Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Gougères (Cheese Puffs)


Cheese puffs. Need I say more? Okay, maybe a little. I've been wanting to make pate a choux for awhile. It's a versatile dough that can be used for savory or sweet treats (cream puffs anyone?) I prefer savory, and had some gruyere in the fridge and made my version of David Lebovitz's gougères. I made mine about the size of a donut munchkin, so I ended up with half the batch than his recipe, and within a few minutes out of the oven, they were almost gone.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tomato Tart Take 2


For someone who once said she hated tomatoes, I've been buying them a lot this past summer. They're growing on me. I think it's to blame on a first bad experience with a watery, flavorless tomato as a child who mistook it for watermelon, bad watermelon. So the idea of watermelon tomato salad kind of disturbs me. I like tomato sauce (homemade), sundried tomatoes, salsa, so what's the deal? I figured with all the flavorless tomatoes out there, I've only liked them when the flavor is concentrated enough to be what a tomato should be - acidic and sweet at the same time. And so I must cook them.


This is a second attempt at my tomato tart from two posts ago. The crust is exactly the same but I didn't take any short cuts this time and it came out completely different - that is to say, what a tart crust should be. After skimming through a long article on how to make pie crusts, I learned that to make a flakier crust, you need to mix in the water by hand. Last time, I cheated and cut the butter into the flour with the food processor, and just poured the water/egg in til the dough formed. But that resulted in a dense, albeit, tasty crust that was more like a cookie than pastry. This time, I still used the food processor to cut the cold butter into the flour, but removed to a separate bowl to mix in the water. And with my fancy new non-stick tart pan, I successfully made my first tart crust. To make things interesting, I changed up the filling with pesto, gruyere cheese and tomatoes and it was like a fancy pizza. Who would've known I'd be drooling over tomatoes.