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