shallot and cook 20 seconds.  Add chopped mushrooms to pan and saute.  Mushrooms will eventually sweat out their liquid, continue to cook until liquid is reduced and mushrooms are slightly caramelized (about 15-20 minutes).

Mushrooms will sweat a lot of liquid, cook until this liquid is 
completely reduced and mushrooms are caramelized.

Deglaze pan with port and cook until liquid is reduced (about 1 minute).  Add honey, rosemary, thyme, pepper and reserved steeping liquid.  Cook until completely reduced and no liquid remains.  Season with 1 tsp kosher salt.

Serve with freshly baked Gougere.

(Duxelles, can be transfered to an airtight container while hot, and refrigerated for several days before using).

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