I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, because now it’s time to prepare for New Year’s Eve. In our family, I started the tradition to eat well on New Year’s Eve. I always go all out by getting steaks, lobster, shrimp platters, expensive wine and champagne, and making fancy little appetizers. I love doing this, because on New Year’s Day, we stick with my old family tradition and eat some of the poorest foods for good luck, like hog jowls, turnips, and black eyed peas. By doing these two traditions, we eat the way we hope the new Year will turn out on New Year’s Eve, extravagantly, and respect the past by eating the way we grew up on New year’s day, very frugally. Here’s a fun fancy appetizer I’ll be making for our New Year’s Eve. These little savory cheesy puff pastries, called gougères, are extremely tasty and pretty easy to make. I made my gougères with Parmesan and Gruyere cheese, but you can use any type of cheese you like, as long as it’s a drier, aged cheese. Traditionally, they are just made with only Gruyere cheese.
Parmesan-Gruyère Gougères Recipe
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1 cup flour
3 large eggs
1/2 cup shredded Parmasan Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Gruyère Cheese
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add water, butter and black pepper to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add flour all at once, and using a wooden spoon, continue to stir over medium heat until mixture comes into a ball, about 2 minutes. Let cool at least 5 minutes.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, stirring well to incorporate each egg into the dough before adding the next. Add both cheeses and mix well. Use a pastry bag and drop dough onto parchment paper on cookie sheet the size of grape tomatoes. If using a spoon, only use one level tablespoon of dough per gougères.
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn oven to 375 degrees and bake for 20 more minutes, or until golden brown.