J: “You’re an asshole.”
D: “No Chef, I’m not an asshole, Chef.”
J: “Yes you are an asshole, that’s why nobody wants to work with you!”.
The joys of working in a professional kitchen include, but are not limited to: brutal honesty, endless curse streams, shameless d!ck jokes, and relentless uncalled-for insults (also known as: ‘character building’). That’s just to name a few. I’ll share the good ones with you here as they come, some are too good to keep to myself.
If you want to test the laws of karma: work in a professional kitchen.
I’ve spent much of my outside of work time baking sweets, and I figured it was about time for a savoury addition to the recipe box. Smoked Gruyere Gougeres. What’s better? Nothing really. Salty, smokey, cheesy, black peppery, little poofs. I needn’t go on.
The Pate a Choux (the gougeres batter):
1 cup water
45 ml butter (3 TB)
3 pinches black pepper
1 cup all purpose flour
4 whole eggs
1 cup smoked Gruyere cheese (requires hunting!), finely grated
-Preheat your oven to 425 F. (If you have a convection oven: 375 F with low fan.)
-Boil the water, butter, and salt.
-Turn heat to low. Stir your pepper into the flour, then add directly to your hot water and butter mixture all at once, stirring with a wooden spoon or strong spatula vigorously.
-Keep stirring over low heat until the dough forms a ball that has no lumps of dry flour, and the ball is tight enough that you can push your fingers into the dough and remove them again without any dough sticking to your fingers. (It’s kind of resembling play-doh at this point).
-Remove from pot, place in large bowl, rest for 5 mins.
-Using a fork; add one egg at a time and mix until the batter is smooth without lumps. This takes effort, I’m warning you.
-If you have a stand mixer, you can omit the last two steps, instead place the dough into the mixing bowl, mix with paddle attachment for 30 seconds to remove excess heat, then slowly add one egg at a time (not scraping the sides of the bowl during mixing, just let it ‘do it’s thang’.)
-For either of the above methods: once the dough is smooth with no lumps, add the gruyere cheese and stir just until incorporated.
-Using a piping bag, pipe into equally sized balls on a silicon baking mat or parchment paper, leaving at least an inch and a half between each. They will double in size when baked.
-Dab the tops with a damp finger to remove any Hershey’s Kiss type peak, and bake until golden brown. Be sure to rotate the tray every few minutes for even baking/colour.
-Cool on a wire rack, and if you’re in this house: eat with spicy sausage and Puy Lentil soup.
Ciao for now!