I had never heard of the label “gougère” until recently, when our Ceramic Engineer and Master Potter, Glen Cutcher told me about a recipe he and his wife enjoy that fits impeccably into the Rowe Pottery Deep Dish Pie Plate. Glen always has an eye for new twists on existing and ordinary items, so I scanned the recipe and read the ingredients– cheese, egg, cauliflower and mushrooms. I had read enough to know it was going to be attempted.
I was impressed when it was time to open the oven, and it looked wonderful. It really looks a lot more impressive than it is difficult to make, but very fulfilling and a nice change of pace from the norm. Thanks Glen!
Here’s how it’s done:
1 stick butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
6 ounces of finely shredded cheddar cheese or Gruyère
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
salt & pepper to taste
1 small head cauliflower
12 oz can tomatoes
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
6 ounces button mushrooms, chopped
fresh thyme leaves
1~ Preheat your oven to 400˚F. Use butter to grease the Rowe Pottery Deep Dish Pie Plate. Place 1 1/4 cups water and the butter together in a large saucepan and heat until the butter melts completely. Remove from the heat and add all the flour at once. Stir aggressively with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds, until smooth. Cool slightly.
2~ Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is thick and glossy in appearance. This requires a little muscle, so feel the burn! Stir in the cheese and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture around the sides of the oven proof dish, leaving a hollow in the center for the filling.
3~ For the filling, cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the hard woody stalks.
4~ Puree the tomatoes in a food processor, then pour into a measuring cup. This should make enough for about 1 1/4 cups of liquid.
5~ Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick frying pan. Saute the onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes longer. Add the cauliflower and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato liquid and thyme. Season with salt & pepper. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
6~ Spoon mixture into the hollow in the deep dish with a slotted spoon to discard any extra liquid. Bake for 40 minutes, until the pastry has risen and turns golden brown.
Serve as a main dish, or a side. Serves approx. 4-6.