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Festival Food at its Finest: BLT Gougères

A recipe from Southern Grown Festival, Sea Island, GA

As fate would have it, Southern Grown Festival was at the Southern Coterie Summit that I attended this spring in Charleston. They were serving-up the most beautiful bites and savory tastes as a preview of their 1st annual Southern Grown Festival on Sea Island, GA, which debuted in June ’15. I bellied-up to meet the Executive Chef David Carrier who kindly shared this recipe for the BLT Gougères we sampled. Yum.

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(At right, a selfie with David Carrier.)

A gougère in French cuisine is a baked savory choux pastry made of choux dough mixed with cheese.  

And, here you go…

BLT Gougères

For the Gougères:

1 cup water

7 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tbsp. salt

1 pinch sugar

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

4 large eggs

1 ¼ cup grated Gruyere

Freshly ground white pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Bring butter, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring until butter is melted. Remove from heat, add flour, and stir to combine.
  • Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon, until mixture pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring vigorously, until a dry film forms on bottom and sides of pan and dough is no longer sticky, about 2 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and let dough cool slightly, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole eggs one at a time, incorporating fully between additions. Mix in cheese and pepper.
  • Scrape dough into a piping bag fitted with a ½” round tip (alternatively, use a plastic bag with a ½” opening cut diagonally from 1 corner). Pipe 1” rounds about 2” apart onto 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Whisk egg yolk and 1 tsp. water in a small bowl; brush rounds with egg wash.
  • Bake gougères until puffed and golden and dry in the center (they should sound hollow when tapped), 20–25 minutes.
  • DO AHEAD: Dough can be made 4 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Gougères can be baked 2 hours ahead; reheat before serving.

For the Filling:

½ cup cooked bacon lardons

½ cup diced tomatoes

1 cup lettuce chiffonade

¼ cup Dukes mayonnaise

Mix everything but the lettuce until incorporated. Fold in lettuce.

To Assemble:

Cut the top of the Gougères off and fill with lettuce mixture. Place top of Gougères on mixture and serve.

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