Gougères and Crudités Vegetables with House Remoulade
A typical Thanksgiving dinner is pretty substantial, regardless of the particular style of cuisine, so it’s important to keep the appetizers light, without sacrificing flavor. Some crisp veggies and a tasty dip, and these light gougères fit the required profile perfectly. And they’re especially welcoming when paired with a well-made sparkling wine.
Gougères are a French invention, apparently, that are simply a pâté au choux (puff pastry) flavored with cheese. That doesn’t really tell the story, however. They’re light, filled with flavor and air — a perfect way to start a formal dinner. The gougères can be made a day or two ahead of time and frozen before baking. You can then pop them, frozen, into the oven.
Crudités are a chance to offer up a bit of crunch and color along with a nice rémoulade made with plain yogurt, mustard and mayo and other flavorings.
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. capers, rinsed and chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 F
Bring the milk, water, butter, and salt to a rapid boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat.
Add the flour all at once, lower the heat to medium-low, and stir continuously with a wooden spoon or heavy whisk until the mixture becomes a dry paste (about 2 minutes).
Put the dough into the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a bowl you can use with a hand mixer. Let it sit for a minute to cool slightly.
With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium high speed, until each is incorporated. (If the dough seems to come apart, just keep going, by the time all the eggs are in the mixture, it will be fine.)
Slow the mixer down and mix in the cheese.
Drop the dough onto non-stick cookie sheets (or silicon mats or sheets with parchment paper) a spoonful at a time.
Place the sheets in the oven and reduce temperature to 375F. Bake until the gougeres are puffed up and golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
Gougeres are best when they're served warm from the oven.
In a small bowl, combine yogurt, mayonnaise, capers, lemon juice, mustard, and parsley. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with your favorite raw veggies.