Here’s a recipe you can show off to your friends or use for a holiday treat. my pictures of the dish weren’t very good, but it looked impressive with a shiny, puffy brown crust surrounding a tomato red filling. The original came from my current go-to cookbook for special meals, the out-of-print Encyclopedia of Vegetables and Vegetarian Cooking.
Gougere is an upscale French cheese bread and in this recipe it is used as the pastry in a casserole. The pastry is a cross between choux pastry and a souffle. Making it is easy and fun and very likely fail-proof. The casserole filling is a tomato-based cauliflower stew, but any slightly sour or bitter mixture will work to balance the richness of the pastry. We brainstormed over dinner and came up with alternatives: a thick putanesca sauce, a spicy Indian curry with a tomato base, or some sort of savory citrus sauce. This version is vegetarian but you will find ways to adapt it for carnivores (think ham or bacon).
1.25 c water
120 g/4 oz butter
140 g/5 oz flour
120 g/4 oz Gruyere, shredded
1 t dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
1 can whole tomatoes
1 T olive oil or butter
1 onion, chopped
120 g/4 oz mushrooms, whole or halved
1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets
dash herbes de Provence or a sprig of thyme
salt & pepper to taste
Butter a large round or oval baking dish. Preheat the oven to 200/400.
Bring the water and butter to a boil and heat until the butter melts. Remove from heat. Dump in all the flour at once. Stir hard with a wooden spoon until a smooth ball of dough forms. Allow to cool for a few minutes before adding the eggs, one at a time, beating until glossy after each addition. Mix in the cheese, mustard and seasoning. Form a the dough into a ring around the inside of the casserole dish, leaving a hole for the filling.
Crush or puree the tomatoes and add enough water to equal 1.5 cups. Sit aside. Bring the oil or butter to heat in a wok or deep fry pan. Fry the onions until translucent but not brown, then add the mushrooms and cook until slightly browned. Add the cauliflower and fry for a minute before adding the tomato liquid. Cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, or until the cauliflower is just turning tender.
Pour the filling, including all its liquid, into the center of the casserole. Bake for 30 -40 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and dark golden brown.Posted by kuri at November 18, 2009 10:00 PM