Joanne Weir Follow @ChefJoanneWeir

Asparagus Cheese Puffs

Asparagus Cheese Puffs

These delightful little puffs are called gougères (rhymes with "blue hair") in France and are a favorite served with a glass of white wine before a meal. But the only way this recipe will appeal to everyone is if you use plenty of cheese, lots of fresh asparagus, a good dash of cayenne, and salt. Don't be shy with this one: serve them hot so they will melt in your mouth.

Makes 36 puffs to serve 6

TO DRINK: Pouilly-Fumé

Ingredients

1/2 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
3/4 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for the pot
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup coarsely grated dry sheep's milk cheese, such as pecorino or Manchego
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Instructions

Cut the asparagus into 1/4-inch lengths. Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and simmer until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain immediately and reserve.

In a heavy saucepan, bring the milk and butter to a boil over medium-high heat. In the meantime, sift together the 1/2 teaspoon salt, flour, and cayenne. As soon as the milk comes to a boil and the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the flour mixture all at once. With a wooden spoon, beat the mixture until it thickens and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Do not add another egg until the previous one has been thoroughly incorporated. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with lightly buttered parchment paper.

Add the asparagus, sheep's milk cheese, and Parmigiano to the dough and mix together. Spoon rounded teaspoons of the dough 1 inch apart onto the baking sheets. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the puffs from the parchment and serve immediately.

chefjoanneweir
chefjoanneweir
chefjoanneweir